As a preacher’s son, in the 1950’s you knew your present address was only temporary. So after I graduated 3rd grade Dad took an assignment to Albemarle.
I was old enough to know how to pout. After the move I tried my best to make mama and daddy’s lives miserable because I had left my friends in Burlington.
But they took it in stride and one day brought the answer home. My Aunt Ann (dad’s sister) had sent me a black English Spaniel. All pouting was forgotten, I named him Ace. He was my constant companion until his demise. I have always said Aunt Ann gave me the best gift of my life, a dog!
(This is the only picture of Ace that I know of, I tried to repair it.)
TV came to Albemarle (1949-50 time frame). One channel, #3 WBTV out of Charlotte. The local fire house allowed the boys of the neighborhood to sit on the floor and watch Howdy Doody. What a thrill.
(This was VonDale, a little older I got the picture from Martha his girlfriend)
I met Von Dale Tucker, a cool dude in the same grade but different schools. Ray Sides was cool also, he had goats that pulled a wagon. VonDale was to become my closest friend and continues until now.
Roger Slack was older, he once ‘borrowed’ a new Henry J. He was arrested in SC and brought back to NC. Dad was able to talk to the chief, the Judge and the car owner and Roger, showing remorse, was not charged. Roger became a solid citizen. It would be nice if ‘stupid’ crimes could be fixed that way now.
Shirl was in a couple grades ahead of me. We were both in the band, She was first a drum major then took up the French Horn, she was good on it, but it was heavy for a marching band. I played the trumpet.
I played ‘Pumpkin’ ball. A softball game inside the YMCA Gym. The ball was softer and twice the size of a softball. Shirl was into regular softball and was a pitcher.
While in Albemarle Shirl moved on up to High School. Dad would most times drive to pick her up, but once she took the city bus home, pulled the cord too late and ended up a block or so from home. She is easily embarrassed, so she acted like she lived there until the bus got out of sight then hightailed it back home.
Life was fun in Albemarle, I learned to swim. Von Dale and I challenged other boys to BB gun wars. I watched cedar furniture, mostly cedar chests being made. The workers gave me cedar shavings and said they were good for Ace’s dog house to rid him of fleas.
Life was really good in Albemarle. More later.
Nine to twelve are real formative years. I did a lot of skating and bike riding.
Dad drove a 1951 Buick Special. note the three ports on the side of the fender. Buick had three main models, Special, Super and Roadmaster. The Roadmaster had 4 ports.