Harley M. Fincher Sr. had been married to his wife for just four months when he boarded a bus at the corner of Main Street and Grace Street in downtown Cedartown on Dec. 11, 1950.
That’s where a cafe and bus stop was 70 years ago that was Fincher’s last stop in his hometown before going to Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, to begin a nearly two-year stretch in the U.S. Army.
On Dec. 11 of this year, Fincher and his daughter, Jayne Sinclair, visited the spot where he got on that bus to the day and recalled the life that he lived and how he returned home to Cedartown and his wife, the then Barbara Shiflett.
Fincher, now 91, spent three days in Fort Jackson before being sent off to Camp Pickett, Virginia, where he began basic training on Jan. 2, 1951. In September of that year he shipped out on a 12-day voyage to Baumholder, Germany, where he was corporal in the 317th Quartermaster Reclamation & Maintenance Company.
On Oct. 29, 1952, Fincher was back in Fort Jackson, being discharged. He then got on a bus to Atlanta. From there, he took a bus to Cedartown and then a taxi toward home. On the way home, he asked the taxi driver if he could stop by the Goodyear Mill to surprise his mom, who worked the graveyard shift. He asked the guard called “Red” to please take him to see his mom, and she was quite surprised Fincher recalled.
The taxi driver then took him home to 683 Slusser Ave. to see his wife.
Fincher’s daughter said her dad is a walking history book of Cedartown, having delivered groceries in the 1940s and met nearly everyone who was living there at that time.
“Dad has a lot of fond and fun memories of his army days. He will be 92 in April but still remembers those days like they were yesterday,” Sinclair said.