We always went to Sutton's for breakfast. And Willie Mae waited on us. Willie Mae and Margaret. And we'd sit at the counter. You know, it would be the whole nine yards: the scrambled eggs, the toast, the bacon, milk. Sometimes chocolate milk.

These characters on Franklin Street in all the stores, they became the surrogate parents for all the students. They would laugh and call you the "ne'er do well," but you were adopted into their experience, and they really and truly cared about you.

When I got married and thought about my wedding breakfast, I asked my mom and dad to take me to Sutton's. That was my last breakfast as a single woman. Willie Mae scrambled the eggs and wished me well.

Willie Mae was such a great spirit, always had a smile. She was as neat as a pin. She wore a white cook's uniform and her apron; had her hair in a net curled under and the biggest smile always. She made the best, to this day, scrambled eggs with cheese on the face of the planet.

She used an iron skillet. She was just friendly. You knew that she was also the fastest working woman on the face of the planet and could juggle more things at one time than anyone else you'd ever seen. Short order doesn't even describe it. But, it was delicious. It was well presented. Literally, you would walk in there, and it would be like: cheeseburger, Missy? Orangeade today? [She] always remembered. She had a memory like my dad's. So people were coming in that didn't always come in, and she remembered what their favorite sandwich was.

It was its own community. Miss Margaret worked there, too. And, Margaret ended up writing her own book of little stories from Sutton's, because people went there for every reason imaginable. The Breakfast Club in the morning was legendary. There were about eight people. You knew that they were solving all the problems of Chapel Hill right at Sutton's so you could offer your opinion or not. It was just a wonderful community.

It was very, very, very sad when [Willie Mae] passed away because these characters on Franklin Street in all the stores, they became the surrogate parents for all the students. They would laugh and call you the "ne'er do well," but you were adopted into their experience, and they really and truly cared about you. If you came in and having a bad day it would be like, you could talk to Willie Mae sometimes like you talk to the bartender. She was just a loving, good spirit.

It's like the people that worked on Franklin Street, the families would just ... that's where your parents were, so you would end up there. You all knew each other, and you knew that your mom or your dad also had 14,000 other children, not just you that they cared about or thought about or worked with. Sutton's was a favorite.

Missy Julian-Fox

Old Doc Sutton, the pharmacist, had that open in 1922. There were at one time in my recollection, three drug stores right on main street. I remember when Sutton's Drugstore opened with the first juke box. We'd go down there to listen to it during lunch hour, 10 cents and it would put up a 78 rpm record for a dime, and it was just magic to see that thing. Of course, it had colors on the side and all.

We'd go down there to listen ... during lunch hour, 10 cents and it would put up a 78 rpm record for a dime, and it was just magic to see that thing...just to watch it and to hear the good music. The popular music of the time.

And some of us would go down to Sutton's just to watch it and to hear the good music. The popular music of the time. "Sentimental Journey" was one of them I remember. Every Friday night on the radio we'd listen to The Hit Parade, the top ten tunes.

Of course ,now the biggest [change] there is the lunch counter, which didn't exist. They had a soda fountain there, old Doc Sutton had his pharmacy and all on the back side. His widow continued for many years; her brother was a pharmacist.

One thing, it was a magazine counter too. Right up front. All those funny books, we called them, cost 10 cents. We'd go in there and try to read them without buying them. And it's right where the print magazine counter is. And Doc Sutton didn't like having—this is one memory I have and it may be an apocryphal story.

But one time, I remember old Doc Sutton, who was a fairly gruff guy. You'd go in the store, he was at the cash register in the front, and you'd tell him what you want and you paid for it, then you'd go back in the store and get it. Now, you don't do that kind of business now, and you [didn't then] either.

But, this memory I had was that he didn't... Now, Mrs. Sutton, who worked there with him all the time, didn't have any children, but was a lovely woman. But, that's the kind of son-of-a-bitch he was. He'd want you to pay first.

Roland Giduz

All in just one summer on Franklin Street, I did a ton of work there. I remember when I was building Pretty's, I did some work on the boiler system and I ended up, we made a miscalculation. We didn't know it at the time, which is what a miscalculation is. We flooded Sutton's Drugstore.

I really remember that. John Woodward called me and said "Cam! There's water coming through the ceiling!" So I went rushing down there, this is like six o'clock at night. I turned off the water, the trouble was it took quite a while for the water to stop coming through the ceiling. But anyway, I had insurance. John was nice about it, he understood. He called the insurance company, he only charged the insurance company $600 even though I flooded his whole store. Which is an amazing thing, John's a great guy. He's still at Sutton's and I've known him ever since.

Cam Hill