Book Cover

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Goodson Family Remebered in Pictures

Mr Goodwin,

Recent news reports of the tragic building collapse in Florida made me remember my family stories of  the Goodson family who perished in the Winecoff Hotel fire in Atlanta in 1946. When my mother died in 2014, I found photo negatives (2 3/8 x 4 inches) of the Goodson family in a box of mementos in her closet. She never threw anything away. I wonder if you might like to have those negatives for your memory archives?

Mr Goodson had been a geologist with the Pure Oil Company, living in the company camp in Clay City, Illinois at the time of the fire. My father, Fred Pampe, was a young geologist hired by the Pure Oil Company at the end of the war in December 1945. Because of the housing shortage, my parents, my brother and I were living with my grandparents on a farm near Parkersburg, Illinois for a year until a house came available in the Clay City Camp in December 1946. The house had been occupied by the Goodson family, parents and two children,  who died in the Winecoff fire.

My parents bought some of the furniture left by the Goodsons and moved to the house in Clay City. I recall two full size beds, a sofa, coffee table, dining table and buffet which my parents kept for decades. The sofa and coffee table are pictured in one of the negatives. The photo prints were probably given to surviving family, but the negatives were left behind, probably in a desk drawer or something. My mother, Mary Louise Minkler Pampe, never threw things away and the negatives survive today in a paper envelope from the Speith’s Photo Service in Olney, Illinois with a note written in my mother’s handwriting saying “Goodson’s Negatives”.

If you would like to have the negatives, please advise where they should be sent.

Cheryl Pampe Fowler

Lake Jackson, Texas

Ms. Fowler,

Well, YES! I'd be honored to care for the negatives. I'll share your find with our readers. I expect you learned reverence at an early age, moving into a home where tragedy had struck so recently and so completely. I'm sorry about the loss of your mother in 2014. I think it's really sweet that she held on to the negatives all her life.

Thank you,

Allen Goodwin 

Update! Negatives received & processed. The Goodson family photos are here.


No comments: