Retro Charlotte

1963 Rock-A-Thon

Alexander Hardware, WIST and Philco sponsored a Rock-a-thon in May, 1963. “No children allowed in contest.” “Ten minute break every two hours.” The ad says 2403 Central but both news stories identify the address as 2415, which is Midwood Flower Shop today.
Alexander Hardware, WIST and Philco sponsored a Rock-a-thon in May, 1963. “No children allowed in contest.” “Ten minute break every two hours.” The ad says 2403 Central but both news stories identify the address as 2415, which is Midwood Flower Shop today. The Charlotte News

The contest began at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, 1963 and went until at least June 1. The Charlotte News reported on the event but did not publish the name of the winner. Reporter John Kilgo reported on May 31st:

TIRED CONTESTANTS ARE STILL AT IT

One boy fell out of his chair on his head, another fellow showed up at 3 o’clock this afternoon with a six-foot snake wrapped around his neck -- but 19 determined men and women are still rocking on Central Ave. with dollar marks dancing in their heads.

The rock-a-thon at Alexander Hardware, 2415 Central Ave., started Wednesday at 2 p.m. with 24 rockers.

A 1 p.m. today -- 47 hours later -- 19 persons were still going strong in the rocking chairs.

Four dropped out yesterday. The fellow who fell on his head was disqualified, a woman went to sleep in her chair. Two others just packed up and went home. ...

At 3:00 a.m. a boy and a girl dropped by to do the twist for the group.

A few minutes later a man showed up with a snake wrapped around his neck.

“This woke plenty of us women up,” (contestant) Mrs. Sawyer said. “That snake was six feet long.” ...

Some parents brought their restless babies by last night and had them rocked to sleep.

One young mother wanted to know if the rockers would babysit for her since they weren’t going anywhere.

A winner will be crowned -- or laid to rest -- sometime over the weekend.

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