Robert's Memoirs Page 1 (1933 - 35)
In 1932-33 we moved from Woodlawn Rd. to West
Morehead St. then on to the Plant Manager's house on Donald Ross Rd.. It was built by Mr.
Stone for Walter Puckett, Plant Manager. There was an auto junk yard just below Donald
Ross Road. A couple named Lonnie and Boogy Whitener owned this company. I spent a lot of
hours around the junk yard being fascinated by the cars. I remember a junked Stanley
Steamer that had a wooden chassis. Many of the junked cars I played in and helped
dismantle can be seen in car museums today. I was 15 and could drive any car or truck that
was around at that time.
There was an electric car even before this time
but I never got a chance to drive one. There was one in Franklinton in the 1920's. I think
it was owned by Mrs. Henley that owned a store where Dolly worked while she attended
Lonnie Whitner was one of a few that had a
business that made good money. He kept a new car and owned an American Eagle Pusher single
seat airplane. He kept it at the Cannon Airport located at Ashley and Tuckaseegee Roads.
They held air shows there and in the middle 1930's the first commercial airline used
Cannon. The runways were of gravel and very short.
I remember Charles Cannon Jr. (owner) was killed
during W.W.II while ferrying a transport plane into or out of Charlotte. Among others, I
remember Dr. Boldridge that flew a Stinson Biplane. I also remember a Waco. I believe it
had a radial engine. There were several W.W.I planes in the area.
When living with Dolly and
Puckett in the house on Donald Ross Rd. in the middle 1930's, I was very strong and when
playing with Catherine I would pitch her up into the air and catch her. I did not know the
danger of such play until several years later. One day when I came in from work, I had a
lead pencil in my shirt pocket. When I pitched Cathy (spooking dike) up in the air on her
way down her skin caught the point of the pencil and opened the skin leaving a mark. Cathy
was crying. I am so glad the pencil had a rounded point and not a freshly sharpened point.
I think the nick name "spooking dike" was given to her by her father.
While on one of my many trips to see Dolly when
she was sick, I asked Cathy if she had a scar and she said yes. I have thought many times
how lucky she was this instance and all the other times when she would go with me to pick
up the maid and driving out to Mr. Baxter Puckett's Store in all kinds of weather and did
not know the danger of driving fast.
We would visit at Mr. Baxter Puckett's
house and store most of the Sundays. After one of Mrs. Puckett's meals we would drive over
the country to see the places that were of interest to them. I don't know why but I drove
the car. I guess I drove careful or they would have driven themselves. When on one of
these Sunday visits we were out in the yard and I pitching Cathy up in the air and
catching her. She seemed to like the rough playing. I pitched her up into the air until I
was tired then I would let her straddle my neck and sit on my shoulders. I was playing as
if I was a horse riding her around the yard. I got tired and stopped and was over with the
other guests when my neck and back suddenly got warm and Cathy had wet my Sunday shirt,
Since I only had one shirt it only took a good rinsing and I was ready to go again.This
was an accident with Cathy but when Maynard did it I know he was taking dead aim.
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