On paper, Jerry H. Cannon, Sr. was Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Company’s courier. In life, he was our inspiration.
Born in Hamburg, South Carolina on September 5, 1907, Deacon Cannon was just nine years old when the Great Fire of 1916 destroyed much of downtown Augusta. He watched from a hillside across the Savannah River. Jerry was a walking history of Augusta. He remembered when the 5th Street Bridge was nothing more than wooden planks. And, he fondly recalled the trolleys running up and down Broad Street to the Hill and to Aiken across the 13th Street Bridge.
Every job Jerry had was on Augusta’s wide way. He started as a janitor at the Marion Building in 1927 for $1.25 a day … and in 1966, he joined the Blanchard and Calhoun family as our courier, a job he held for more than four decades. Jerry walked to work every day. When he was about 90, he finally relented and let us drive him to and from the office. He was a B&C legend … and a Broad Street fixture, always dapper in his pressed slacks, suit coat, and short-billed cap. He took his noon meal with friends at the Woolworth’s lunch counter for more than 30 years until the store closed in the early 1990s.
Jerry retired from Blanchard and Calhoun in 2007. He passed away in 2009 at the age of 101. We sure do miss him, but the impact he had on us hasn’t diminished a bit. Respect everybody, Jerry always said. We listened.