Many trips to the Catawba River riding the bike or walking with Ace. Most of the time alone, me ‘n Ace. I made Minnow Jar(traps) to catch bait for us, but most times we caught nothing, so we went swimming. I felt like I could swim a hundred miles.
Summers I went to church Youth Camp. Once I won a diving contest and a swimming contest.
Von Dale (my friend from Albemarle) came to visit a couple times for a week at a time. some great times. He got to meet the boys at Valdese. That was always fun.
(Cousin Bobby O’Shields visiting Valdese, Bobby lived outside Laurens, SC)
There is a mountain called High Peak near Valdese, we all climbed it a couple times. Then climbed the fire Tower that was on top. the Rangers were always very friendly to us.
(Note dad’s belt buckle, he always wore it to the side. That was to keep from scratching his car when checking the oil)
Once I asked mama if I could ride my bike to my brother’s house in Shelby. It was 39 miles. She said yes. I got about 8 miles over the mountains, I was beat. So I got to a phone and called home. Shirl answered. she said she would come and get me. When she go there I talked her into driving me and the bike to Shelby and not tell anyone, so she did. At the city limits she let me out and I rode up to my Brothers house and lied, I said I had rode all the way. I don’t think Shirl ever told. Sister in Law Ruth probably didn’t believe it, but she was so sweet to me, like a 2nd mama.
I hate to say I lied, we used to say I told a story..
Valdese had a sad point. Folks let their chickens loose in Valdese. Ace could not stand that. Mr. Brinkley had chickens in his lumber yard across from our house. I had to keep an eye and a cow chain on Ace. But sometimes he did get loose.
My dad did not see Vets for house pets. Vets were for farm animals that provided a lively hood for families. BUT he made an exception with Ace. We went to the vet. The vet said it was no use, and Ace died of poison.
I took him home, buried him and prayed over that grave for many nights, that God would allow me to see Ace in Heaven. If any dog got there, it will be ACE. .
Valdese was a great place to fly kites. Ride bikes, skate and fish. Garland page would take us to a creek across the mountains to swim and eat watermelon. Few folks had TV, but Garland worked for Kirksey Furntiture Co, and they allowed the Page family to go to the furniture company and watch the display TV’s, of course they let me come along. What a thrill to be in a business after it closed.
The NEXT big announcement at the Darnell residence was, we are moving to Belmont, NC.
Hey I thought, I know a beautiful girl there, I met her at the Campground. I even remembered her name, Martha Carver… Shirl wasn’t real happy, she had a boy friend she did not want to leave.
But leave we did, that is what preachers families did, MOVE!
Thanks for coming by the log
My sights had already been set, I thought, “When I am 16, I will quit school and join the Marines.”
These cars were the newest on line when we moved. I knew them all except the Packard. I never did see that dude.