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November 17, 2017

George Shirley at Citizen’s Bank & Trust Co. of Grainger County’s Rutledge branch standing beside his father’s (Wayne Shirley) plaque and holding his grandfather’s 1951 orange license plate.  

Courtesy photo 

Recalling the days of old in Rutledge 

Ken Coffey
Grainger Today Correspondent 

 After a visit to Johnson City, Jim Claborn, David Garland and Ken Coffey met Ray Shirley, who shared some memories of growing up in Rutledge. Shirley told the men about his father, Earl, going to Knoxville in 1949 and buying Grainger County’s first television. He also gave the men two license plates that were on his father’s truck. He wanted them to return home to Grainger County. He said he enjoyed the men bringing him photos of Shirley’s gas station, where he and his brothers, Edward and Wayne worked while growing up in Rutledge. Many Grainger County folks remember the cherry cokes, dip dogs and ice cream at Shirley’s Drive-in.  

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