Man logged history on wall in downtown Macon store

On a plaster wall beside the fuse box of what is now a downtown Macon furniture store, the story of how one man marked time plays out over a quarter century.

In pencil and in pen, beginning in 1962 when the place was Jos. N. Neel clothing store, George W. Grier Jr. scribbled notes of local, world and personal history.

His list was a hometown timeline.

Grier recorded historic weather, the births of his grandchildren, the comings and goings of co-workers and, occasionally, happenings of international import.

Neel’s closed in 1993, and Grier, a fixture in the Exchange Club who’d retired a decade earlier, died in 2010 at age 99.

But his writings on the wall remain.

About a yard long and two handwritten columns wide, the 25-year log has survived. It’s now in a storage closet where they keep bed frames at Blair’s Too, a furniture shop at 468 Cherry St.

Grier worked at Neel’s for half a century. Grier jotted history on a wall in what was then a storeroom in the Boys’ Department, which he oversaw.

His running tally began in December 1962, noting a record-low temperature of 5 degrees.

In November 1963, he wrote, “Pres Kennedy shot.”

The next month: “Ice Storm.”

On April 4, 1968, he wrote, “Martin Luther King shot.”

Two months later: “Robert Kennedy shot Los Angeles.”

In 1969: “Man on Moon.”

In February 1973: “Heavy snow. ... Snowed 30 hours.”

There were dozens and dozens more notations.

Grier volunteered after his retirement, but among his last entries was one from September 1982: “FINISHED WORK.”

Beside it he signed his name.

Diana Blair, who runs the furniture store, looked at the wall the other day and said, “Who would’ve ever thought?”

Grier’s daughter, Mary Anne Gaudry, said she isn’t sure why her father started the timeline.

“I’m sure he would say, ‘I don’t know. I just started it, and then things started happening that I thought were important, so I just kept it up,’ ” said Gaudry, 67.

“I don’t think he would have a philosophical statement on it. He was just a matter-of-fact person.”

She would like to somehow preserve the writings.

When she sees the wall, Gaudry said she thinks, “This was his life.”

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.