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My parents in North Carolina

I have several pictures of my parents in Concord, North Carolina. I believe all were made in the late 1930s, probably between 1936 and 1939.

This one shows my father and the man I believe to be Mr. Beal, the owner of the Okay Cafe. My cousin Otis described him as a large man.

Virgil Stephens and Mr. Beal in front of the Okay Cafe, circa 1936


The following pictures show each of my parents with Dot H. I don't know the last name of this woman. She appears to be a waitress.Virgil Stephens with Dot in Concord, North Carolina

Sallie Stephens and Dot H. in Concord, North Carolina

Help me
In you have any information about Dot H., Mr. Beal, or the Okay Cafe (Okay Lunch), please write to me at the address below.
























My father at the Okay Cafe (part 2)

I already knew my father and mother spent some time in Concord, North Carolina, and were there in 1939 when my sister was born. Based on the street scene photo on the previous page, I was now fairly confident that the mystery photos were made in that city.

Look at the names
The name R. A. Dry is unusual, so I thought I could quickly find it. It was right there on a 1930 U. S. Census for North Carolina: Ralph A. Dry, Manager, Shoe Repair. This is the business we can see in the background of several of the pictures. And it nails down the city as Concord, North Carolina.

Census form showing name of Ralph A. Dry

I then found a Concord city directory for that period. My father was listed as a waiter at the Okay Restaurant. Hmmm.


I called my cousin Otis about this. He's the family historian and has a great memory for details and names and dates and family lore. The only problem is that he is blind and not much help with photographs.

But he recalled that my father had been invited by the owner of the Okay Cafe to come to Concord if he needed a job. During that period after the depression, almost everyone needed a job, so my father and mother left for North Carolina.

I later found this card in a box of old letters. Hard to believe, but true! The note reads:

Dec 20, 1936
Virgil If your business is a little slow and you would like to come up and work for me write or wire me when you can come
L C Beal

Christmas card from Beal to Virgil Stephens with job offer

Mr. Beal was the owner of the Okay Cafe.



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Last update: April 7, 2014