Saturday, November 24, 2007

Early 1930's

It is time for me to write a little more about how life was back in the early 1930's. In 1931 I was two years old. I believe you know it is hard to remember things when you are that age, so I will just have to make my best guess at what I was doing at this time in my life.

Since I was the youngest of the eleven children in my family I followed Mom around the house. She always said that I tried doing everything that she was doing. I am sure she had to do some things that I could not do, but sure I must have tried. I had to wear a little night gown made out of flour sacks. This did not bother me because I did not know what other kids were wearing and at two, what child really cares. To be honest, I did not know any other kids other than my brothers and sisters.

One of my first memories took place when I was around three years old. In the summer we would get some ice delivered to our house. After the ice men would leave Mom would get an empty quart lard metal bucket, placed milk, sugar, and some other fixings in it, put the lid on, and lowered it down in an old broken stone crock pot. She would put ice around it, added some course salt, and then by spinning it back and forth, made ice cream. Boy was it good!

The same year, Christmas came around, it was the first one that I really remembered. That year I got a little red wagon, some stick candy, six nuts, one orange, one banana, and one apple. Back then we would make that much stuff last until around the middle of January. Unfortunately my little wagon did not last that long. I took it outside to a little hill in front of our house and got in it and rode it down the hill one time. It was a lot of fun! Before I could go back up the hill, one of my big brothers Paul grabbed it away from me, pulled it back up the hill, and sat down in it for his ride down the hill. When he did, the four wheels just collapsed and that was the end of the wagon! Like most kids my age I pitched a fit and cried. That event on December 25, 1931 was the end of the first Christmas that I remembered. Listen as I tell this story.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Life in the Early 1900's

I will start by telling you about how it was in the early 1900. My mom and dad lived in Charlotte and worked in the cotton mills. Mom went to work when she was twelve years old. My Dad was in the army and fought in the Spanish-American War. When he was discharged from the army he became a supervisor in the same mill as my mother which is the way they met.

My dad was a big fisherman and never missed a time to go fishing. It was Paw love for fishing that took him and our family to Long Island, NC. It was on the banks of the Catawba River where he stayed most of the time when he was not working. I guess I would have had more brothers and sisters if he had not died when I was fifteen month's old. I do not remember ever having a dad. After his death, Mom had a hard time since there was no income to feed our large family of ten children.

I was born or I maybe I was just found in an old holler stump or something like that. You did not hear much about storks bringing babies back then. Since you would not believe the stump story for one moment, I will just have to tell it like it really was the day I was born.

It was early one spring day, May 21st 1928, to be exact. Mom woke up and told Paw that he was going to have another mouth to feed before the day was over and sure enough that is the way it happened and my life got started. Paw sent one of his older sons over the ridge to a neighbor's house to call the doctor. Doc came out to the country and got there just in time to see me and make sure I was in good working order. He got a chicken and a country ham for his trouble.

I was the last of nine boys and two girls to be born into this family. After I grew up a little, it was clear to me that Paw was not looking for another mouth to feed but another field hand to help feed him and the rest of the family.

Mom could always take care of herself! She did all the cooking and washed the clothes in three tin tubs after she boiled them in an old black wash pot over a fire in the yard. She did all the cleaning of the house as well as all of the gardening.

Mom rented the Propst Farm, a small one horse farm nine miles east of Statesville, NC. She paid the rent for it on the share cropper’s deal which meant that we had to give the first one third of what the farm was expected to yield to the landlord and we were able to keep the rest. My two older sister and some of the older brothers left the farm to work at public businesses as far back as I can remember. Two of my brothers joined the marines, others went to work in the cotton mill, and some stayed home to attend school. One sister and two brothers finished high school. Four joined the navy at the beginning of World War II, so I just had to join the navy which ended up being at the end of the big war.

I was the littlest one but you can bet your bottom dollar that I was not spoiled! All of the older ones had "been there and done that" and they knew just how to work little ol' me so I got it from everyone. Mom did try to protect me but it was one against ten. Of course, when she meant business, it only took one of her for my protection!

I will be going into more detail about my life through this blog. I plan to just start telling my story from the beginning and see where it goes. This will be a joint project with my son, Glenn.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I am Glenn A. Gurley, an eighty+ year old man that has had a blessed life. I often say I am a young man in an old man's body. I have experienced much in my life and would like to record it through this blog. Feel free to comment on what you read and ask me questions if you would like to know more or if something is unclear. I will do my best to reflect on my life and recall memories throughout my personal history. I found out about blogging when Betsy Gurley Mauney, my son's oldest daughter started a family blog before her son Isaac was born. Around that time, my son Mike came over to my house one day later in November 2008 and said, "Dad you need a blog!" He had just created one, Mike Goes A Bloggin' and thought it would be good for me to have one. I said to him, "What in the world is a blog?" He sat down at my computer and showed what a blog was and explained that Betsy had a blog and he had just created one. He shared it was quite easy for anyone to have with no cost. I told him that at this point in my 80 year old life, a blog was one thing that I did not need; he insisted that we create one then and there so it would be on my computer if I ever wanted to write anything to share with the folks that had access to it on the Internet.

A few days later Glenn Jr. came by and I told him that Mike had put a blog on my computer for me and asked him, "What can I ever do with a blog?" Glenn came up with the idea that I might write something about when I was young growing up in the country so he and the rest of the family would know a little about my life back when I was young. For the past several years, Glenn had tried to get the family to share stories about our family history so he jumped on this opportunity. I found out that he had his own blog and even taught educators how to use them. That day I started to write about some of the things that I enjoyed doing so that is how the story of my life unfolded. So it all started with Glenn's help. Glenn and I will work on this project together as a father - son project and set a goal to post a new entry about my life each week. I will continue this until I finish telling my story. I will also make audio recordings of some of the stories and post them in inside the blog entries. The picture is of my son Glenn, my son and blog assistant, and me.