Memorable Automobiles from The Past:
Junior’s final business was concrete yard decorations. Bears, chickens and ducks plus bird baths. He expanded into planters, etc. He was very successful. Later he built “Jerry-Joe China Shop.” He and his beautiful wife Mozelle ran that shop for years.
Every one watched the front door and were all disappointed when Sherry & I walked in, passing thru on our way from Missouri, we did look a little scruffy with a one wheel trailer behind our station wagon, both loaded.
When he saw me in my USMC uniform he said, “Jackie I saw hundreds of Marines die in the South Pacific landing on those islands.” His sons also served, Ted was a Marine and Joe was a soldier.
He told me of nervous nights as he sat at his gun, strapped in; the eerie quietness with only the sound of the waves lapping lightly at the hull of the ship. The CO or XO had announced,” ’GENERAL QUARTERS’… a squadron of ‘Jap’ planes headed our way, all they could do was watch and pray, straining to hear the roar of the fighter and kamikaze planes coming to try to sink the carriers and battle ships they were there to protect.
As a kid, living in Shelby, NC, I remembered the blackouts. Those nights and many others I heard my mama praying for Junior.
I mentioned here before that mama could follow Jr. because he had named the islands girls names. When he mentioned a girl’s name in a letter mama would go to her world map and find where he was in the South Pacific.
I was near my brothers when they passed. Odis fought to the last. He was restrained, because when his hands were loose he intentionally pulled ALL the life support lines loose. I guess that was back before we had a choice, I don’t know.
Jr. and I stood by his bed, Od’s eyes begging to be cut loose.
Later Junior said, “Jackie, one thing I regret is not taking out my knife and cutting the binders on Od’s arms and let him pull everything out so he could die. That is what he wanted!”
I felt the same way. Odis was a very talented but hot headed man. He had knocked many men out with one blow in the ring. Junior was also a man’s man, but a business man, he was calm in a storm. Anyway that is how their baby brother saw them. Both of them men to be proud of.
When Junior passed, he was calm at the end. It is bad when brothers do not like each other. There was something not right between my older brothers. AS June was dying I asked him that very thing. He smiled, gave me a general answer and died with that secret. He knew I adored both my brothers, he knew I did not need to know, I guess.