I will never forget the first time I met Michael Ramsey. It was at City High School in 1968 when he drove up in a blue GTO convertible. That was classic C. Michael - style, class, and just plain cruising.
When I read of Michael's passing I reflected back on his and the Ramsey family's contribution to the hosiery industry in Chattanooga. Michael started out with Frank, his father, at Willwear Hosiery in East Chattanooga in 1969. Michael decided to strike out on his own and opened his own hosiery mill, Marathon Mills, on Cherokee Boulevard in the old M & J Super Market. Unfortunately, the restaurant located behind his mill was losing money and it was torched and the fire took his mill also.
Michael opened a new mill in East Chattanooga and supplied his father's mill with socks for finishing. Through all of the hard times after the fire Michael continued to provided jobs to the people in East Chattanooga. Frank Ramsey was one tough businessman, but he believed in East Chattanooga and so did Michael. If you were a retail concern, W.T. Grant, Kmart, or Walmart and you were in the market for tube socks or heel and toe, you came through the Ramsey family...a family who cared about the product they delivered to the public.
The Chattanooga hosiery industry has lost a true pioneer of the craft. Michael could make a Crawford knitting machine sing...trust me just plain cruising. I'm sure Michael is with all of his old "yarn" salesmen and Tommy Rhyne up there.
Gulf Shores, Ala.