Saturday, March 8, 2008

Home From The Navy

When I arrived home, I was able to spend a little time with each of my brothers and sisters. After I made my rounds, Albert asked me to come and live with him and his wife Pauline. On November 25, 1948 their son Clyde was born. I helped take care of him just like he was my own little brother; I would feed him, play with him, and even change his clothes when needed. I would help his mother wash out his messy diapers! Clyde has been a special person in my life ever since. I was a little over twenty years old at this time.
Albert and I had a good time together and we both found ourselves part of the government’s fifty-two twenty plan, a program that paid veterans that did not have jobs twenty dollars each week for fifty-two weeks. We looked for work, but mostly during that year we hunted, fished, and went to movies. One time I went to see Gone With The Wind, watched it for four hours, met Albert on my way out and went back in and watched it again. On our way out we met Harold Ellis, Pauline's brother and went back in and watched it again. I ended up seeing it three times and Albert two. Listen to me tell this story.

As it was nearing the end of fifty-two twenty year we started looking for secure jobs. My brothers Howard and Fred were brick masons and they told us that the work paid pretty well; it was a trade that had a future. Mark was living in Charlotte and told me there was a bricklaying school at Morris Field where he was living; he said that we could get into the school and learn to lay brick.

I moved to Charlotte and lived with Mark and Margaret. Immediately I started working as a short order cook at the Airport 77 Restaurant while waiting to enter bricklaying school. I met and cooked a steak for Doris Duke and her party who were flying out of Charlotte. I liked the cooking pretty well and ended up in this position for several months before
entering bricklaying school. Listen to me tell this story.

After two weeks of schooling and receiving our full set of tools, our brothers in Statesville told us to come up and work with them. Joe Brown was the brick contractor who subcontracted for G.L. Wilson. It was good job which paid a dollar an hour. Albert got a job with us making the mud for the brick masons, making seventy-five cents an hour. He was such a good worker that G.L Wilson wanted Albert to work for him; it was not long before Albert became a foreman for G.L Wilson. A short time later Albert was the foreman for contracts to build all of the Lowe's lumber stores and he became the second in command for the company until he retired. Listen to me tell this story.

A while after getting out of the Navy I bought a 1940 Chevrolet, my first car, it was blue and did not have a scratch on it. At the time I was staying with my brother Paul who was living about eight miles out of Statesville on US-64 toward Cool Spring High School. Mark had bought some land from J.D. which included the garden where we had the learning experience with the black eyed peas and fertilizer. His plans were to build a house for he and his wife Margaret. He had no money so he asked me to sell my car and let him borrow the money I received to build his house. I told him that I would if we took his pickup and my car to the auction in Charlotte which was across Wilkinson Boulevard from The Dairy Queen. We agreed to sell the vehicle that brought the best price and keep the other. I ended up selling my car for more than I paid for it. I gave
Mark all of the money I received and we started building his little four room house, picture is below.

Albert helped with the carpentry work and with a lot of help from many other folks we finally got the house finished. Mark owed quite a few people for different things and I never was paid any of the proceeds from my car which made it a donation to the cause. Neither one of us had anything so we started all over again. I guess that is what brothers are supposed to do for each other. One thing I learned early on in my life is that family should always stick together and help each other as needed. We should reach down and help each other up rather than letting one of the family members keep sinking farther down. Looking back on my life I have always been able to rebound from each time that I have helped a family member. This is another way that God has proven to me that He is always there ready to help if I will only trust him. Listen to me tell this story.


Barb said...

Mr. Gurley, I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your history. Barb

Anonymous said...

Uncle Glenn,
I love reading you blog,It's so interesting and great to learn about our family past. I look forward to reading the next one.


Mike said...

I know I am sounding like a recording, but I am reallly like reading your story..