Not long ago Michael Dowling walked into the gallery. He was in town for a CMA reunion and had heard about the photos. Coincidentally, we had a few images of the Dowling Chevrolet dealership on display for our Summer show. Michael introduced himself and told us a little about his father, James Dowling and the dealership. He even pointed out the neon clock in the front entrance and told us his sister still had it. We always enjoy having people come by and help us with identifying family members or to tell us the stories behind the photos. So, having a Dowling in the gallery and looking through Dowling Chevrolet photos was a real treat. A few days after the visit he called and told me how much he enjoyed the gallery and that if we ever had questions about photos or the dealership, he would be happy to help.
Then yesterday, Diane Dowling Brown came through the door of the gallery. She and a friend had a good time looking at our current show. However, when you have another Dowling in your gallery you have to show them all the Dowling photos that you have (and we have 60+). Diane was great. She recognized many people from the grand opening of the dealership including her mother, Ethel Green Dowling, her brother Michael and (yes) even a photo of her as a young girl. Diane is the young girl in the lower center of the photo above. Her mother is the lovely lady pinning a corsage on a lapel and Michael is the young boy in the stripe shirt on the right. Diane told us the story of how her father became an auto dealer and how the business ended up in Columbia, Tennessee after WWII. Before she left I promised her that I would put an album together of the Dowling photos from the 1947 grand opening, the 1950’s and the 1960’s too.
Being a man of my word, I got to work and put all the photos together, entered all the information that Diane gave me and added it to our online gallery. The good news is you can see it too. Oh, and if you recognize anyone in the photos or can add to the story, please drop by and let us know or send us an email. In the meantime you can see the Dowling Chevrolet photos by clicking here.