Tuesday, February 25, 2014

More of Albemarle, Jack’s side

Once in elementary school, Shirl and I were both called to the office. The principal didn’t have much tact, “Kids you had better run home, I just got a call they think you dad is dying.”  It was a little over a mile home, we ran all the way.

Come to find out dad thought he was dying and was making a lot of terrible noises, groaning and calling ‘Lord Help’ pretty loud. Dad found out what a kidney stone was. Angry smile.


There was a NEHI bottling company near the house. The last person on the assembly line before they went into the cases, checked for foreign matter and the level of drink in each bottle. If it was too full or not enough it was not allowed so the operator pulled that bottle and put it behind him.  They were warm, but they were Free! My friends and I could drink all of those we wanted, but had to stay there to do it, because we could not have the bottle.

The bottles were worth 1-2¢ each. I earned a lot of money picking up bottles from the side of the road. They took them dirty or clean.

We must have lived in Albemarle on the coldest winter they ever had, because the Mill pond froze over enough for kids to walk and slide on. Of course no one had ice skates, but it was fun to run and slide as far as you could.

Dad & Mom got me a brand new J.C. Higgins bike, wow was I something. I rode and Ace ran beside me. I learned one problem with Ace, he was a bird dog, and a chicken looked a lot like a big bird, so he would chase chickens and I would have to chase him. there was no calling him back.

BF on the Radio

Dad was on the radio at least once a week in most towns we lived in, Albemarle he was live on WABZ. Burlington..WPCM, Valdese..WMNC and Belmont … WCGC.

Albemarle, NC is built on a BIG HILL. to a kid it was a small mountain. To skate down that hill was dangerous but Von Dale and I would do it. Once I got too fast and sat down. Ruined a good pair of “overhauls.”

(During this time, Sherry was being left down east, Surprised smile)

While in Albemarle we also got to see the Ocean for the first time. Dad drove there to Little Washington where his friend Walt Moody pastored, and there was an old fashioned Camp Meeting.

Those were carefree years, I was too old to Pout at our next move, but I sure hated to leave Von Dale.  Dad said we were going to Valdese, NC. I said, “What is a Valdese?” When we moved this time I not only had a big sister but I had ACE, he was my buddy, he rode in the back seat with me and Shirl on the move.

Thanks for stopping by the log.

Nite Shipslog


I didn’t know it at the time but Valdese was a wonderful small town, in the foothills of the South Mountains.


It was Valdese when I first started paying attention to cars. This was the prettiest one I remember seeing:


Now I am not positive which I liked,  the top one is a 1953 Century Buick,  the Bottom is the Sky Lark.


betty said...

Wow, I'm the first commenter!That rarely happens, but my work system is down so while they are preparing it, I have some time to play :)

I didn't realize your dad was on the radio, so I learned something new about you today, Jack!

That must have been fun to collect those bottles and see your earnings adding up!



That was pretty neat you were able to get free soda from the NEHI bottling company. My husband used to collect bottles to make some money when he was a kid too. He's about your age.

Chatty Crone said...

I am thinking about how much freedom we had as a child compared to now. To be able to go down hills - ride bikes with dogs - and go to a bottling company and drink their cokes - it was a kinder gentler time back then. And I didn't know your dad was on the radio.

Paula said...

The Principal at your school sure didn't have any tact. I think the way he told you about your Dad was terrible. We didn't get free soda but we got free dill pickles from Kohler's pickle factory when the owner wasn't there.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

So glad it was a kidney stone and not the end of your Dad's life at that time. How wonderful he was on the radio. I remember listening to a local pastor here on the radio every day. His program was called Morning Sunshine. I remember getting back those pennies for bottle returns too. If I remember right even some of my kids would go around looking for empties to return so they could get some extra money. It's too bad they stopped that as now all we see are empty plastic bottles along the road everywhere. Your memories do jog a few of my own too.

shirl72 said...

I agree with Paula about the
Principal. He could have said
your Mother would like for you to
come home there is something she
needs to tell you. Oh well
Albemarle was a good town. Some
bad memories with the members. I
remember Charles that lived behind
and being raised by his Grandmother.
I remember that curly red hair.

Dar said...

I think it's wonderful that you remember so much of your happy childhood. It's a good feeling, isn't it. Glad your Dad was ok...after the stone, however. Andy had them once and they put him in a ball on the hospital floor in so much pain...Another stone, done thrown...
Happy for you to have had Ace by your side. He sounds like he was the perfect companion for a traveling boy on his new bike.
Did you ever get to go to the radio station with your Dad? Life sure was more care-free wasn't it.
Hugs to you 2 from here to there.

Louis la Vache said...

From «Louis'» childhood:
Coca Cola went to town
Royal Crown knocked him down
Seven-Up picked him up
and took him to Dr. Pepper!

Jack, both of those Buicks are '54 Skylarks...