A look at the town of Coats in the fall of 1987

By GAYLE SORRELL
Posted 7/23/21

The date on The Daily Record recorded that it was Oct. 9, 1987, and the edition recorded that Billie Jean Harvell had hosted a bridal shower for Judy Lee Tyndall. The bride-elect’s mother, Judy …

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A look at the town of Coats in the fall of 1987

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The date on The Daily Record recorded that it was Oct. 9, 1987, and the edition recorded that Billie Jean Harvell had hosted a bridal shower for Judy Lee Tyndall. The bride-elect’s mother, Judy Ann Tyndall, and her grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Norris, were special guests. Velma McLeod assisted Billie Jean with the event.

Another group of local women congregated for an event hosted by the Women of Coats United Methodist Church. The ladies heard from Dottie Tyndall about her trip to Jamaica with Shirley Allen. President Sue Penny opened the meeting at the home of Carolyn Tart in Angier. Evelyn Roberts closed the meeting with prayer after the ladies planned for the Fall Bazaar. Who attended this meeting? The paper recorded attendees as Marilyn Ennis, Edna Lockamy, Mary Mitchell, Sarah Arrington, Karen Page, Judy Williams, Ruby Johnson, Helen Nettles, Wanda Williams, Kathy Weeks and Marian Lilly (The Daily Record, Oct. 12, 1987).

It was the time for the Coats Area Chamber of Commerce to focus on another business and this time it was Coats Tire Service, which was owned and operated by David Eason. David had operated the business near the intersection of N.C. Highway 55 and N.C. Highway 27 for 25 years. His well-qualified staff included Phil Wood, Jeff Ammons and Katherine Pollard (The Daily Record, Oct. 13, 1987).

The Coats Middle School football team celebrated its first win by defeating Lillington 12-0. Quarterback John Pope registered both touchdowns on a 30-yard bootleg play and a 1-yard keeper. Lincoln Elliott and Matt Todd, who recovered two fumbles, were praised for their defensive efforts for Coats. The football season was a first for Coats Middle School since the high school squad in 1984.

Louise Ennis was honored as the RSVP volunteer for her dedication and support of the Swinging Elders of Coats and the Sunshine Chorus at Buies Creek. Mrs. Ennis was also a part-time organist for Ebenezer Presbyterian Church near Coats (The Daily Record, Oct. 16, 1987).

Coats Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Avery’s Auto Supply and Service as the Business Focus of the Week. The business was owned and operated by Bill Avery and his wife. Wade Stephenson and Ann Jones of the chamber presented the sign.

The chamber also took the time to thank The Daily Record for their fine cooperation in printing the Chamber’s Business Focus of the Week. The CACC was a relatively new organization, having begun in 1982, and since that date The Daily Record had published more than 200 Business Focus of the Week articles.

Kalicia Parrish, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Parrish, was crowned Midget Homecoming Queen during the Coats football game. Kalicia was escorted by Charlie Stevens, a sixth grade player and son of Doug and Sharon Stevens (The Daily Record, Oct. 21, 1987).

Lisa Anne Strickland, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B.L. Strickland Jr., married William P Godwin Jr. of Erwin. A side note is that B.L.’s sister, Carolyn, was my roommate at the University of North Carolina but I never knew that her dad, Belvin Sr., was brother to M.T. Strickland of the IGA.

You have read about Wade Stephenson being a beloved Coats High School teacher and coach and also how instrumental he was in the organization of the Coats Area Chamber of Commerce. This time Wade made news because his daughter, Ellen Stephenson, was honored with an ice cream social at the home of another daughter, Diane Allen of Coats.

Christopher Robin Poole, son of Mr. and Mrs. Danny Poole of Coats, celebrated his first birthday. In attendance were his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Major D. Faircloth; aunts and uncle, Teresa Haithcock, Sharon and Luke Lucas; cousins, Latasha Smith and Niikolas Haithcock; and friends, April Weaver and Cathy Lockamy (The Daily Record, Oct. 28, 1987).

CACC recognized Carolina Cabinets as the Business Focus of the Week. The business was owned and operated by J.E. Morgan and was located in the old Noles Service Station and Garage. Mr. Morgan catered to housing development needs (The Daily Record, Oct. 29, 1987).

Flonnie Ennis Byrd, 86, formerly of Coats, had died. Her daughter, Faye Williford of Angier, and sisters, Lena Stewart, Rosa Bain and Dora Ivey, survived her. She was the daughter of the late Herbert A. Ennis and Minnie Stevens Ennis. She and her late husband, Sammy Carl Byrd, attended the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church (The Daily Record, Oct. 30, 1987).

Anita Stewart Pleasant, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pleasant, was named Junior Miss Erwin Denim for 1988. Has that pageant discontinued? I do know that Anita was an excellent choice to win that title.

Coats Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Clayton Paint Company as the Business Focus of the Week. The company was owned and operated by Barnes Clayton. Clayton Paint Co. was a family business where Barnes had worked with his father for several years. Barnes and his wife, Phyllis Clayton, and a son, Mitchell Clayton, worked side by side. Youngest son, Robbie Clayton, age 4, said he would be a painter when he grew up, too (The Daily Record, Nov. 2, 1987).

Garner Ennis was pictured in the Nov. 11, 1987 edition of The Daily Record as one of the 1,200 employees at the Erwin Mills Division of Burlington Industries.

More Notes from Wanda Pollard shared that Owen Cobb had been extended sympathy to his family in the loss of Mrs. Owen Cobb and to Tommy Williford in the loss of his sister. Wanda also extended get well wishes to Mrs. Maylon Pollard from her eye surgery and to Lee Williams who was recovering after a hospital visit by visiting the Farmers Day. Earl Ennis had also felt well enough to enjoy the parade after his recent hospitalization.

Congratulations went out to new additions to local families. Mr. and Mrs. Benny Ray Stephenson had a new grandbaby. They also had moved their business, Coats Video, to a larger building on South McKinley Street. Danny and Karen Ferguson were proud new parents of a baby boy named Jonathan Michael Ferguson. Mitch was probably happy to welcome his baby brother. Grandmother, Louise Coats Jackson, and great-grandmother, Mary Penny Coats, were proud to share that Gena Bradley Howell had arrived. Gene and Pat Howell were parents.

The Coats Farmers Day Festivities were a tremendous success with Charles Ennis winning the pig-picking contest. Horses, wagons, cowboys, surreys, buggies and western dress were seen everywhere. Hallie Price took people on buggy rides (The Daily Record, Nov. 11, 1987). This was Farmers Day, right?

A big thank you goes to Randy and Rhonda Stephenson for their donation of a box of face masks for use at the museum. Many of our visitors feel safer wearing a mask and now should they need a new one, Randy and Rhonda have made it possible.

Thank you goes to Margaret House for dropping by the museum with several books, pictures and Girl Scout-related material.

Ralph Denning, who grew up in Coats and graduated from Campbell after graduation from Coats High School, loves local history and during his visits he shares interesting new facts about the graveyards, town businesses and businessmen and even vintage  houses.

During his recent visit we talked about how sad that many of the area’s former and most prominent people lay in cemeteries that are covered with weeds, bushes and even trees. Often the tombstones are broken and overturned so one has difficulty knowing where the graves are. It is also sad that many folks have no idea where their older ancestors are buried and don’t realize that the house or land they have came through that ancestor.

Thank you, Ralph, for visiting us and for supporting the museum.

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