Pig Tales

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.A Tale of 3 Pigs!!!

The Pig 'n Whistle in Albany GA was my teen hang out.  Friday and Saturday nights usually consisted of a date to see a movie at the Albany or State Theatre, then to "the Pig" for refreshments, and as Walter Dees ('55) said, "The "Pig was THE place to be seen before the Arctic Bear became so popular!"  To see and BE seen ... that was the point!!  I tell the truth when I say I don't remember eating anything ... I just remember THE BOYS!!! 

When I began to put together Albany Landmark pictures for the Albany High Times, I noticed there were shots of wonderful places around Albany ... Jimmie's Hotdog's, the Arctic Bear, Burger Chef, Stem's Restaurant, The Campus, etc., but only ONE picture of our "Pig."  How could that be? 

This picture (sadly I do not remember who sent it), was taken at night and therefore difficult to see much more than the lights on the Pig sign and roofs. 

So I sent out a plea for memories and more pictures.   Linda Anderson Burgess ('66) sent an excellent black and white picture, and wrote that her mother worked there for several  years.  Strangely, only a few memories came in, even then. 

A few years later, after Jean Weiner, popular Albany artist,  painted "The Arctic Bear", a cry came forth from Harry Helton ('52), who wrote, "What about the "Pig and Whistle"?  That was in my time.  That was the center of the World.  We had all kinds of meetings there.  When we went off to college or the army and would come home on the weekends, or any time, you could go there and find many of your buddies.  After a movie, we would go there with our dates for a hamburger and coke (Coca-Cola).  After we took our dates home so the father would not come out looking for us, we (the boys) would have another meeting at the "PIG".  When they took that place away in the name of progress, they took away a life long monument!  With tears in my eyes I thank you.  With this plea ... Jean began to consider painting "The Pig"!!!  We crossed our fingers!

She said she would need more info ... so we sent out another request for memories and pictures, and this time asked the Indians to try and remember specifics such as colors, and what the Pig sign looked like, as it was not clear in the Anderson photo.  The memories began to pour in ... (see all memories posted at http://albanyhightimes.com/the_pig.htm).  Trouble was ... memories of folks like me (at nearly 72) remember the socializing and not important things an artist might need for a painting, such as colors and details, etc.  All we had for Jean was the two pictures of the "Pig", but in those pictures we couldn't determine what the Pig sign looked like, nor the colors on the building and roof. 

One Indian,  Milt Robinson ('59) wrote: "The Pig & Whistle sign (the pig itself) is at Satterfield's Bar-B-Que in Macon near downtown, and just off Riverside Drive.  It has been several years since I've been there but I had always understood that was the original pig sign from Albany."  Another, Sherry Mixon Pierce ('60) wrote, "I believe it is a pig standing on its' hind feet holding a whistle."

Milt and Sherry both gave some good info.  So, my husband, Tommy Herrington ('56) and I set off from Lawrenceville for a pig sandwich at Satterfield's, and more importantly, in search of a Pig sign of yore!!!

 

As we drove up - we saw a pig sign out front at Satterfield's ...

  but I was disappointed ... very cute pig, but not our pig sign!  Then Tommy drove into the back parking lot - and at the back of the parking lot ... THERE IT WAS ... the side view of a pig with the whistle that went up and down (neon).  It took my breath away! (click pictures to enlarge)

We went inside and asked for the owner ... but he had just left 10 minutes before we arrived (yes, we should have called).  We talked with his wonderful manager (great personality).  When Tommy asked her about the Pig 'n Whistle (we thought Satterfield's was previously the old "Pig") she pulled a painting off the wall and said it was the old "Pig".  Obviously it was at another place because, like our Albany "Pig", this "Pig" had drive-in parking spaces out front.  But it was exciting because it looked very much like OUR "Pig" ... and there were the colors on the roof ... red, blue and white! 

Macon Pig 'n Whistle hangs in Satterfield's BBQ

Joy Hulgan, artist

   (click to enlarge)

Inside, I ordered a "Pig Special" and Tommy ordered a "Pig Platter".  It was magical ... the moment I took my first bite of the sandwich ... I was immediately 16 again!  (Visit their website at: http://www.satterfieldscatering.com/index2.html ) . 

They have BOILED PEANUTS TOO while you wait for your "Pigs"!!!

The manager offered to let Tommy leave a message on the owner's voice mail, which he did.  On the way back to Lawrenceville, owner John Satterfield McCord called, and talked with us.  He patiently answered our questions.  He told us he used to frequent the Macon "Pig" in the mid-sixties (he was class of 1966). 

How did he get the sign?  He told of a call he received from a woman whose grandmother had passed away.  She knew he collected "pig" memoriabilia and called to let him know they were having a yard sale and that there was an old pig sign found in the grandmother's back yard, and that the sign would be on sale at a yard sale they were having if he was interested.  He was, but forgot the yard sale.  Some days later,  the woman called again saying, "the Pig sign did not sell" and if he wanted it, he could have it for $20.  He and a friend immediately took a truck to pick up the Pig sign - and that is how the "Pig sign" was saved!   More than likely it was the Macon pig sign and not the Albany pig sign ... but at this point ... who cares ... it still brought back a flood of memories. 

I had previously thought a classmate's (Tommy Webb - '55, who is now deceased) father was the owner of the "Pig" in Albany and then moved to Macon and opened another "Pig" there.  I find this is not the case - Mr. Webb must have managed the two places, and built neither!  I discovered this when I Googled "Pig 'n Whistle Albany GA" and that search brought up "Sanford Historical Society"  2004 July-August newsletter at http://sanfordhistory.tripod.com/newsletters/jul2004.pdf

On that website, I found this history written, "In talking with Mr. Ford, I learned that the cook and a few others had come from the first Pig 'n Whistle in Macon, GA to help get the Sanford restaurant started and then went back.  James Bryan, had been born in Orlando and later went to Macon where he built his first Pig 'n Whistle restaurant.

He later built others in the South; the Pig in Sanford [was built] in 1948."

The Sanford Pig (click to enlarge)

So that leaves us with a lot of history we did not previously have ... but not all the history we hope to have!  Never fear Pig fans ... the search will continue!!!

 

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