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Winston Container Corporation

Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni web site

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Memory Lane

Robert's Memoirs
Stories as told by my Father (1) (2)

Stories as told by my Mother

My personal memories
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
(7) (8) (9)

My childhood memories
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Lettie's Memoirs

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Strawn Photo Gallery

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Robert's Memoirs Page 6 (1937 to 40)

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    One of the black men I worked with named P.M. Mitchell hunted with us and, after he retired, worked for us when he had the small farm on Byrum Dr..  I asked him what the P. stood for in his first name and he told me his mother called him precious when he was a baby. I asked him what the M. stood for in his middle name and he told me that when he went on his first public job at Wearn Lumber Co. his boss man asked him what his middle name was. He replied that he didn't have a middle name and the boss man told him he had to have one so they put P.M. Mitchell on his record. His nickname was Pie Mitchell.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    When hunting with Pie and several others, a friend of his Cicero Greer, was out in front of the dogs and when the dogs ran a rabbit out towards Cicero. Pie took a shot at the rabbit and hit Cicero with about 10 or 12 shot. I had my car near by and took Cicero to a black doctor on Brevard St. The doctor just painted the holes with Iodine and sent him on his way. I don't know if Cicero ever had the lead shot removed from his thigh.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)     Douglas Municipal Airport was built and named for Ben Douglas, Mayor of Charlotte. It was used for both commercial and private flights. Brockenborough Air Service is the only one I remember.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    The U.S. government started enlarging runways and built Morris field in 1941. Steel Creek Rd. was rebuilt and named Morris Field Rd. The main entrance and gate house were just across Taggert Creek a few yards from Billy Graham Parkway.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    During W.W.II there was only construction on war effort projects or industrial plants serving the defense. During this period there was a demand for defense workers and people experienced in construction. Mr. Strawn, with his construction experience, went to work at Morris Field. Mr. Strawn also worked in a DuPont Chemical plant in Virginia making gun powder during W.W.I.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    I knew a large black man named Gus that worked in the shipping department and had bought an old Packard from a widow. The car had belonged to her deceased husband. There was a store just up Wilkinson Blvd. where Gus and the workers would sometimes go to eat or buy groceries. Sometimes when Gus would start to leave, his car would not start and he would walk back to work and leave the car at the store. When I would ask him why he came back without his car he would reply "Mr. Robert, that man is in it." I would ask him what man and he would tell me the man that used to own it was in the car and didn't want him to use it then. After work he would go back and sometimes it would start. If not, he would leave it and come back the next day and try again. Sometimes Gus would walk to work and when asked about the car he would say the man was in the car and didn't want him using it that day.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    One of the men at work had one of the first two wheeled gasoline plows. It was built in a way that allowed you to lean the handles one way or the other and let the plow do all the work. Gus had never seen one of these plows and after watching different ones trying to manhandle the 5 hp. plow and give up in an exhausted sweat, Gus wanted to show the others how it was done. Gus had plowed using two horse drawn plows before and used other animal drawn equipment with ease.

bowtie_sm.gif (400 bytes)    When Gus had plowed for about 15 minutes he was all wet with sweat and had to admit that he couldn't handle the plow either. One of the men had used one before or was a fast learner and when he had plowed several rows with ease, Gus wanted to try again but he never mastered the art of letting the motor do the work.

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