Saturday, April 19, 2008

Our Second Child - Glenn Alexander

When Pam was nine month old she could say anything she wanted and was able to run all around the house. Our second child, Glenn Alexander Gurley, Jr. was born 18 months after Pam on July 9, 1954. It was one of the hottest summers on record so we relied on our window fan to keep from getting too hot in the house. Pam was able to help her mother do a lot of the little tasks around the house; at this time Hazel did not think it was much help to her but allowed her to be momma’s little helper.Sooner more than later, we found that we did not learn much with the birth of Pamela and discovered that with two children we learned more how to trust God for taking care of us. He gave us the strength to do things that we never thought we could do. With two children we were able to move from the one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom apartment which gave us enough space to live comfortably with our two children. We did not have to move very far, just over to the building beside the one we were living in. 

At this time I was working for myself and from time to time I had several men working for me. In this role, I had to spend more time each day getting everything ready for the job so I had to work about ten or twelve hours a day and was not much help around the house; I did as much as I could when I was home to help out. Earlier while working with Herman Mullis he started a new job working with the Charlotte Fire Department. We remained good friends and he encouraged me to become a fireman. He shared that firemen worked one week (10 hours) days and one week nights (14 hours) with one day a week off. He said that it paid very little but indicated that when we worked the night shift and did not have many calls we could lay brick the next day. It all sounded good and I always wanted to be a fireman so I put in my application which placed me on the waiting list to be a fireman. About a year later I became a fireman after having one month of training. I was assigned to Ladder Two at Station Two, Sam Werner went through training with me and he was assigned to Engine Two at the same station. We were the new men on the block and we sort of caught it from ever one else. Sam got the bathroom cleaning duty and I was assigned to work in the kitchen. I liked to cook and my assignment allowed me to do that. We both did our best while doing our assigned tasks. Soon they found out that I was a good cook so I became the cook for our shift. Jessy Atkins, the previous cook, sure was glad to give me his job cooking. It did not take long to find out that after spending a lot of time each night going on calls and not sleeping that I was unable to do work during the daytime. However, this did give me a lot time to help around the house.

During the time that I was working on the Charlotte Fire Department and living at Jackson Homes, I had numerous days at home which allowed me to do some small jobs around town for many friends to help supplement my income. The job also gave me many days that I spent with Hazel and the kids. To celebrate my birthday on May 21, I gathered all the kids in the neighborhood and took them to Freedom Park for a fun day playing and eating ice cream and cake. Sometimes Hazel and I would have close to twenty kids pile into the station wagon to go with us on the trip.  Listen to me tell this story.

After being on the team for a few months it was the time for the city employees to give to the United Way. The leaders wanted everycity employees to give one day’s pay to the organization to help meet the city's goal. Sam and I were barely making ends meet so we decided that we just could not give anything at all that year. You cannot imagine all of the harassment we had to go through over this decision. We were visited by a couple of the Chief Officers and were told that we might not be able to stay with the city if we did not give. Sam shared that this sure would make a good story for the local newspaper, the Charlotte Observer. After a few weeks it all blew over and we were treated well. Listen as I tell this story.

The summer after Glenn was born, we took our first trip to the beach as a family. I was able to plan it for the week I had most time off between shift change and with some of my shifts covered by other firemen. We went with Calvin and Peggy Carter and their children. Calvin was my best friend growing up. We decided to take our vacations together that year and go to Windy Hill in North Myrtle Beach. We both had children about the same ages so we thought it was a good time to reconnect. We stayed on the beach at the

Double Dip Inn which got its name from a couple of two-story buildings that stood side-by-side. It was located near the old Windy Hill Pier. Both families agreed that this was one of
the best vacations we had ever had and were glad to have shared it together. When we moved to North Myrtle Beach years later we settled in Windy Hill four blocks from the Double Dip Inn.

Pictured here is Glenn Jr. in his first picture by a professional photographer. Shortly after he was born we started calling him Little Glenn.

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