Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chapter 13

Leah Nora Butts

30 June 1886 – 5 November 1975

Leah Nora Butts was born 30 June 1886 in the Aurelian Springs area of Halifax County NC. She married John Calhoun Myrick 12 June 1904 in Halifax County NC. John and Leah Myrick were my maternal grandparents.

The Calvary Home Demonstration club met in the club room at the Calvary School House on April 26, 1939. Mrs. J.C. Myrick, President, presided. There are several other articles in some papers in Mrs. Myrick’s scrap book that refer to her as President of the home demonstration club. It seems that most of the meetings were opened with singing and the club apparently read books. One of the articles quotes is “In giving book reports, Mrs. J.C Myrick reported reading The Return to Religion which brought about a lively discussion and much thought provoking comment.”

The following is an article written in the “History of Halifax County”, “Home Demonstration Clubs,” “1939” “Halifax County Home Demonstration Clubs”, Section G. The Article is titled “HOME, HEALTH, AND SANATION” and is written under the byline of Mrs. J.C. Myrick, County Health Chairman.
“One of the main objects of Home Demonstration work has always been to provide better health. This has been done by teaching the home makers how to feed the family, the best methods of preparing the proper food, and the latest methods of canning, preserving and storing the foods we raise on the farms.
Last year we stressed safer water supply; sanitary disposal of waste; vaccination against disease; and better insect control. A member of the health department met with every once during the year and advised how best to met these goals. Results were: 58 built sanitary privies, 61 screened houses, 70 followed other recommended methods of controlling flies, mosquitoes, and other insects.
“Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation,” was one of the rules prescribed by Benjamin Franklin as a guide for his own conduct more than 200 years ago and it is still a good rule to follow, and we as club members try to pass the idea to those who are not so fortunate as to be members of the Home Demonstration Club.
We have many opportunities of contacting outsiders, especially the colored tenants on the farms. They really get the benefit of our club experience in many instances. “Optomists” look forward to the extinction of disease, but it will only be after children are taught cleanly habits from the very first, brought up in clean, houses, and sent to clean school houses through clean streets.
As far back as Plato’s time cleanliness was prescribed as a necessity to good citizenship, for Plato said, “Early rising and much bathing are profitable to keep a man in health and to increase his riches and wisdom”.
Each year the County Home Demonstration club members observe Better Homes Weak which is the last weak in April. We try to do something to make our homes more attractive and better places in which to live. This year the keynote of the campaign was, “Clean up, paint up, and fix up”.
Many of the clubs have assembled first aid and sick room necessity kits. They may be used by anyone in the community needing them. They contain sheets, pillow cases, towels, bandages, antiseptics, disinfectants, and simple home remedies, that will be safe for anyone to use in emergencies. Our motto is, “Make your bit of the world more beautiful” and the goal for 1938 is, “Beauty through Sanitation”.
Another way we promote better health is by sponsoring the hot school lunch. (The method of procedure for both canning and serving these lunches is given elsewhere in this issue.)
A few years ago we launched a campaign to prevent pellagra. Mrs. Wheeler, home agent, and Dr. Z.P. Mitchell, health officer, visited each home reported as having a suspected case of pellagra. As a result of their visits and advice many cases of pellagra were helped. The club members assisted them in this worth while work by passing this on to people who were suffering from pellagra and by locating and reporting suspected cases to them.
Mrs. Wheeler is tireless in her efforts to secure the latest and expert information for us on all subjects pertaining to better homes, better health and sanitation.”

The following article is from the Roanoke Rapids (N.C.) Daily Herald dated Wednesday November 19, 1958.

“Calvary Clubwoman named Woman of the Year

Served as President for 25 years

Mrs. John Myrick of the Calvary Home Demonstration Club yesterday the honor of  “Home Demonstration Woman of the Year” in Halifax County.
Mrs. Myrick, who resides on Littleton Highway, has been president of the Calvary Club for 25 years.
She became a member of this club in 1921 and has been an active member since then. She also attended all short courses at State Collage for a period 10 years and has sold on the curb market in Roanoke Rapids for five years.
In addition to her activity in the home demonstration club, she joined other Halifax County women for a tour to Nashville, Tenn. and through the mountains. She also has been on tour to New York and Niagara Falls with the county women.
She has been handicapped during the past year due to the illness of her husband, but nevertheless, sends food to suppers of the club and is acting treasurer for the club.
She has paid each light bill for the club house for the past two years from her own funds.
The Calvary Club is her “pet project” and always has been.
According to club membership, Mrs. Myrick has been on of the most cooperative members and will go along with any project the majority of the club members may decide to do.
In addition to her club work, she has served as president of the Littleton Parent-Teacher Association while her children were in school: taught Sunday School in Calvary Methodist Sunday School and is active in other church work.
Her other self-imposed duties include visits to the sick and sending trays, cards and letters of comfort to bereaved persons. She also took an aged man into her home and cared for him for years.
The woman of the year is noted for “being willing to give advice and help any one possible.”
This article also includes a four column picture of Mrs. John Myrick and Mrs. Estelle White, Halifax County home agent in which Mrs. White is giving Mrs. Myrick a letter entitling her to a $25 War Bond.”

Leah was a farmer’s wife. Her activities were cooking, cleaning house, laundry, gathering eggs and preserving food.
I always referred to Leah as Mama and to John as Papa. I suppose I called them Mama and Papa because that’s what my mother called them. I also called my mother Mama.
Leah seemed to always be up early cooking. She made biscuits every morning and sometimes made biscuits more than once a day. She always had sausage, ham, fat back etc and biscuits in the kitchen. Usually there were other things like roasted peanuts, sweet potato pudding, banana pudding, fried chicken, barbequed chicken, to be eaten at any time. Occasionally other items like possum, rabbit, chocolate pudding, sweet potato pie etc would be available.
 I do not recall Leah as ever sitting down at the table to eat a meal with the rest of the family or quest. I am not sure of the reason for this. She seemed to taste what she cooked a lot and eat small amounts in the kitchen. She would see that everyone else at the table had what they needed.
As long as I can remember Leah always had gray hair tied in a bun at the back of her head? She always seemed to be looking down with her chin drawn in toward her throat. As she aged this became more pronounced and the upper part of her back was curved making her appear almost hunched back.
I remember her entertaining me as a child by playing guitar and singing “Little Brown Jug”. She also had a fiddle but I do not recall her playing it.
Mama (Leah) was active in the Home Demonstration Club and Calvary Methodist Church. I have seen news articles and I may have a copy of them showing her as “Club Woman of the Year” etc.
A few years before her death she was in Duke Hospital and had to have a leg removed. She was quite ill and I felt that when she left the hospital she was being sent home to live out her last few days and die. I also recall that when she got to within about 15 or 20 miles of home she started improving dramatically.

My first memories of going to Church were in the 1940’s when we went to Calvary Methodist Church. We went to my Myrick grandparent’s on Sunday and in those years we went early enough for Church. I believe Mama played piano at Calvary. Later we went to Church at Norlina but I do not remember why that change was made. We still went to my Myrick grandparents on Sunday, Just that we went after Church on Sunday rather than earlier.
Lot’s of times some of my other relative’s would be at my Myrick grandparent’s house. Uncle Murray, his wife Arlene, Murray Wilson, Shirley and his wife Julia, Corliss Ann and Wayne, Elsie Butts Wiley, Grandma’s sister, Edward F. Butts, Grandma’s brother and his son Edward.
I think that most of the time we would have Sunday dinner at my Myrick grandparent’s house. A lot of time’s I would walk over to Carlton and Jean Myrick’s house and go horse back riding with Carlton or riding in his pony cart.

By: David Perkinson

Chapter 12

John Calhoun Myrick

5 December 1882 – 30 November 1968

John Calhoun Myrick was born 5 December 1882 in The Calvary community of Halifax County NC. He died 30 November 1968 in Halifax County. John was the 4th of 12 children born to Thomas Wilcox Myrick and his wife Dora Catherine Freeman.
John was my maternal grandfather and I always called him Papa. My mother called him Papa and I suppose that’s why I did. I remember other people referring to him as “Capn” John.

Papa had a place out behind one of the chicken houses that he called his roost pole. The roost pole was two sticks stuck vertically in the ground with another stick horizontally across the top. The roost pole was out of view from the house and usually traveled walking routes.

Papa used the roost pole for disposing of bodily waist, having a bowel movement, taking a crap. The roost pole was within about 30 or 40 feet of his corn crib. He had a supply of corncobs handy and they were used to wipe his bottom.

When I was young I often used Papa’s roost pole when I needed to take a crap, rather than the Johnny house, and wiped my butt with corncobs. I wander if that’s where the phrase “rough as a cob comes from”.

Papa’s farm was about (I guess) 150 acres of cleared and woodland. The crops grown on this land were about 4 or 5 acres of tobacco, some cotton, corn, peanuts, soybeans, sugar cane, wheat, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes etc. He also had a grape vines, apple trees, peach trees and a large vegetable garden. He did not grow all crops all years but tobacco was the main income producer and it was grown every year. I think other crops grown every year would be cotton, corn and peanuts. Papa did not have a tractor and manual labor and mules did the work. This is 2010 and I’m remembering this from about 1950. The tenants on the farm were Henry Taburn, Lewis Brown, and Annie Yellady. Henry had a wife and daughter, Lewis a wife and Annie and daughter and maybe a son I think. I guess I have the names right. Henry, Lewis and Annie were black families and had small tenant houses on the farm. There was also a white man, Ernest Morris that lived in a room in Papa’s house. Mr. Morris ate in the house with the family. I do not know the details as to why he was there unless it was for day labor and a place live.

I remember going to Papa’s and working in the fields. I was not regular hired help
that worked every day but I did help some chopping peanuts and cotton and putting in tobacco. Usually I handed leaves as a young teenager in tobacco. I also was around at hog killing time. Mama helped more with that.

Papa had four mules a cow and probably 30 or 40 chickens. In the morning Papa and the tenants would get the mules and start plowing or doing the farm work. The cow was milked and my grandmother processed that and made her own butter etc. The chicken’s gave eggs and if that stopped they became fried, barbequed, boiled or roasted chicken.

I did not do it often but I do remember milking the cow or at least trying to, feeding the mules corn and feeding the chickens.

When sweet potatoes were harvested Papa kept them in a potato hill. I’m guessing again but a potato hill was a conical shaped pile of sand about 5 feet high that had a covered roof to keep the potatoes dry. Papa made his roof of about 3 sheets of tin nailed onto some wood with some vertical post that stuck into the potato hill. The potatoes were in the potato hill with some pine straw. When you needed some potatoes you would go and dig into the hill from the top down get what was needed. I suppose this method kept potatoes from spoiling a long time during the winter.

Papa had a place in his cotton house where he kept Irish potatoes. This was a place where he would spread the potatoes out in a thin layer and cover them with lime. I suppose the lime kept the potatoes so they could be used in winter months.

Roy Strickland told me that lime was put on the potatoes to keep the bugs and/or insects out. Roy said that when he was young they put the Irish potatoes under his house and put lime on them.

The cotton house was called the cotton house because that’s where cotton was stored after it was picked until it was sold.

When I was a teenager Papa would give me about an acre of cucumbers. I do not recall how many years I had the cucumbers but I believe it was probably two or three. Papa would plant the cucumbers, fertilizer them, plow them and have them ready to be harvested and sold. All I had to do was pick the cucumbers take them to the cucumber shed and sell them and I kept all the money. My mother would help me pick the cucumbers. Papa did this for my older brother, John and for my 1st cousin Murry Wilson when they were about the same age. I do not know why Papa did this. I think he wanted me come and drive his truck to pick up other tenants cucumbers and take them to be sold. However he could have found a better way to get that job done. He may have just wanted to teach me to work some or give me something to do. At this same time for every dollar I would put in the bank and save my daddy match it with a dollar. I remember that one time I picked $13.00 worth of cucumbers and put the money in the bank. I thought that would break my daddy up by him having to match my $13.00.  

Papa was a farmer and produced about everything on his farm that was consumed on the farm. I believe his farm was about 160 acres of total woodland and cropland. I understand he inherited or was given about 100 acres of this by his father.

I recall that when I was a child two or three tenant families and a farm laborer lived on this farm. I recall there being apple trees, peach trees, grape vines, and a vegetable garden of about an acre on this farm. Crops I remember being produced were tobacco, peanuts, corn, cucumbers, and I believe sugarcane a year or two. Papa also had hogs and a cow or two. I do not recall anything being wasted on this farm. The produce from the garden was eaten fresh or canned and in later years frozen, hogs were killed and smoked or salted down. Sweet potatoes were put in a potato hill for later use. The work on this farm was done with manual labor and mules. Papa never owned a tractor and never learned to drive. He did buy a pickup truck in the late 1940’s, but never learned to drive it. I believe the truck was a 1949 Chevrolet ¼ Ton that he bought new for $600.00 dollars. I can’t recall why that figure sticks in my mind, I don’t know if I was told that or if I found a sales receipt in his safe after his death that had that amount on it.

Papa would take his apples, even some that were bruised or partially rotten to a cider mill and have apple cider made. The cider was stored in a 50 gallon wooden barrel and kept in the corn crib. I remember drinking cider from this barrel. During the fall, probably in october, when the corn was dry and ready to be harvested Papa would have a corn shucking. A corn shucking is when several neighbors would come and help Papa shuck his corn so that it would be ready to feed the mules. Usually their was some hard apple cider and other beverages available for the shuckers. I remember one time when I was about age 10 I drank two much of the apple cider and got tipsey headed or maybe a little drunk.

Papa was a very demanding person to work for. He thought there was only 1 way to do anything and that was his way or, as he would say “the right way”.

I can remember Papa hitching up the mules to the wagon and taking corn or wheat to the mill to be ground into corn meal and flour. I also remember him taking apples to have cider made. I remember him going to Littleton on Saturday, by mule and wagon, to get other things that were needed. He would buy things like sugar, salt, pepper, coffee and some hard candy for Leah (his wife).

I remember one time a relative and his children were visiting at Papa’s house. The relative was a preacher; I believe it was John Poole Elliott. The children were plating in the back yard and one of them knocked the bucket in the well, as the bucket was banging against the rock lining in the well Papa got upset. I quess he thought someone had fell in the well. Papa’s response was “It looks like a preacher could raise children that would behave better.

By: David Perkinson

Chapter 11

Lora Gladys Myrick Perkinson
24 October 1909 – 5 March 1998

Gladys, my mother, was born about four miles east of Littleton, NC in the Calvary community. Her parents were John Calhoun Myrick and Leah Nora Butts Myrick
She attended the Calvary School in elementary grades and later attended Littleton High School and Littleton College.
Mama was a very good piano player. I have been told that has a young lady she was being prepared to study piano at a conservatory in St. Louis, Mo. But she apparently opted to marry instead.
She married William Horace “Bill” Perkinson 22 December 1933 in Warren County, NC.
I recall my years in elementary school at Norlina High School in Norlina, NC that Mama seemed to always be a grade mother and that always was playing the piano for school plays and other activities.
My first memories of going to church were in the 1940s when we went to Calvary Methodist Church. We went to my Myrick grandparents’ on Sunday and in those years we went early enough for church. I believe Mama played piano at Calvary. Later we went to Church at Norlina but I do not remember why that change was made. We still went to my Myrick grandparents on Sunday, Just that we went after Church on Sunday rather than earlier.
Lots of times some of my other relatives would be at my Myrick grandparents’ house. Uncle Murray, his wife Arlene, Murray Wilson, Shirley and his wife Julia, Corliss Ann and Wayne, Elsie Butts Wiley, Grandma’s sister Edward F. Butts, Grandma’s brother and his son Edward.
I think that most of the time we would have Sunday dinner at my Myrick grandparents’ house. A lot of times I would walk over to Carlton and Jean Myrick’s house and go horse back riding with Carlton or riding in his pony cart.
Lucille Knight, Leon Knight’s first wife was the piano player at the Methodist Church. I do not recall why we started going to Church at Norlina rather than Calvary or when /why Mama started playing piano at the Norlina Methodist Church.
Mama also donated her time and talents to the Methodist Church in Norlina. She was Church Organist/Pianist from about 1950 to near her death. If I recall correctly the Church gave her two or three retirement parties. Seems a new preacher would come in and his wife played so Mama would retire. Soon the new preacher was gone and Mama was needed again. Sometimes the duties were shared, mama on piano and preacher’s wife on organ or mama on organ and the preacher’s wife on piano. For most of the time, about 1950-1980, mama was the sole organist/pianist for the church.
During my years in elementary school mama was always at home when I got home from school. In the early 1950s daddy’s health was failing and he stopped work for the railroad. About this time, early to mid 1950s, mama went to work for the shirt factory at Warrenton so that John and I could go to College. Daddy died in 1962, the year I graduated college and got married. I forget what year mama last worked at the shirt factory but she stopped to help take care of her parents. Their health was declining and they needed assistance in meeting their daily needs.
Mama was well liked and respected by about everyone if not everyone who knew her. I have never heard one say an unkind word about mama. To the contrary, many times I have had people go out of their way to tell me what a kind, caring, giving person mama was and how much they thought of her. Likewise I do not recall hearing mama speak unkindly of anyone else.

By; William David Perkinson

I was six years old when great-grandma died and there isn’t a whole lot that I remember about her, but the things I do remember are pretty vivid. I remember always playing in her house in the summertime whenever we’d go up to the lake house or had a family reunion. I remember there being lots of “secret passages” in her house, little hallways between bedrooms that were disguised as closets, and another that led to the basement. I remember that in those hallways there was always a large assortment of little toys and things to play with, big glass jars full of buttons and marbles, I remember when she died that my brother Dalton and I were given some of those marbles. I remember that she would always give us ice cream in the summer time; she always kept some in one of the big freezers in her basement. I remember her yard being full of rocks and mud whenever it’d rain and running around playing outside. Every memory I have of her as a person, she was sitting in either a big green armchair that my dad now has, or else in the kitchen, she was very much the great-grandmother type, always willing to be hugged or kissed. When she died I remember not really realizing what was going on, just being sad because everybody else was, and then going to her house so that dad could put a sticker on anything of hers that he wanted, I suspect she didn’t specify too much in her will. One of the memories about her that I remember the most happened a while after her death, Dalton and I were playing in his bedroom and he was going through some old birthday cards that he’d gotten a few years before, and I remember him crying because he missed great-grandma. For as little as I do remember about her, I don’t think there’s anything I could say she did wrong, she was great-grandma, and she always had ice cream.

By, Kayla Laine Perkinson

Me either☺ You are one of the smartest men I've ever known. You'll figure it out. Hope you are doing well and have a good Thanksgiving. Wish we could still drop by your Mom's Kitchen and eat leftover's. Boy, could that lovely lady cook. One of my Best Memories.
November 22, 2009 at 9:41pm ·

Chapter 10

William Horace Perkinson
1 June 1899 to 6 April 1962

William Horace Perkinson, Daddy, was the eighth of eleven children Born to John Travis Perkinson and Tabitha Cora Hudson Perkinson. He married Lora Gladys Myrick 22 December 1933 in Warren County, North Carolina.

William “Bill” H. and Gladys Perkinson were the Parent’s of the following: children:
(1)     John Linwood Perkinson
(2)     William David Perkinson

One of the things that I remember as a child, probably about age 10, is a whipping daddy gave me. One of our neighbor’s, Reuben Clark, owned a lot that joined our lot. The northwest corner of our lot joined the southeast corner of his lot. Mr. Clark had and out building on his lot. I believe the building was a stable that he kept a mule in at one time. I guess he had gotten rid of the mule and sometimes Dee Draffin, some of my other friend’s and I would climb on top of this shed and play. Daddy had told me not to play on Mr. Clarks shed. One day I was playing on top of the shed and Daddy came out of the house. It seemed to me that he broke of most of a peach tree that we had in the back yard, rather than a limb, off the peach tree and gave me a whipping.

Daddy did not like to throw things away. I remember him telling me. If you have something you don’t need put it in the garage and keep it for seven years. If you don’t need it then turn it over and keep it for seven more years.

Daddy would tell me thing's that happened when he was a child. 
He told me that at one time he and his family were at Wise, probably on horse and buggy, as they were returning home and getting to Paschall Station Road 13 confederate soldiers road out of the cemetery and crossed the road in front of them.
Another story that he told me was when the Buffalo Bill show was in the area, they were having revival at the Jerusalem Methodist Church. In the preacher's sermon he said that anyone's that ready to die and go to heaven stand up. Every one stood up except one person. The preacher then said again that he was sorry but one person was not ready to die and go to heaven so he announced again that every one that is ready to die and go to heaven stand up. Again every one stood up except one person. At that point the cowboy with the Buffalo Bill show walked up to the Pull Pit and pulled out his pistols and said, any one that is ready to die and go to heaven stand up. No one stood up so the cowboy told the preacher they reall don't want to die.
Daddy also told me that some body, maybe a relative, saw a ghost in the orchard at the home place on the farm. Two weeks later that person died. Daddy said that they were telling the Doctor about this and the Doctor said that a little piece of death hit him.

Bessie and Clyde Dalton lived across the street from our house. In the late 1940’S and early 1950’S we had a garden on part of their lot. The garden was in two different parts of their lot. One part would be about seven rows about 150 feet long and the other part would be 25 rows about 40 feet long. We would have corn, butterbean’s, tomatos, snap beans, turnip salad etc in the garden. I can remember when I was in elementary school of going to the garden and picking turnip salad and maybe some other vegetables and taking them to the school to be cooked for student’s to eat. I do not remember if we were paid for the vegetables or if we were allowed to eat free for a period of time, or if were a donation to the school.

Daddy was a fireman with Seaboard Airline Railroad and I do not recall him being employed by anyone else. 
One of the jobs that Daddy did was working the night switcher at Norlina. On that job Daddy would go to work about five or six o'clock PM. One of the things the night switcher did was take passenger cars from a train that came to Norlina from Norfolk, Virginia and put then on a train that came into Norlina from Richmond, Virginia at about the same time so the passengers would continue their southward journey. 
That job also involved taking gravel from graystone and carrying it to Roanoke Rapids. 
The job also involved delivering pulp wood to a paper mill in Roanoke Rapids, NC. 
Sometimes if Mama had a meeting I would go to work with Daddy and watch him start the train, diesel engine and I believe steam engine. Daddy may have put me off the engine before others came to work. But I think that sometimes I stayed on the engine untill about eight or nine PM. and then went home.
Another job that Daddy liked was train's 16, 17, 18, and 19. The even numbered trains would leave Norlina in the morning going to Norfolk, Va and the odd numbered trains would leave Norfolk in the PM going to Norlina. The passenger trains were day time jobs and the night switcher was a night job. Sometimes when Daddy was working the passenger trains I would ride to my Myrick grandparents house and the train would stop and let me off and in the afternoon I would go to the railroad tract and flag the train to pick me up and go back to Norlina. My Myrick grandparents house is about 150 yards from the railroad tract. Sometimes I would ride the train to Norfolk and come back later that day.

My Perkinson grandparents died before I was born. I remember going with daddy to the farm and visiting someone that was sick and living in the old home place. I do not remember who this person was. I visited Julian Felts 24 July 2004 and discussed the farm history with him. Julian told me that daddy’s brother Edwin Joseph Perkinson was the sick person I visited. According to Julian, Edwin lived in the old home place and died in 1946. According to Julian, Edwin’s son James also lived in the old home place.

It is my understanding that daddy took care of his parents in their later years.

Daddy purchased the farm, on which he was raised, from his parents over a period of years. The first part of the farm he purchased was a fifty five (55) acre tract lying along the south property line of the farm. He purchased this tract on 30 July 1930. The deed for this tract is recorded in book 132 page 12 at the Warren County, NC Registry.
Daddy and mama purchased the remaining part of the farm (about 100 acres) from John Travis Perkinson on 17 July 1934. The deed for this purchase is recorded in book 128 page 208 of the Warren County Registry.

I remember daddy as being left handed. He was 40 years older than me but he could throw a baseball quite well for a 50 year old.

Daddy wanted to move back to the farm near Paschall where he was raised. I can remember, probably in the mid 1950’s going with daddy to the farm to clean up a place that he was going to build a house on. That spot would have been on the left side of the gate as you go onto the farm an about 200 to 300 yards south of the gate. There are some oak trees in that area. I don’t know for sure but I suspect Mama was not in favor of that plan to move.

I remember daddy telling me that the Parkinson’s and the Talley’s feuded with one another. It surprises me that in doing genealogy that I see so many marriages between the Parkinson’s and Talley’s. I have no idea as to why they may have feuded.

Daddy became disabled when I was in about the 8th grade. At that time there was a hospital in Warrenton, NC. The name of the hospital was Warren General Hospital. Daddy was a patient there. I remember coming home and saying that Daddy was bad off and they were moving him to Duke Hospital in Durham, NC. Mama was upset. I think Daddy was having a problem with his kidneys. Daddy survived this but was unable to return to work.

Chapter 9

Norlina Methodist Church

Norlina Methodist Church is where I was a member for most of my teen age and early 20’s years.

Mama was the Church pianist, organist, choir director from the time we started going to church there and for at least the next fifty years.

It was seldom if ever that we missed going to Sunday school and Church there. After church we would go to my Myrick grandparents for Sunday dinner and the activities that followed.

The Methodist Church had a Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) that I was in. The MYF meet about every Sunday night. The Church also provided a place for my Boy Scout troop to meet.

Mama also organized a Boy’s choir and John, Myself, and most of our friends in Norlina were in. The Boy’s choir would sing at the Sunday morning worship service some mornings.

Much of my young years were with Church activities, school activities, playing with my friends and Boy Scouts.

Chapter 8

Calvary Methodist Church

As a child my normal Sunday morning was to be in Church.

Calvary Methodist Church was the Church in the community of my Myrick grandparents. I believe my mother was the church pianist at that church for as long as I went there. Normally we would get up in Norlina and go to Church and Sunday school at Calvary. Aunt Clara was my Sunday school teacher. Uncle Clyde, aunt Clara, Jean and Carlton were also members at Calvary.

Preacher Davis was the preacher at Calvary. Calvary was on the Littleton Charge and I believe Preacher Davis only preached at the morning worship service about every two to four weeks. A Church Charge is an arrangement where two or three small rural churches will employ one preacher for their needs. Preacher Davis was on the Littleton Charge for several years, I do not recall another Preacher having that Charge when I was a child. Preacher Davis seemed close to the Myrick family, Uncle Clyde etc. Preacher Davis had a daughter named Jean Davis. I believe Jean Davis was a year or two younger than me. Jean Davis used to visit Carlton and Jean Myrick a lot. Jean Myrick still has contact with Jean Davis and I hear her speak of her often. Either Jean Davis or her husband has the medical problem that Courtney Perkinson or Bill Perkinson has.

The Calvary Methodist Church cemetery is where Daddy and Mama are buried. That is also where my Myrick grandparents are buried. There are several other Myrick relatives buried in that cemetery.

The church cemetery is well maintained. I believe Carlton Myrick is active in maintaining that cemetery. Prior to her death Vickie Camp was active in maintaining the cemetery.

The Myrick family reunion is held in the community building at Calvary and the reunion makes a donation to help keep up the cemetery.

After Church at Calvary the next stop was my Myrick grandparents house for Sunday dinner, visiting with friends and relatives and playing outside.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chapter 7

Paschall Farm History

William Horace Perkinson purchased the farm over a period of years and as five parcels or tracts of land. I will refer to these as tract one, tract two, tract three, tract four and tract five. Tract’s one, two and three are referred to in that fashion in the 1934 deed recorded in book 128, page 208 at the Warren County, NC Register of Deeds.

Tract Four is the first tract William Horace Perkinson acquired. This is a fifty five (55) acre tract lying along the south property line of the farm. William Horace Perkinson purchased this property from his parents, John Travis and Cora Hudson Perkinson. The deed for this tract is dated 30 July 1930 and is recorded in book 132 page 12 at the Warren County, NC Registry. John Travis Perkinson acquired this 55 acre tract from Cynthia Perkinson. The deed between Cynthia Perkinson and John Travis Perkinson is recorded in book 71 page 10 of the Warren County Registry. Book 71, page 10 further references a deed in book 55, page 274 of the Warren County Registry. On 23 June 1889 Joseph H and Cynthia Perkinson sold John T Perkinson 20 acres of this 55 acre Tract per  book 55, page 274 deed. The book 71, page 10, 6 March 1905 deed covers the entire 55 acres. The deeds in book 55, page 274 and book 71 page 10 do not reveal how Joseph and Cynthia acquired the land.
Book 63, Page’s 515,516,517 and 518 reveals that on 15 January 1886 Sarah Tally acting on the authority of her late husbands will allotted this 55 acre tract to Cynthia Perkinson and her husband Joseph H Perkinson.
Ownership of this 55 acre tract is as follows:
(1)     Travis and Sarah Wright Tally
(2)     Joseph H and Cynthia Tally Perkinson
(3)     John Travis and Cora Perkinson
(4)     William Horace Perkinson
(5)     Gladys M Perkinson Family Trust
(6)     William David and Lorraine H. Perkinson

William Horace Perkinson and his wife Lora Gladys Perkinson purchased tract one, tract two and tract three from John Travis Perkinson on 17 July 1934. The deed for this purchase is recorded in book 128 page 208 of the Warren County Registry.

Tract One is a 17 ½ acre tract that lies along the north property line of the farm. John Travis Perkinson Acquired this 17 ½ acres from J.C. Williams et ux 19 Feburary 1902. The deed between J.C. Williams and John Travis Perkinson is recorded in book 71, page 3 of the Warren County Registry. That deed is signed by Jesse C. Williams and his wife Palmer Williams but it does not show how Jesse and Palmer Williams acquired the land.

Tract Two is a three (3) acre tract that John Travis Perkinson acquired from L.P. Coleman et ux on 4 February 1903. The deed between John Travis Perkinson and L.P. Coleman is recorded in book 70, page 373 of the Warren County, NC Registry. That deed does not reveal how Levi P. Coleman and his wife, Florence Rose Coleman, acquired the property.

Tract Three is a seventy-nine (79) acre tract that comprises about one-half  (1/2) the farm and lies down the middle of the farm. John Travis Perkinson acquired this 79 acre tract from John R. Talley. The deed between John Travis Perkinson and John R. Talley is recorded in book 55, page 635 of the Warren County Registry. I am not sure of the date but it appears to be 3 January 1880.
John R. Tally was allotted this land by his mother Sarah Tally. I am not sure of the date but it appears to be 18 October 1864. the digit for the 6 in 1864 has been written over and it may be 1884.

Tract Five is a two or three acre tract in the southwest corner of the farm that William Horace Perkinson purchased in the 1950’s from Clanton Perkinson as best I can remember. I believe he daddy purchased that to “straighten out the line”.

I can remember three (3) dwelling houses being on this farm.
(1)     The “home place”, where the open well is and north of the barns.
Daddy was raised here and I believe his father was also. I can remember visiting a sick person there when I was a child. This was probably in the 1945-1950 range. I do not recall who we visited. I believe “James” Perkinson also lived in that house about that time. I do not recall anyone living in that house since the early 1950’s.
I visited Julian Felts 24 July 2004 and discussed the farm history with him. Julian told me that daddy’s brother Edwin Joseph Perkinson was the sick person I visited. According to Julian, Edwin lived in the old home place and died in 1946. According to Julian, Edwin’s son James also lived in the old home place.
(2)     There use to be a house west of the barns, between the barns and the pond.
That house has fallen. I do not recall any white person living in that house and I do not know if a relative ever did.
At the 24 July 2004 visit with Julian Felts Julian told me that James, Edwin’s son, built this house about 1942 and lived in it. As I recall it was a small frame house, two rooms downstairs a one room upstairs.
There was a spring northwest of that house beside the branch that flows into the pond. That spring was useable before the pond was built. The pond was built about 1970 and may have raised the water level enough to cover the spring.
There use to be a black man that lived in this house. His name was “Plum”. Plum was in an accident, hit by a train I think, and had no place to live etc. Daddy told him he could live in that house if he wanted to. That would have been in the 1950’s. Plum chose to live there and did for probably 20 years. I do not recall what year or why he left. A couple of times John found a “Still” on the branch. Plum denied knowing anything about it but always managed to find out who it belonged to and have it moved.
(3) House #3 is southwest of the barns and south of the pond. It’s still standing     
but about to fall. I can recall when Luther Irvin Perkinson lived in this house. I am not sure what year his parents moved out on the road but it would have been in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.
Julian Felts also told me when I visited with him 24 July 2004 that Edwin’s son Luther, lived in this house. I failed to ask when the house was built or who built it.

Julian Felts also told me there was another house on the farm in which Sarah Tally Johnson lived. According to Julian that house was west of Reddy Branch, in the southwest part of the farm and behind the house in which Julian lives. I have never looked for evidence of a house in this area and have never seen evidence of a house here. Julian also said this Sarah Tally, daughter of Travis Tally, married a “Johnson” that came to Warren County from up north after the civil war. Sarah and her husband later moved to Tennessee. Julian said that “Sarah gave the 55 acre tract to John Travis for horse and saddle” or something to that affect. That story is not supported by the deed transfers.

My earliest memory I have of the agriculture operation of the farm is Macon G. Moseley growing the crops on the farm. This was probably in the early 1950’s. Macon grew tobacco, corn and I believe cotton, wheat and soybeans. I vaguely remember, maybe I’m wrong, that daddy did not charge Macon Moseley rent and mama thought he should.
I do not know why a change was made but after a few years Turner Felts and family tended the crop on the farm. The Felts family grew the crop on the farm for many years (maybe 20) until they no longer wanted it. Next Luther I Perkinson leased the farm and continues to do so.



Paschall Farm Memories

My first memories of the Paschall farm going with Daddy to visit a sick person that lived in the old home place on the farm.

There were three houses on the farm, the home place, a house about a 100 west of the tobacco barns and a house about 150 yards south of the ponds.

Daddy use to take me to the farm. I think I used to play some in the creek, reedy branch. I believe Daddy use to take me down there hunting also. Daddy had a 16 gauge shot gun. Daddy told me he bought that gun for $6.00. John and some of our friends use to go to the farm hunting. I think Bubba Overby had some hound dogs and we would go rabbit hunting. Sometimes a friend and I would go rabbit or squirrel hunting. We would walk and step on brush piles to get the rabbits to run. Sometime we would sit quietly under an oak tree and wait for a squirrel to come out.

In the mid to late 1960’s I had a pond built on the farm. At one time I planted a garden there. One weekend I was at the garden and I thought next weekend the corn would be ready. When I went back the raccoons and squirrels had destroyed my corn. That was the end of my trying to garden on the farm.

In the 1960’s I decided to raise beef cattle on the farm. I repaired the fences, had soil samples made to determine what the soil needed and planted fescue and clover for the Pasteur. I bought some calves and started beef farming. John wanted some cows to so he bought some. I then went to work with Social Security in Goldsboro, NC. Beef farming was too much so I sold my cows to John.

At one time I bought a horse, saddle and bridle and put them on the farm. The horses name was Blue. I bought the horse from someone that lived on the Neuse river in northeast Raleigh. Blue had not been well fed. From looking at him and his pasteur it looked like he had been trying to eat the bark on the trees. But I had a good pasteur for him. We rented or borrowed a trailer and took Blue to the farm. Blue looked much healther in his new pasteur. My children and I enjoyed going to the farm fishing and horseback ridding. Susan or Sharon will probably disagree with enjoying horse back riding. I think the horse ran away with one of them.  A young man that worked on Arthur Holt King’s farm wanted a horse to ride and he would come and ride our horse. The horse was also too much for us to care for so we sold the horse.

As my children grew Bill would go to the farm hunting and fishing. A friend of mine, Buddy Gardner, had access to a house on Lake Gaston and he would come by Mama’s to eat and we would go to the farm hunting.

Several times Dalton, Devin and some of their friends have been to the farm to fish and to take target practice shooting the rifles, pistols and shotguns. They have also driven cars and trucks on the farm and from the lake house to the farm. I believe Dalton got a lot of his driving experience driving in around the lake house and from the lake house to the farm.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chapter 6

Norlina High School

High School (grades 9-12)

Norlina High School did not have over a hundred students in grades 9-12, I consider them all friends. Some of us went to collage together and some I see when I visit Norlina or go to a class reunion.

Norlina did not have a school bus so for school activities like ball games the parents would drive us in their cars. Quite often Mama or Daddy would take us to play ball.

I played football and basketball in high school and was named all conference in my senior year. I played baseball in elementary school but did not play in high school. I was afraid of the baseball when batting. I played end in football, offence and defence. In basketball I played forward. 
Collice Moore was a real good football player at Littleton High School. Collice got a schlorship and was a good football player at State. I think Collice was all conference at State. Collice was also the brother of Robert Moore, Jean Myrick Moore, husband. My senior year in high school we were playing Littleton and Collice was my blocking assignment. Collice was the middle linebacker and I was the offensive end. I was going to put a real good block on Collice, I hit Collice in the midsection with all I had, I felt his arms on my chest and the next thing I knew I was laying flat on my back and Collice made the tackle. Some of the things I remember are (1) One game I scored four touchdowns, I think we were playing Rich Square. (2) We were playing Warrenton and I was running an end around play a Warrenton player had been blocked and a believe the blocker was laying one his leg's. The Warrenton player raised up and tried to tackle me as I ran by, I ran over him and broke his leg. I believe his name was David Mustain.
In basketball I remember that I scored 26 points in one game, Carl White, also on my team, scored 26 points in the same game, I don't remember the school we were playing but it was a school in Person County near the Virginia line. The school was out in the country from Stem.

The first part time job that I had that paid was working at Overby's Grocery store. I suppose I was in the 9th grade when I had this job. I don't recall how long the job lasted or how much I was paid. For some reason I think the pay was 50 cents and hour. In this job I would take and assemble orders, add up the cost and sometimes deliver the order. Mr Overby had a bicycle with a small front wheel and a big basket. Sometimes a customer would call in an order or come to the store and pick out what they wanted and if they needed to I would deliver the order to them. Mr. Overby lived across the street from Mama and Daddy and sometimes I would mow their lawn. Mr. Overby was also Bubba's granddaddy.

A few summers when I was in high school I had a job helping Clitty Hawks put in tobacco (harvest tobacco) the job I had doing that was a primer. A primer goes out in the fields a breaks the leaves of the stalk and puts them in a tobacco slide. That job paid $5.00 a day and it was hard back breaking work, particular getting those first one or two primings where the leaves were on the ground. We would start work soon after sun up, take about 2 hours for lunch and work to near dark. I can remember times when I primed tobacco and the went in the barn's a hung tobacco from the tier poles and then leaving  and going to football practice. 

The next job I had in high school was working at Norlina Supermarket. I would work where Mr. Dowling, the Manager said, but I was generally assigned to the meat market. This was a Saturday job. Mr. Johnny Hunt was the butcher.I worked their my senior year in high school and probably part of my junior year. Harold Stegall, one of my class mates, worked their also. Harold mostly worked in produce.

I was also named most likely to succeed, most ambitious and most musical my senior year. I suppose in a class of 22 someone had to take the honor.

I did not take a typing or a foreign language in high school. In retrospect, typing would be an asset.

I did go to the prom in both my junior and senior year and had a different date each year.

In high school the agriculture class would do some field trips and having contest to classify different types of soil or recognizing pest. Most of these field trips would also involve physical activities like running, high jumping broad jumping.

I did my homework either at the kitchen table or on the living room floor.
My parents expected that I would go to collage.

Other than athletic events my first experience away from school was our senior trip. We went to Washington DC and New York We visited the DC mall in Washington. New York was quite and experience with panhandlers and stuff, probably stolen items, being sold on the street The Stature of Liberty stands out as a major attraction.

To my knowledge Norlina has never had an alumni reunion but my graduating class has a reunion, I have never missed one and I always enjoy it and seeing and renewing old friends.

I walked to school grades 1-12; I was after my junior year in collage when I got my first car.

If I had to pick a favorite subject it would be mathematics I was not really good at math but I enjoyed it more than others. There were none that I did not like.

There were three male teachers in my high school, the coach, the agriculture teacher and the principal. They were all special for different reasons.

Bob Price was the coach, for football, basketball and baseball and the PE teacher. I have been told that he was a Ranger in World War II. I understand that he played football for Wake Forest University after service and that he was the punter for that team. I know he could certainly punt a football. 
I recall one day in football practice after we had lost a game but were having a good practice he called the team together and told us that we were a week day ball club and come game time we were not worth a pint of cold piss.
He would give me a key to the gym or I could go by his room and get one so we all could have access to the gym to play basket ball.
Mr. Price was a batchelor. He lived in a room in a rooming house in Norlina. He spent a lot of his time searching for Indian relics. A hardware store ( at the old hotel) in Norlina had his stuff on display. It was the best I have ever seen. In about 1963 I had a boat and was fishing in the Roanoke River behind Kerr Dam. In going back home after fishing I pulled my boat over to the river bank between what is now US-1 and I 85 and started walking down the bank. I have no idea why I did this but all of a sudden I was in a lot of arrow heads on the river banks. I believe I picked up two or three quarts of arrow heads. I gave them all to Coach Price Later I started keeping Indian relics myself. A few years later I saw him and he offered me $15.00 for a couple of my arrow heads. I told him no if they were worth $15.00 to him they would probably be worth $150.00 to some one else.

Clint Hege, the agriculture teacher was a member of my church and always showed interest and helped with activities. 
I believe he went to NC State University. I do not know if he played ball in college but he was a real good baseball player. He played basketball with us some at the gym He was also on a semi-pro baseball team in Norlina.

W.O Reed was the principal of the school and he also taught several classes. I believe he was the physics teacher and probably taught some math classes.

In high school, grades 9-12, I took sixteen courses, the minimum to graduate. I believe the courses I took were 4 years of English, 4 years of  agriculture, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Plain Geometry, Solid Geometry, Physics, 4 years of Physical Education. Football and basketball practice were after lunch at school, 5th and 6th period. Since I did not play baseball I had study hall the 5th and 6th period in the spring.

Lot’s of times Mr. Reed would come and get me out of study hall and send me uptown to the pool room, or other stores to remind people that may be skipping school to come back to school.

My high school annual shows the faculty as: Mr. W.O. Reed, Principle, Mrs. L.W. Locke, Mr. Clint Hege, Mrs. Virgil Hicks, Mr. Bob Price, Mrs. Esther Delbridge, Miss. Lucy Perkinson. Mr. Reed was the Principle and taught several course, Mr. Clint Hege was the Agriculture Teacher, Mrs. Virgil Hicks was the English teacher, Mr. Bob Price the Coach and PE teacher, Mrs. Esther Delbridge would have taught either Home Economics or Typing. I do not recall what Mrs. Locke or Miss. Perkinson may have taught.
Mr. Reed, Mr. Hege, Mrs. Hicks, Mr. Price and Mrs. Delbridge have been a part of the Norlina school system for many years.

Chapter 5

Norlina High School
Elementary Years (Grades 1-8)

Norlina, N.C. is a small rural railroad town.

The town was built where the main north-south line of the seaboard airline railroad that runs from Florida, to Atlanta, to Raleigh, to Richmond and Washington, DC and points northward. The line brakes at Norlina and has a branch line that goes eastward to Norfolk, VA.

The town limits of Norlina are 1 square mile. From the center of town to the town limits is ½ mile.

Norlina High School is a public school. The school is in a residential area but very close to the downtown business.

The school is a 2-story brick building with a basement. The school has 13 classrooms, an auditorium, a cafeteria, and a furnace room. There is an agriculture building that also housed a woodworking shop. In the mid 1950’s a gym was built on the school property.

If you lived within a mile of the school, school bus service was not available.

I went to Norlina High School in grades 1-12 and walked to school in grades 1-12. Everyone in Norlina walked to school. If the weather were bad Mama would take me. I would leave home alone walking to school but would soon meet up with friends and we would walk together.

In first and second grades we sat at tables that were about 5ft long and about 30 inches wide. In grades 4, 5, and 6 we had desk. The desk was hooked together and there would be 4 desks that joined each other on runners. From 7grade through high school we all had individual desk.

There was a small public school at Wise and one at Drewry these schools closed in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s and the students were sent to Norlina. Class’s sizes would vary some. There were 18 in my 1st grade class, 34 in my 5th grade class and 22 in my 12th grade class.

Some times a class would be split so that there could be some 4th and 5th grade students together.
I believe Mrs. Palmer had the third grade and part of the forth grade and Mrs. Register had part of the forth grade and the fifth grade.
My teachers were
                Susie Rooker ------ 1st grade
                Emma Dunn --------2nd grade
                Rosa Palmer --------3rd grade
                Mrs. Palmer and Mrs. Register each had ½ of forth grade.
                Nellie Register ------5th grade
                Lucy Dryden --------6th grade
                Mrs. W.O. Reed -----7th grade
                Harry Sams ----------8th grade

There was no playground at Norlina, or maybe every thing outside the building was the playground. We did have a swing and a sliding board but often we would play dodge ball, keep it away, hide go seek, baseball or marbles.

Most of the time in grades 1-6 I carried my lunch to school and ate in the cafeteria. I usually carried my lunch in a brown paper bag. About 5th grade I got a metal lunch box. When I carried lunch it would often be something left over like a ham biscuit, a sausage biscuit, a fat back biscuit, a piece of fried chicken, peanut butter and jelly sandwich and sometimes a piece of cake. I would buy milk at school. A half pint of milk cost 3cents but it later went up to 5cents. From grades 7-12 I mostly bought my lunch at school. The lunches cost a $1.00 a week and that include milk but and extra milk was another 5 cents.
Lunches later went up to a $1.25 week.

I remember a time that Daddy would have me pick some turnip salad and some turnips to take to the school cafeteria. I do not know if he were paid for this, if it were a donation, if I ate at reduced rates or if were a gift to a cafeteria employee.

The only field trip I remember for grades 1-8 was in 7th grade when we went on a trip to the State Capital in Raleigh, NC.

In 7th grade we had a little league football team. I am not sure if this was a school activity or a boy scout activity. I thing that Mr. Dick Hester, our scout master, was the football coach. We probably only played a few games. I think we played a team in Henderson twice and they won. I remember one time we were playing and I had to punt. I missed the football when punting.

I do not remember any historic events when I was in elementary school. World War II had ended and the Korean Conflict and Civil Rights movement had not started.

There was a very good music program and play performances when I was in elementary school that was led by a school volunteer, my mother. Mama was a very good piano player. I have been told that she was being prepared to go to a conservatory in Saint Louis to study music but she did not and later married Daddy. Mama devoted many hours playing for students in mine and John’s class to sing and for school plays. I cannot remember a play or student course that Mama did not help with.

I think that in grades 1-7 a parent would volunteer to be a “Grade Mother”. The grade mother would bring refreshments to functions and help out with some school projects. I believe Mama was always a grade mother.

Chapter 4


Dee Draffin was one of my best friend’s. Dee lived next door to us and we were about the same age, I was 3 months older than Dee. It was about 50 feet from my house to Dee’s house. Dee had 2 sisters and a brother, Faye was the oldest and she was about 2 years older than Dee, Linda, younger sister was about 2 years younger than Dee and Charles the younger brother was about 4 years younger than Dee. Other children in our neighborhood were about our age were Carl White, Bill Duke, Earl King, Johnny Floyd, Charles Suber and Stevie Norvell.

My nickname was “Perk”. My brother John also had a nickname of “Perk”. As we got older I was called “Little Perk” and John was called “Big Perk”. I have recently learned that John had another nick name in high school. Some of his friend's called him "Big Ugly".

Stevie Norvelle and Carl White had the first TV'S of my friend's in Norlina. It was a real pleasure to get invited to their house to watch TV.

There was no playground in Norlina and so the games were played in someone’s yard or in the streets.

Mr. Reuben Clark lived on the next street north of our street. The back of Mr. Clarks lot joined the back of Dee’s lot. Mr. Clark’s lot also joined the northwest corner of our lot. Mr. Clark had a shed on his lot that was near our lot and Dee’s lot. At one time Mr. Clark kept a mule that he used to plow gardens. Dee and I use to play on top of Mr. Clarks shed. Daddy had told me not to play on Mr. Clarks shed. One day when Daddy was home I was playing on the shed. Daddy came out and it seemed to me that he pulled up a peach tree rather than breaking of a limb and gave me a whipping. I don’t think I ever played on the shed again.

Norlina is a small rural railroad town with a population of about 900 to 1000 people.

A lot of times children a few years older or a few years younger than me would play together. Some of the games we played other than football, basketball, and baseball, were Cowboys and Indians, Kick the Can, Hide Go Seek, Hop Scotch, Marbles, Jump Rope, Annie Over (Annie Over Annie Over send red rover over), and Break The Line.

Norlina did not have paved streets or town water until the mid or late 1940’s. 

A lot of times we would draw circles and shoot marbles in the streets. We played a lot of marble games either in the street or in the yards. One of the games was holie; in that game we would dig a hole about the size of one or two cups in the ground and put some marbles in the hole. Then draw a line about 20 or 30 feet from the hole role a marble at the hole. The marble cloest to the hole would get to shoot first. The one that got his shooter in the hole first got to keep all the marbles. We had rules about using steel marbles and clod-knockers. I believe we had some rules about shooting with a red marble. Some cars had an ornament over the head lights on the car. The ornament was a metal plate on top of the headlight and extended forward about 5 inches. These ornaments had a red marble in the top front that was easily removed. Not every one had a red marble and a solid red marble was a prised  possision. Some of our best shooters had red marbles.

Another marble game that we played was dropsy. Most everyone had a cigar box that they kept their marbles in. In dropsy we would cut a hole in the top of the box, about 1/2 or 3/4 inch hole and stand up and holding a marble at your waist try to drop it in the hole. I do not remember the reward for doing this but I am sure there was one. At the end of marble games it was thought how many marbles did you win or loose today. Bubba Overby was several years older than me and he was the best marble shooter around.

When Norlina was installing the Town water system we would get in ditches that were dug for the water lines and play cowboys and Indians. Often we would shoot each other with air rifles (BB Guns). 

Bob Traylor lived a street over from us in the 1940's but from my front yard I could look at Bob's back yard. Mr. Traylor was having a cesspool installed on the back side of his lot . Their may have been a big rain but several of us were floating boats in the cesspool. I fell in and thought I was going to drown but my friends saved me. 

Sometimes when playing Cowboys and Indians we would point a finger and hold up the thumb and say bang, bang when shooting, and say I gotcha, sometimes we would use cap pistols without the caps, sometimes we would use cap pistols with the caps if we had caps, sometimes we would air rifles either with or without BB’s.

My side yard was about 40 feet wide and about 60 feet long. Sometimes my friends and I would play football in the yard. When we did this we would take the name of a collage football player. I wanted to be Charlie (Choo-Choo) Justice. Choo-Choo jersey number was 22. Some others would take the name of Art Weynier or others. If we were playing in my yard I would be Choo-Choo. Charlie (Choo-Choo) Justice was an all American football player at Carolina and he later played for the Redskins.

There was a store 1 and ½ blocks from us. The store was where our street ran into US401. The store was called Bishops store because Mr. and Mrs. Bishop owned and operated the store. We would go there to get a soft drink, ice cream or some nabs. Mama had some Indian head pennies and V nickels that I spent there. I wish I still had some of the coins that I spent there.

We had and outside dog named Shep. Shep may have been following me when I wanted to go somewhere so I tied him to the bumper of the car. He probably got under the car and went to sleep. Someone drove the car while Shep was tied and killed him.

I had chicken pox, mumps and measles as a child. I also had bronchitis every winter. Sometimes Daddy or Mama would take me to Dr. Holt office in Wise and sometimes Dr. Holt would make a house call on his way to his office.

I don't know if Mama just liked spring cleaning but she had to do a spring cleaning every year. I think that she not only thought the house needed a spring cleaning but I did to. I never did like Castor Oil but I got it any way. I'm not sure if it was used any time one got sick or just in the spring. It seems we also used syrup of Black Draught.

We used to buy and shoot firecrackers in NC. I remember in the early 1950s I was shooting firecrackers. I forget the name of the firecracker but it was either one of those silver  things about a ½ inch long with the fuse in the side or a cherry bomb. The fuse did not work so I put a match where the fuse was and lit it. The firecracker exploded with my hand near it. I lost my vision for a few seconds and thought I was going blind. The explosion split open my left hand between my thumb and the wrist. It took 13 stitches to sew the wound up. Soon after that selling firecrackers in NC was against the law. I used to blame myself for causing that change. We then had to go to Virginia to buy firecrackers.

Norlina did have electric streetlights at the intersection of streets.

When I went somewhere in Norlina I walked. Norlina is a town that is 1 mile square. Our house was 4 blocks from downtown. I walked where I needed to go and when I got a bicycle, about age 12 I would ride my bike.

In the late 1940s it snowed about knee deep with drifts about waist deep and about 1954-hurricane hazel did a lot of damage.

Norlina is a rural community. There have never been over a 1000 people in the town. Norlina would not exist except that seaboard railroad had an intersection there. Seaboard railroad had a line that went from Norlina east to Norfolk, VA and the main line from Miami Fl to New York, NY.

A lot of people in town had a small vegetable garden.

One of my friends, Johnny Floyd, had a horse. Johnny lived about 4 blocks from me at the edge of town. I remember one time when I was suppose to be taking a nap I sneaked out the bedroom window and went to Johnnies and we went horse back riding. I was about 10 or 12 years old at the time. When I came home Mama gave me switching. Mama would send me outside to get the switch if it were not big enough she would send me back to get another one.

Norlina did have a movie theater and a lot of Saturday afternoons were spent there watching Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Lash Larue, The Durango Kid etc and the serial. Mama would give me a quarter to go to the movies. A movie ticket cost 9 cents so with a quarter I could go to the movie and get a box of popcorn and a drink I think a drink was 5 cents and popcorn 10 cents. Later the price of a movie ticket went up to 12 cents and I wondered if I would give up the drink or the popcorn.
I was walking home from the movie and was about a block and a half from home when a car approached me and a man jumped out of the car a scared me. I don't recall what was said or what happened but I ran home. I think I was about 10 or 12 years old when this happened. Later I learned that it was Mr.Roy Overby, Bubba's daddy, that scared me.

There was no library in Norlina. The county library was in Warrenton. Probably in the 1980s when seaboard started abounding some railroad tracts they gave Norlina a passenger train car that is now a library.

Not many families moved into Norlina. In the late 1940s or early 1950s Butch Schalotta and his mother moved in with his grandmother. Her backyard joined our backyard. I believe Butch’s daddy was in military service or worked in Norfolk. After a year or two Butch moved back to Norfolk. Butch was a friend and played with us a lot. Rusty Herman was another fried about my age that moved to Norlina. Rusty lived about two blocks from me. Rusty played with us a lot. Rusty moved to Norlina in the early 1950s and after a couple of years moved somewhere else. I don’t remember anyone moving in that was hard to make friends with.

We did have a Boy Scout troop in Norlina. The troop met at the Norlina Methodist Church. Mr. Dick Hester was our scoutmaster and Mr. Bill Perry was his assistant. I achieved the rank of Life and was working on Eagle but did not obtain that rank. Our patrol was the Owl Patrol. Our troop would go on day hikes to steep bottoms, devils rock and other places. We would place signs for others to follow where the leaders went. We would also go on weekend camps to Camp Katsentine near Warrenton.

Mr. Jack Williams had two farm ponds about ¼ mile from our house. Often some of my friends and I would go to those ponds to fish or swim. Sometimes we would go to steep bottoms or devils rock the town dump or another pond and play in the woods.

Sometimes Daddy or Mama would take us to Masons Lake or Pine Lake swimming. Masons Lake and Pine Lake were in Virginia but not to far from where US 1 enters Virginia from NC. They were south of South Hill. Virginia. I believe Masons Lake was older and we only went there a few times. Pine Lake was our favorite. Pine Lake had diving boards etc.

Hammy’s mill pond a few miles southeast of Warrenton and sometimes Mama or Daddy would take us there fishing or swimming.

Lot’s of my memories center around my Myrick grandparent’s home.

We would get up early on Sunday and drive that 1937 Chevrolet to their house and go to Calvary Methodist Church. I believe that more than once that car had a flat tire or a blowout on the way there. Mama was a good piano player and I believe she was the pianist at that church until I was about 10 years old. I believe I was a member of that Church. I went to Sunday school there and I think Aunt Clara was my Sunday school teacher. After Church we would go to Mama and Papa for Sunday Dinner. As I was growing up the three meals were Breakfast, Dinner and Supper. So when I say Sunday Dinner or Dinner at any time I will be referring to the mid-day meal.

When going to Mama and Papa’s house I would start looking for their house from a hill before we got there. I still do that when going that way.

Papa’s house had five bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen and two bathrooms that were later added. The house was a wood frame house that was painted white. The house had a covered front porch that is about 15 or 20 feet long. You entered the house into a hall that was about 8 feet wide and about 15 feet long. Papa had the hall wall removed and that made the living room larger. Two bedrooms were to the left of the living room and dining room and one off the back porch. There was a hall to the right of the living room and two bedrooms were to the right of that hall.

When I went to Papa’s after entering the house the next stop was the kitchen.

Mama always had biscuits, and either fried ham, sausage, and fatback to be eaten. There were usually some parched peanuts, sweet potato pudding, banana pudding, sweet potato pie and other good things to eat. After we started going to church in Norlina sometimes Carlton would get to Grandma Leah before me. I remember one Sunday Carlton was not there when I got there and Grandma had made a banana pudding. I ate the entire pudding before Carlton came. I got sick and for years I would not eat a banana pudding.  

Papa farmed with mules and manpower.

I can remember him hitching up the mules to the wagon and riding with him to Littleton to buy supplies. I don’t know what he bought other than salt and sugar and maybe some candy for Grandma Leah. I don’t know why I remember this but I do. My mother had a car and I believe Uncle Clyde was working at a store in Littleton and he had a car.

I also remember Papa hitching up the mules and taking corn and wheat to a mill about ½ mile behind Uncle Clyde’s house to have it ground into corn meal and flour.

Mama use to take us to that millpond to fish and swim. Often we would fish in the creek behind the dam.

Sometimes we would make a baseball by taking a rock and wrapping it with tobacco twin until it was the proper size and then covering it with tape. If we were lucky enough to get a golf ball and cover it tobacco twin that made a real good baseball. When playing baseball at Papa’s we often had to use a wagon pin for a bat. Our good bats were ones the high school kids had broken and we repaired and taped them together.