Archie Lane had been away 26 years. As one of 12 children, he didn't think his parents would miss him when he ran away at age 14.
"He always said he ran away when he was 12, but they didn't miss him until he was 14," King says.
Lane might be the best remembered for Lane's restaurant, which was at the current location of the drive-through of Central Kentucky Savings and Loan, but he ran a few other establishments. His first was the Ducky Wucky on Main Street in Junction City. He gave one of his sons, Julius Price, the same nickname as the restaurant when he was born in 1935.
The name tagged on the restaurant came from King's father listening to the Lum and Abner radio show in the 1930s.
"The night my brother was born, Lum's girlfriend called Lum her little Ducky Wucky, so daddy named the restaurant Ducky Wucky," King says.
After closing the Ducky Wucky, Lane ran The Stockyard Restaurant on Dillehay Street, serving big crowds that came to sell livestock. After it closed in 1941, the family opened The Lighthouse Inn - home to the jitterbugging children.
"It was a huge nightclub on Stanford Road where Willow Grove (Baptist Church) is now," King says.
Closed when alcohol sales stopped
The Lighthouse closed when Danville voted to stop alcohol sales in the 1940s, but it offered music downstairs and other entertainment upstairs that drew lots of customers.
"Dad had some gambling rooms upstairs that were terrific, and we weren't allowed up there," King says.
King says there were many memorable employees there. Ben Bray was the bouncer and Hilton Carter was the bartender.
After the closing of the Lighthouse, the family ran Lane's restaurant until 1956. Lane's restaurant featured "melt in your mouth fried chicken." A plate lunch with three sides was $1.50.
The children began working there as potato peelers, advanced to dishwashers and eventually were allowed to wait on tables.
"Dad made the job (peeling potatoes) sound very important," King says.
The Lanes all worked hard. Emma King and her sister, Betty Castillo, recalled that they could count on one free day a year, usually the Sunday after the Fourth of July.
"We always went to Joyland or Fountain Ferry," Castillo said of the old amusement parks in Lexington and Louisville. "That was our day."
King says her mother moved to Danville knowing no one and in addition to raising her children and helping run Lane's, often held private dinner parties at the family's home on Maple Avenue, where Centre College's admission office now is located.
At the same time that Archie Lane ran Lane's restaurant, he also was jailer. King's brothers, Archie, born in 1928, Eddie, born in 1929, and Ducky were playing music at the time.
Performed as the Lane Trio
Archie was playing for some prisoners on a summer day and one of the men asked him if he would get him some cold watermelon.
"He opened the cell to put the watermelon in there and they threw him in the cell," King says. "I think it cost Dad his job over that."
The brothers performed on WHIR radio as the Lane Trio. Eddie, who died in 1983 in a boating accident, played drums and sang. Ducky played bass fiddle and Archie could play saxophone and trumpet. Sometimes, Stuart Powell played drums with them or H.P. Durham joined them on bass. Another performer was Rach Poe, a blind piano player from Harrodsburg.
By the time her parents closed Lane's, King, who married in 1955, was ready for a change of pace and starting her own family, which also included seven children.