Before Michael was born we tried to give Pam and Glenn as good a Christmas as we could and they always got too many toys and too much candy. Each year we would try to make Christmas better than the previous one but most of them were about average. Michael's first Christmas was great. He enjoyed the wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows more than anything else. Right after the Christmas holidays we had started planning our first camping trip. We discovered that with three children, camping would be the only way we could afford a vacation. Hazel and I started planning how we were going to go on a family camping trip.We had some great news come our way around Christmas in 1957, we were going to have another child. Things went well and Pamela and Glenn tried their best to help out their mother who would soon give birth to a baby. On June 9, 1958, once again, Hazel told me it was time that we better get over to the hospital. Once we had everything taken care of so we could head to the hospital, Hazel said that she wanted a Coke. I told her that as soon as we got over the train track on West Boulevard I would get her one. After we crossed the tracks, I told her I was stopping but she said that we better keep going because she knew the time was getting close. By the time we arrived to Charlotte Memorial Hospital, there was a nurse waiting and seated Hazel in the wheel chair and ran off with her as she pointed me towards the little waiting room I had previously visited twice. It was not long until I met Michael James, a healthy boy and one that made our life never be the way it was before he was born. Pamela and Glenn were excited when we brought their new little brother home. Both were very good helpers and loved their little brother. Listen to me tell this story.
The winter passed quickly and soon spring came. It was May and the days were getting a lot warmer so we decided that time was right to start camping. We bought a small tent, packed everything that we had set aside for the camping trip, and left for Kings Mountain State Park. When we reached Gastonia, NC, Hazel discovered that she had forgotten the diapers for Michael. We went to a drug store and bought a box of disposable diapers which had just come on the market.
After we arrived at the park, we set up camp, cooked a good meal, sat around the camp fire, and had a great time. It got dark and we settled in for the night. Everything was perfect until around midnight when it started getting cold. We put on all the clothes that we brought with us and covered ourselves with everything that we could get hold of but it just got colder and colder. We actually thought we were going to freeze to death but survived until the next morning. I got up early, built a huge fire, and had a big breakfast ready when everyone woke up. We all finally warmed up and had a great day. However, right after we had our evening meal we packed everything up and headed back home. It sure was great to get to sleep in a bed and be warm thinking about the night before when we slept on top of a gravel pile freezing. So much for our first camping trip, it taught us a lot. We wondered when our next camping trip would be and if we would be ready for what we might face? Listen to me tell this story.