We drove into Valdese, dad was driving the ‘51 Buick with a trailer. The first thing I noticed about Valdese, IT SMELLED GOOD. It smelled like a giant cinnamon bun. WOW, I learned quick it was the Waldensian Sunbeam Bakery. I also learned as in any business (ref NEHI co.) there were always rejects, not free here, but cheap!
Valdese means Waldensian in Italian. The Waldenses crossed the Atlantic from Italy for religious freedom.In May of 1893, a group of Waldenses, from the Cottian Alps of Northern Italy, settled on land located near the Catawba River in eastern Burke County in North Carolina, between the towns of Morganton and Hickory. The center of this community became the town of Valdese.
(The Bakery has since changed hands a couple times.)
Valdese like many southern towns, was a mill town, specializing in hosiery. The parsonage was small, 2 BR. so Shirl and I went back to sharing a room. I believe she was a Junior and I was in the 7th grade. School started a few weeks after we moved and I was in Mrs. Melissa Grill’s room, one tough teacher.
While waiting on the room to open I was in a small fight. There seems to always be a challenge to kids when the new kid arrives for some reason. Fortunately Johnson was a bully and only took a little for him to back down and save face with, “You are lucky this time, I was easy on you.”
There was never another problem with students. It took me a long time to realize that these kids (like Sherry) had been with the same group since first grade, and I was invading their territory.
(I have used this picture before, My cousin bobby, Me and Guy Abee. shirl hung us on the clothes line, while cousin Mildred took the picture.)
My closest friends became Jim & Bub Page. Peter David Hunt and Guy Abee. The only girlfriend I had was Betty Carswell, but she never knew it.
Jim and Bub had a Pinto named Frank. the first horse I was ever thrown from, and Garland (Jim’s Dad) said ‘get back on him Jackie’. I was scared, but I did and he did not buck again. Frank and me ‘n Ace became good friends, I always took him some sugar cubes.
Sad thing later I witnessed the death of Frank from foundering, he got into the oat barrel, then went to the creek. The vet was there and we were up all night, but Frank lost the battle.
I became a regular at the Page house. Cornbread and milk or pintos most every night compliments of Baker, as Bub was known. It seemed they separated the chores, Jim, the animals, gardens and Bub the inside and cooking. Both parents worked. I was probably more in the way, but I was there.
Segregation was real in Valdese. The Black population did not have a lighted field for nights sports, so they used Valdese high field every Sat. night.
I will continue Valdese one more post…
Thanks for coming this way.
Shirl, Mickey, & Margreta had a trio that won the Arthur Smith Talent show while we lived here. I covered that in an earlier post.
the 1952 Desota was built while my family was at Valdese.
Waldensian Sunbeam truck