Descendants return to the bench

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

August 18, 2021

Descendants of the elderly Whitney residents who fought the city (and their wives) for the right to “sit, spit and whittle” on the bench at the corner of Brazos Street and Washington Avenue gathered Saturday, August 14, to rededicate the bench. Organizer Anne Chastain, who now operates a winery out of the former drug store at the location, invited descendants of those involved in the 1949 “battle” and the resulting national publicity to gather downtown for the event. Pictured are (l to r): Tom Rose descendants – Tommy Rose, Jennifer Rose Ryan, Debbie Rose Money, Tracy Lampman, Donna Duncan and Nancy Sullivan; A.L. “Fonzie” Sharp descendant Darlene Sharp Halbert; Bob Swilling descendants – Jarvis Basham and Pat Basham; Charles Montgomery descendants – Carolyn Overton, Charles “Ron” Montgomery, (event volunteer Billy Joe Warren); C.E. Sullivan descendant – Richard Sullivan; and Simon Wilson descendant – Harrell Wilson. Organizers are planning a bigger event next year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the placement of the bench at the location.

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