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 ·