Mary Lucille Dozier (Holliday)






By the time I made my appearance in the world my parents had been married for eleven years.  Doctors had told them they would probably never have children, so imagine their surprise (and I hope joy) when on August the 28th, 1926, I arrived - all 5 pounds of me.

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 Mary Lucille Dozier (Holliday) 
 (born Aug 28, 1926 in Atlanta) mother of Peter, Lucy, Lindsay and Mary Holliday

Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2009 16:59
Subject: Mom's memories

Stories from Mary Lucille Dozier (Holliday)

I was not transported to Oz, but in June of 1941, my mother father and I moved to Macon, Ga. WW-II was raging in Europe. And while the US was not an active participant, we were involved in a lend-lease program with England. Those in government circles who saw the handwriting on the wall had begun construction on military bases and supply depots across our country.

My father now had a job with the George N Delk Company that had a contract with the US government for work at the Naval Ordnance Plant in Macon. Most Maconites called it the "Fuse Plant". 

I can't say I loved Macon from the start but I soon made friends when school started. By that time, we were living in an apartment on Park Place across from Mount DeSales Academy which was then a Catholic Girls Boarding School that had a number of foreign students also. The walk to Miller High School was about a mile, and neighborhood girls and I walked it almost every day. As noted before, my mother did not drive. My father would be late for work if the weather was terrible so he could give us girls a ride to school.

I went to a 4 year High School in Atlanta for 2 years, but Miller HS was 5 years. Not realizing how happy those remaining HS years would be, I was devastated at the idea of 3 more years instead of only two!  I was 14 years old at the time (a teenager) so I made all kinds of rash statements: I would go back to Atlanta and live with Aunt Marie and finish at West Fulton High; I would quit school: I cried that my life was ruined, etc..   Finally, my mother and I went to Miller to talk with the principal, Mr Lassiter.  And, after he reviewed my transcript and listened to my tale of woe, he decided to let me be a Junior if I could keep up.

And keep up I did.  I was a charter member of the Beta Club (the National Honor Society) and I was an honor graduate. My Atlanta schools plus my parents - always helping me with books, trips and in-depth conversations about my subjects, gave me a big boost.

Macon in the 1940s was a great place to be a teenager.  I was asked to join a sorority, SOS, and to be a sponsor for a fraternity, Sedarmoc (Comrades spelled backwards). I was also a sponsor for a Captain (name) in the Lanier HS for Boys ROTC. There were ___ sororities at Miller and ___ fraternities at Lanier, and each had a formal dance during the school year. The boys would send their dates flowers - usually a corsage of orchids - and the girls would all wear "formals" usually full length gowns. Often there was a breakfast after the dance - our dates would take us to our house where we would change from our formals into casual clothes, and off we would go again.

My sorority's dance, we always held on Easter Eve, and all the girls always had two dates (escorts) for the leadout - one on each arm - we thought we were really great. Maybe we were!

My Jr and Sr years at A. L. Miller High were very happy and busy ones. We lived on Hines terrace during the last half of my Jr and all of my Sr year. My best friend was Harriet Thorp who lived one block over on Pierce Avenue. Her back yard adjoined the back yard of the house directly in front of mine. So she could walk to my house very quickly. One afternoon, Harriet and I were sitting in the swing on my front porch.  A young man came running down the driveway of the house across from mine, turned down the street and was soon out of sight. I asked Harriet if she knew who he was and she replied, yes, that's Pete Holliday, he runs all the time.  Well - more about that runner later - about 5 and 1/2 years later... 

My Senior year passed too quickly with so much happening. There was the Military Ball, when the ROTC officers and their sponsors were honored. Each sponsor chose colors for their officers company. I chose royal blue and white. The sponsor was to wear these colors when there was an ROTC event. She was also responsible for having a flag made for the Company using these colors. Every now and then I still come across that flag.

When time to apply for colleges rolled around, I had my mind made up. I went to the third grade in Durham , NC., and attended various events with my class and my parents at Duke University. The beautiful campus and buildings made a lasting impression on me, and Duke is where I planned to go. But, remember these were WW years, it was 1943, we had been at war for about 2 years. There was gas rationing, tires were very difficult to find, and all trains and busses were extremely crowded. Mother and Daddy were concerned that if I went as far away as North Carolina, that I might not be able to get home. So, I was given the choice of Wesleyan or the University of Georgia. I reacted as most young people would, not wanting to stay home and go to school.

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"WEEK-END VISITOR -- Miss Mary Dozier, above, is the lovely daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Dozier, who are residing in Dublin at the Hotel Fred Roberts.  Mr. Dozier is the superintendent of the George N. Delk Electrical Engineering Company operations at the Naval Hospital.  Miss Dozier is a graduate of Miller High School in Macon where she was a charter member of the National Beta Club, member of the Radio and French Club, a sponsor for the Sedarmoc fraternity, the ROTC and a member of the S. O. S. at Georgia.  Miss Dozier is a member of Alpha Omega Phi and popular in campus activities. "


Several of my good friends were going to UGA also. Jane Scott, Jane Sparks, Amelia Brumby, Murray Claire Calhoun, Anne Dixon, and Eugenia Miller.  Anne, Eugenia and I were roommates our freshman year.  We lived on main campus at ___ Hall.   This dorm was across a campus street from the chapel were the bell would sound each time we won a football game.  On game day, students would greet each other by asking “Will the bell ring today?”  The answer would be “..., Yes!”… an adjective was often placed in front of the yes.

As I think back to those football games, I remember how we would dress up  in pretty dresses or suits, high heels, cute hats and often, fur coats.  The boys wore sport coats and ties.  They would send their dates large pom-pom chrysanthemums with red and black satin ribbons cascading at least a foot down the stems.  If the game was played in the early afternoon, there would be a "tea-dance" afterwards.  Night games were followed by a dance also.  I have always loved to dance, and those were happy, happy times.  The night dances always ended by 1-AM and we were expected to sign-in to our houses by 1:30.  The house-mother was waiting by the door to make sure the rules were obeyed.   Yes, in the good old days, most colleges still served in loco parentis  (in place of parents) and were very diligent in following this charge.  While I was in college in Athens, my parents lived in Dublin, Georgia where my dad helped to build the Veteran’s Hospital there.  Coco, Fla was the site of the Banana River Naval Base and Cape Canaveral  - later to become the Kennedy Space Center. My dad worked also in Jacksonville, Florida, as there was and still is a large Naval Base nearby.  Many sightings of German U-Boats (submarines) were made off the coast of Florida during WW2.  Several German sailors, who were put ashore to spy or to sabotage military sites were actually caught and imprisoned. 

I would spend my school breaks with mother and dad.  I especially loved Coco and spent a Spring Break and one summer there.  During my Spring Break, the Orange Trees were in bloom.  Mother and I would walk into the little town each afternoon to have a glass of fresh orange juice mixed with coconut milk.  Our path lead through an Orange grove and the fragrance was heavenly. 

We were staying a large hotel across from the Indian River.  In fact, the hotel was the Indian River Hotel.  The hotel had a concrete pier, semicircular shaped, out into the river and people would sit our on benches out on the pier, and enjoy the music played by several Cubans.  These young Cuban men were in the US to play baseball. Some of them were very talented musicians.  This was so exciting to me because foreigners were few and far between in those days. 

By the time I made my appearance in the world my parents had been married for eleven years.  Doctors had told them they would probably never have children, so imagine their surprise (and I hope joy) when on August the 28th, 1926, I arrived - all 5 pounds of me.

My father, Lucius Lindsay Dozier had 3 brothers - Gordon, Fred and William - none of whom had children.  So I was the “last hope” to carry on the Dozier name.  They say my grandfather Dozier cried when he heard the eagerly awaited baby was a girl; however, the next day he came to the hospital, Davis Fisher in Atlanta, demanding in a very loud voice to see his new granddaughter.  I do not remember him because he died when I was 5 and we had moved around so much that I was seldom with him.

Since my father worked for Walker Electric Company in Atlanta, we thought of Atlanta as home; however, Walker Electric would bid on large jobs that would last for months.  During the late 1920s and all of the 30s, industrial mills up and down the Eastern Seaboard were being converted from water to electric power.  And my father worked on many of them.  Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee were the places I remember most clearly.  He did some work in Georgia too and I went to Kindergarten in Columbus. 

I started to school in Greer, SC and also lived in Walhalla, SC.  Many years later, I found out that my Grandmother Specht, who came to the US in 1889, stayed first with her uncle who was managing an Inn in Walhalla.  I always called her "Mama" and my mother “mother”.  My Grandfather Specht was "Papa" to me and my father was "Daddy"  (”Mama’s” cousin, Amelia came to the US with her and I recall visiting her in Birmingham, Ala… we called her “Tante’melia”)

I also went to the 1st grade in Atlanta at Lena H Cox School.  I was in and out of that school all my elementary years  finishing the 7th grade and graduating from there.  When I began the 5th grade, my parents decided for my mother and me to stay in Atlanta during the school year and to join my daddy for vacations and for the summers.  We lived with my mother’s sister, my Aunt Marie, and her husband Elwood Tew. 

During 1936 and '37, my daddy was in Buena Vista and Alta Vista, Virginia.  I have very happy memories of staying in both places.   When my granddaughter, Faith Collins graduated from Washington and Lee College in Lexington, Va., I had the opportunity to visit Buena Vista only 5 miles from Lexington, and locate the house where we boarded.  This house was really quite large.  There was a tennis court with hollyhocks planted all around it.  There was also a sweet little pool located on a lower terrace.  These people whose last name was Shewey had 2 daughters about my age and we played together every day.  We would make dolls from the hollyhock blooms and sail them on the pool in boats made from hydrangeas.  It was truly a magic summer for me , I was 11 years old.  The Spring before this, I had a very bad case of whooping cough, and had become quite thin.  Some of the mothers in the neighborhood were afraid for their children to play with me, but thank goodness, the Sheweys did not feel that way. 

About a block away from this house was a private girls school - Virginia Seminary for Young Ladies.  We went to see their graduation exercises and I was enthralled.  The young ladies wore long pastel dresses, large hats and carried beautiful bouquets.  I said that was where I as going to school, but years erased that resolve and I went UGA.

The school was till there when I went to visit it in 2001.  The house we had lived in had deteriorated quite a bit.  The lot with the tennis court now held a nice brick bungalow.  The little pool could still be seen, but only as an indention surrounded by stones.

Buena Vista is very hilly, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and home to Natural Bridge.  The street we lived on was on one of those hills and there were steps going down from our street to the street below.  Quite steep steps with an iron railing.  They are still there.  Sometimes my mother and I would walk down those steep steps and on into the town and ride home with him.  It was while we were in Buena Vista that Gone With The Wind was popular.  My mother would read it during the day and pass it to my daddy after supper every night.  I was reading the Bobsie Twins and beginning my long friendship with Nancy Drew and the many inhabitants of Oz.

My mother kept Saltines, hard cheese and dill pickles in our rooms so we could have a snack.  They did not need refrigeration.  I love them to this day! 

The glorious Atlanta Train Station is no more.  Many times mother and I caught the trains there, sometimes as early as 4-AM  - as we journeyed to join my dad. Uncle Elwood would often drive us to the station.  The train windows would open - no AC - and the cinders would blow in every now and then - no diesel engines.  Just a true Choo-choo.  





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