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CM Feedback. Reader fills in missing CR ownership year

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Setting history record straight: Ivan McKinney of Sparksville bought Hilltop Cafe from the Keiths. He was a farmer at heart. Operated it for one year, and sold to Rev. Pickett.
Dear Ed

I saw the article about the Circle R Restaurant and just had to write you.

My father, Ivan McKinney of Sparksville, bought the Circle R from the Keiths but I don't remember the year. I was in first or second grade and I'm 61 years old now.


My father only owned it for about a year or so before he sold it to Rev. Pickett.

Again, I don't remember the year but the restaurant went by the name HillTop Cafe when my dad had it. Daddy was a farmer at heart and running a restaurant was just not the job for him.

After my dad sold it, we moved to Sparksville where my mother lived until she sold the farm to Jimmy Reliford about 10-12 years ago.

We lived in the house next to the HillTop Cafe which is where the savings loan is now.

I vaguely remember when we had the restaurant, my mother worked in it and also my sisters, Frances and Nancy and Dolores.

I believe if you go back through the history of the HillTop Cafe you will find where my dad was the owner back then.

Somehow, his ownership has been lost in your record keeping and I would like for his name and memory to be included in the time period of the HillTop Cafe.

I live in Tampa, FL now but every time I come to Columbia I like to eat at the Circle R and have vivid and fond memories of the time my family owned it.

Thank you and I hope to hear from you.


DOTTIE FRY
formerly Dorothy McKinney


ANSWER: Wonderful information. Thanks for filling in that often overlooked year in the chain of ownership. I'm guessing the year was about 1954-55, from the information you sent. If you have other memories of the Hilltop Cafe, please send them. I have found memories of the place. Mike Campbell, Ralph Roy and his dog Tippy and I used to hunt rabbits in Mr. Lowe's field across the road from your father's restaurant. After many a happy time chasing a rabbit out of a brush pile - rabbit going in one direction and Tippy in another - we'd go to the Hilltop for a milkshake, if we had a quarter, or a Coke if all we had was a nickle each. It was a wonderful place. -ED


This story was posted on 2006-05-26 13:41:49
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