Sunday, October 31, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
As I write about my brother, I am thinking wow, where has time gone? It seems it was only yesterday that Mark and I were playing around the house as brothers only two years apart. Mark was two years older than me. He tried to connect the older brothers not the little new kid but we did have much time together. Just like normal kids we fought played and made up like all young boys do. He would take me out into the woods after dark and make out like he was going to leave me and that scared me. One spring day Mark took me with him to school and I remember I had to do the pee when we were out on the play ground so I relieved myself at the edge of the play area. I don't know why but Mark really got mad at me, not sure if I embarrised him in front of his friends but he yelled at me and told me not do that out in the open. That was quick lesson learned. Mark would not take me back again so I was on my own from that day on. The picture to the right is of Mark and me. He is the taller guy.
I spent all of my time with mother while the others was in school and working and by the time I got started to school Mark was in the third grade and would not have much to do with me. It was not long when the older brothers was leaving home and working to make it on their own that we got much closer to each other and started doing all the job that needed to be done.
A couple times a year mother would give us ten cents each to go to Mr Campbell's house and get a haircut at his house. Our brother George had a set of barber tools and would cut hair for the neighbors and when he left home he left the tool with us. One day mom gave us ten cents each to go get a haircut; Mark came up with the idea that if we cut each other’s hair we could go to Beavers store and get a moon pie and a Pepsi which at that time cost five cents each. It sounded like an excellent idea so we took the clippers and all the other stuff that was in the bag he left and went down in the field across the road and I sat on a stump and he cut my hair and it looked so bad that he would not let me cut his. This is the first time that I learned not to trust my older brother, we went on to Mr. Campbell's house and got my hair fixed which had just one alternative, a buzz cut and Mark’s was cut right.
A little later Mark moved back to Statesville too and wanted to build a little house for Margaret and himself. I had just bought a 1941 Chevrolet and I thought it was the prettiest car on the road. Mark had a old pick up truck. He talked me into our taking our vehicles to Charlotte to sell one and then taking the money and building his house. The old truck would not sell but my shinny pretty car sold and I got much more for it than I paid. We went back home and J.D. said he would let Mark have an acre of land down the road I gave Mark my money to build the house and that was the end of that deal. Mark had a house and I was back to working and still living with Albert.
Mark and I did several jobs for different people; he was a good brick layer and did a lot of contracting around Statesville until he was call to be a preacher. He attended Fruitland Baptist Bible College and started preaching. He was a member of a Baptist Church that had a bus ministry. The deacons and pastor of the church wanted Mark to be in charge of it. He decided to go to a trailer park across the street from where he lived and the first Saturday he went over and told that he would take them to church the next day on Sunday. He drove the bus to the trailer park and picked up the children. When he got to church Sunday morning with that bus load of kids, things just did not look so great for him. That afternoon the deacons had a meeting and he was told that the church decided that it did not need a bus ministry.
Mark was married to Vera Strikeleather and later Elizabeth Garrett. He stayed with his ministry and still did some contracting, until one day he was reading his Bible and just went to sleep and never awoke again. His neighbor found him just sitting in his chair with his Bible on his lap dead.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Paul was born on July 10, 1922 in Mooresville, NC. The boys in our family seemed to hang around in groups of three and were closer than with the others in the family due to the age differences; George, Fred, and Howard in one group and J.D., Albert, and Paul in the next. Paul was the youngest of his group and seemed to often follow the other two and be part of whatever they were doing.
When I started to school Paul was 12 or 13 years old so I was still in elementary when I started to remember things that the older boys were doing. I remember the time that the boys in the Cooks, Motens, and our family built the pond between our farms since all three properties connected at a point. The pond was about six feet deep. Some of the guys had gone to the saw mill and got a big board for diving it so happen. The board had some rough pieces on the end so the guys had to be careful jumping off. One day the guys were in the pond. Paul, showing off, ran ahead, and tried a quick dive before anyone else could but ended up scraping himself pretty bad on the end of the diving board. I remember thinking how it must have hurt and know he was in pain for a long time.
The Christmas I received my little red wagon, Paul took the wagon from me after I road it down the hill in our yard for the first and only time. Paul jumped in for the next ride which bent wagon in the middle and broke one of the axels, it was like he had squashed a bug. I had great brothers but they played rough a lot of the time like most boys do growing up.
Paul was a good worker around the farm and a great brother to me. He drove a school bus for a little while and would let me drive it around the farm some afternoons. Pictured here is Paul at the lake and both of us showing off the fish we caught that day. The last year Albert, J.D., and Paul were farming they had a big crop of corn that was piled up in a big row out near the barn ready for a corn shucking a few nights later. We got the word out that we were having a corn shuckin'. Now us guys sitting down to a big pile of corn and shucking is work. But when it meant seeing your best girl, that was different and it made it a social event. I was too young but my brothers would pair off with a girl and everybody would line up in front of the mountain of corn. When the corn was shucked, the corn would be thrown over the pile into the grass on the other side and the husk would be tossed backwards. Before the event, my brothers would put small bottles of white lighten and some red ears of unshucked corn through the pile. If you got a red ear, you could kiss the girl of your choice or vise verse. I remember Paul getting hold of a couple bottles and a few ears of red corn that night and having a really good time.
Mom got upset with them but did not fuss too much; that might be the reason they left home to work in the mill because shortly afterwards Paul left home to work in Cannon mills. J.D., Albert, and Paul did not like working in the mill so they joined the Navy.
The three brothers joined the Navy on July 23, 1940. They trained at Quantico, VA Naval Training Camp. All three brothers were assigned to the Battleship USS New Mexico. Paul was later assigned to the Air Craft Carrier Marcus Island, USS Pyburg, and USS Solomon Island. He was Chief Store Keeper Officer. Pictured here are J.D and Paul.
Paul would always bring me something (shoes, socks, dungarees, and underwear) when he came home on leave. He married Edith Kincade (born 5-18-1924) from Kannapolis so he was with her all of the time when he was home. They had three girls: Beverly (3-4-1946), Linda Paulette (7-7-1947) and Kathy Elizabeth (10-21-1950). Edith stayed with us for a while when Paul was away but when Paul was home on leave they would always go to Kannapolis.
About the time he was getting out of the Navy I was going in so for another two years he was not in my life. When I first left the Navy I stayed with Paul and Edith. I bought the 1941 Chevrolet when I was staying with Paul and Edith, they were living about seven miles out on US-64. I am pictured here with this car, I remember being so glad I was able to purchase this car. I only lived with them a couple months; all three of us were working so we did not see each other often. At that time Albert was not working very much and I guess that is why I moved in with him and Pauline. He and I just drifted around for several months before I started to lay brick with Fred in Statesville.
It was not long before Paul and Edith moved to Kannapolis to find work. Shortly after they moved he went to work for a company that made fiberglass fabric. I think his working here caused his life to be cut short; it caused a lot of problems in his breathing and many other things that gave him great discomfort.
While I was living with Paul we decided to go to Myrtle Beach for couple days. We left early one morning and got down around noon, spent the afternoon on the beach, and went and had a big fish dinner. We took a couple old army blankets and went to sleep on the beach. Everything went well until early in the morning; it got cold and we almost froze! We endured the cold and made it till we could find a cafe open. We warmed up by having a good hot breakfast and we drank a lot of hot coffee. Once the sun was up and it was warm again, we had some more good time on the beach and headed back home early afternoon.
I had a lot of good times with Paul and Edith, after Hazel and I got married we would visit them in Kannapolis, I think the last time we were there Kathy was born. Hazel stayed a few days with Edith to help out with the other two children, Beverly and Linda.
Paul and Howard came to visit us in Charlotte from time to time. The two of them got along very well so they spent a lot of time together until Howard passed away. We would visit Paul and family from time to time and we could see how the fiber glass was affecting his life; the last few years were hard years for him. He died at the age of 60 on August 15, 1982 and Edith died the next year on March 18, 1983.
Pictured below are Paul and Edith's three girls with some of their cousins. From Left to Right: Virginia, Brenda, Kathy, David, Linda, and Beverly