McBride recalls painting signs, buying cars

By: By Natalie Davis -

Ed McBride, honoree at the Brown Bag Book Club meeting, spoke of his experiences growing up in Anson County.

The gathering at the Hampton B. Allen Library, and a host of community members, family and friends gathered at the Hampton B. Allen Library in McBride’s honor.

“He is what we call a sign artist because it is artistry, all of the things he has done,” said Dianne Welch, president.

McBride began sign painting in 1937, took photographs of almost every sign that he created, and kept organized notes of everything throughout his life.

McBride has painted vehicles, trucks, signboards, and has done so many things in life.

“I can’t even imagine such creativity and talent that the Lord has blessed him with, and he has used,” Welch said.

He also began writing a newspaper column in 1998.

Welch read McBride’s column about how he met his wife.

McBride had a Saturday job at A&P grocery store, and he was out for lunch, while she was on a refreshment run to get drinks for the ladies at Belk.

McBride spoke much of his times in Anson County, and said that he is very appreciative of the life he has lived.

“I have learned to keep my mouth shut most of the time, but I have experienced so many things,” McBride said.

McBride said that he had the opportunity to do a lot of show cards for store windows.

He also spoke about the first televisions and radios.

“I have enjoyed seeing a lot of it … some for the first time ever,” McBride said.

McBride said that he had the first television set in Anson County.

“Can you believe that?” McBride asked. “We had to really prop up that television atenna.”

McBride said that he saw so many things: new cars, even ones with radios, and trains.

McBride was asked a lot about his old cars. His old red Suburban only has 52,000 miles on it.

McBride’s first new car was a 1941 Studebaker, and he said he paid a little over $700 for the brand new car with the colored stripe.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed trying to do some of the things that were not heard of (back) then, and I had a good time,” he said.

McBride said also he took a course to learn how to make a radio. He made his own radio, and he still has it, and almost everything else he has made.

“I still have the books that I ordered,” he said. “I don’t think they (radios) work.”

McBride said that he and his wife sat in the car at Mr. Ikard’s store, listening to the radio, and heard about Pearl Harbor.

“I’ve got several cartons of radio programs that go back close to 100 years old,” he said.

McBride also said that the tapes were during the days of black and white, and it gave him wonderful experiences.

“There’s no possible way that I could ever say thank you to each one of you here, because there are so many people I have known,” he said. “These things were real history to me.”

By Natalie Davis