Blog Archives

CHARLES EDWIN STANLEY, April 23, 1937-May 16, 2004

Posted on by 4 comments

Charles Stanley 2002-1

Born on April 23, 1937, at Grogan’s Mill near Bivins, Texas in Cass County, my brother, Charles Edwin Stanley was the third child of Clyde Henry and Mamie Louise Martin Stanley.  He had two older brothers, Jimmy Clyde and Thomas Neil and the three of them were mischief makers from the get go!  One local man, Mr. Jack Bird, referred to these boys as Big Tuffie, Middle Tuffie and Little Tuffie even though they were not mean perhaps they were little rascals. Charles and Tommy were so close that many people thought them to be twins. While there were three girls also born to Clyde and Mamie (Me, Judy and Kitty) later, Charles is the subject of this post.

As a child he was mostly called “Ed” but as he grew older he would answered to “Charlie” or “Indian” because he had a dark complexion, dark  hair and eyes and we were suppose to have Native American heritage.

Times were hard and WW II was going on.  The house he lived in had no running water nor indoor plumbing, nor electricity.  Bathing on Saturday nights was done by heating water on the stove and dumping it into a washtub.   Drinking water was in a water bucket that sat by the kitchen stove with a dipper nearby.

The boys had few toys to play with.  They shared one toy dump truck or if fortunate enough to find a flat liquor bottle, would use it for a car.  They scraped enough parts from an old bicycle to make one that they shared and rode everywhere.  Charles learned to ride it at five years old; after all he had to keep up with his older brothers.  The bike they shared had a “motor” which was made by attaching a piece of cardboard with a clothes pen to the spokes on the wheel and made a motor sound when pedaled.

They collected scrap metal, rubber and paper for the war effort and would use any other scraps they could find to make rubber guns, log wagons, sling shots, airplanes, baseball bats and also made their balls from string.  They had a big swing made from a burlap bag. The nearby barn was a great place to eradicate rats with their rubber guns. Sometimes they traded things they had found at the dump with other kids and created new toys such as the wagons in the photo below made in 1945.

Tommy, Kookie and Charles Stanley, Bivins, Texas

Tommy, Kookie and Charles Stanley  1945

If you notice, Charles and Tommy both have on “service” caps. One of their neighbors had a relative who was in the war and had sent home a trunk full of captured German Army souvenirs. Included was a German officer’s uniform complete with gas mask. They took great delight in hiding with the gas mask on, jumping out and scaring someone! Their imagination ran rampant and therefore they played Army a lot and killed off many enemy German and Japanese soldiers.
The house they lived in was elevated in the front which made for a cool area in which to play. Underneath they made toad frog houses and when locating a doodlebug hole would promptly produce a twig, stick it in the hole and chant “Doodlebug, doodlebug, come out of your house. Your house is on fire.” Sometimes the doodlebugs would run out but if not, they moved on to another hole and tried again.

Charles started to school in Bivins in 1943 where he was always on the honor roll. Annually the school would have a Hillbilly Band, a Halloween Carnival or a Donkey Basketball Game. It was good times while in Bivins.

When Charles was about eight years old he saw a man with a nice ring made of bone. Shortly thereafter Charles found a round bone with a hole in the middle and decided to make himself a ring. Yes, you see it coming, don’t you? The bone got stuck, swelled up and by the time Clyde discovered it, had to be sawed off Charles’ hand!

At the end of WW II the family moved to Atlanta, Texas where Clyde took a job. They lived in a house directly across the street from the Atlanta Rabbits Football Stadium. Charles and Tommy soon learned they could go beneath the bleachers on Saturdays following a Friday night game and find money! Charles didn’t play football but instead joined the high school band in Atlanta playing the bass horn. He loved music and he loved Atlanta.

The boys had a couple of scooters through most of their high school years. The last one, Clyde “souped up” to where it would run 60 mph on the highway; 50 mph on a nearby dirt road. Thus began Charles’s love for motorcycles! But more of that later…… Charles and Tommy often took the scooter on Saturday nights to the midnight show to see “Cowboy Shoot ‘Em Up” movies. The headlight was so dim you almost had to strike a match to see if the headlight was on.

After a while the family moved outside of town to a farm. They raised chickens, hogs and had a large garden. They also raised Black Diamond watermelons which Charles and Tommy peddled in the river bottoms of North Caddo Parish in a 1940 International truck they had overhauled by themselves.

Clyde changed jobs to run the ice plant in Jefferson. It seems the transfer from Atlanta to Jefferson meant some records Charles had didn’t transfer which would delay his graduation for another year. Charles dropped out of school but earn his GED.

He first worked at the ice house on the dock but by winter was able to get a job at the local Ford dealership washing new and customer’s cars. Before long he worked as a mechanic but when the dealership discovered he was good with parts, moved him to that department where he first worked in parts for race cars and later in truck parts.

The race car parts job lead to another adventure for Charles. After acquiring local sponsors he was soon drag racing in various tracks located in East Texas. One of his first and finest was an English Ford Angelia. However, his daily drive was his 1958 turquoise and white Ford equipped with every racing part or gadget you could imagine! It was hot and fast on the drag strip!

Charles eventually moved to Longview where he worked for Pegues Hurst Motor Company forty plus years as the head of the parts department.
Remember that motor scooter? Many years later Charles bought his first Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. Through the years his vacations on the Gold Wing took him to every state with the exception of Hawaii and possibly Alaska. He loved traveling the old West and learning the history at each of his stops. Once when caught in a rain storm in a small town and no motel in sight, he stopped at the local jail for information only to be informed there was no shelter for miles and miles. They did, however, offer refuge from the storm by allowing him to spend the night in an empty jail cell! On another trip he started at the mouth of the Mississippi River and followed it to the Gulf of Mexico. His travels were an education in itself and while along on the three week trips he made friends, explored cultures and loved the ride! Luckily over the thousands of miles traveled, Charles was involved but once in an accident when a dog ran out in front of him causing him to lay his “scooter” down.

Another passion Charles had was cameras. He collected cameras from yard sales, antique stores or wherever he might find one. And they did not just sit on a shelf; he used them. Once on a trip to my house in South Louisiana we went to the Lake Ponchatrain lakefront where he waited for just the right moment, when the sunset was perfect, to capture the beauty of the moment when the Causeway became a sillouette. One can only imagine how many photos he made on his many adventures.

Charles met and married Imogene Hill of Avinger, twice to be exact. They first married on February 23, 1957, divorced and remarried on May 12, 1972. Although the second marriage did not last either, they remained dear friends and wonderful parents to their two daughters, Terri and Tami. While he had another lady friend in his lifetime, he never remarried.

Charles Stanley Family
Daughters Terri and Tami, wife Imogene Hill Stanley and Charles Stanley

The six of us siblings were different in many ways. By far, Charles was the most adventurous.

Charles passed away on May 16, 2004 in Longview, Texas of connective tissue disease. He was buried at Lakeview Memorial Gardens on May 20, 2004.

Charles-1

Happy Birthday to a wonderful brother who swapped his Gold Wing for Wings of Gold.

Category: Genealogy, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

THROW BACK THURSDAY- THE ROBERTS

Posted on by 0 comment

Marty and Amanda Roberts

Martha Joan Stanley Roberts and Amanda Leigh Roberts Mather

At Martin Family Reunion, October 3, 1982 at Ida, Louisiana

MILITARY MONDAY: RAY HOUSTON MARTIN, U. S. ARMY # 38173067

Posted on by 2 comments

In a span of 27 years my Martin hero, Ray Houston Martin, lived in a time of hardships most of us have never known.   This is his story:

Ray Martin

Ray Houston was born September 27, 1916 in Ida, Louisiana to Walter Houston Martin and Emma Pearl Bain. President Woodrow Wilson was elected to his second term of office in the fall of that year. The following year the United States declared war on Germany and became a participant in WW I. Ray’s father’s draft registration is dated September 1918 however, he never served. WW I lasted until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919 when Ray was three years old.

By 1929 the stock market had crashed and Ray’s father, Walter, who had worked for Gulf Oil, now had diabetes and lost one of his legs. Unable to provide for his family, Walter became despondent and by the 1930 U. S. Census he was listed as a patient at the Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville, Louisiana. His wife, Pearl and their four unmarried children lived with her father. Walter remained at the mental hospital until his death in 1937.

Ray, being the eldest son in the family, worked, wherever he could trying to support his mother and siblings. He worked in the timber industry, the petroleum industry as well as for the CCC.

The United States declared war on Japan with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Times were difficult for all American families and sacrifices had to be made. Gas was rationed, auto makers stopped making autos for private use, scrap metal and rubber were collected for the war effort and jobs were almost impossible to find. However Ray managed to find happiness with his fiancée Mary Craft of Leesville, Louisiana.

Ray Martin and fiance Mary Craft_1

On June 4, 1942 Ray enlisted in the Army. His records show he was single with dependents, namely his mother and siblings. In a letter to his mother on July 19, 1942, he speaks of money for her and saving good tires.

 

Ray Martin letter to Pearl Martin dated July 19,1942 pg. 1

 

Ray Martin Letter to Pearl Martin, dated July 19, 1942 pg. 2_1

Ray Martin letter to Pearl Martin dated July 19, 1942 pg. 3_1

In this letter he says that he’s “fit as a fiddle” but that it is hot there. Apparently he received a check from his mother that he says he returned to her by air mail. He encourages her to get out more and possibly go to Leesville for a visit. Then he tells her that she should start getting $22.00 about the first. He had applied for her as a dependent of his; however the government denied it, so he was having that amount withheld from his check and sent to her monthly. He states that he has had more money since he had been in service because he doesn’t go any place to spend it.

Then he goes into receiving a letter from the finance company regarding car past due car payments. He needs to make payments or they will repossess it. He says will tell them that he is but he isn’t. Then he suggests they take the tires off and put on some old “rags” if she doesn’t use it. He signs off by telling her to tell all hello; to take care of herself and that he will write more next time.

In a later letter he again wants the tires changed out (remember rubber/tires were difficult to come by during the war) and to sell them for $10.00 each and keep the money.

On March 29, 1943 Ray was killed while serving in North Africa.

Ray Martin's Notice of Death

I have tried to obtain his war records from the National Personnel Records only to be told the repository they were stored in had burned and that I should write again requesting a Final Pay Voucher. I did and the final payment voucher stated he was in Tunisia, North Africa.

In Ray’s short life he had lived through some historic events that occurred in our country that had had five Presidents: namely Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt. It was not until May 10, 1948, when Harry Truman was President, that his body was being shipped home by rail to Vivian, Louisiana for burial on July 9, 1948 at Bethsaida Cemetery in Ida, Louisiana. His body was accompanied by S/Sgt. William H. Nance.

Ray H Martin tombstone

Thanks for Ray and so many other young men who have served, who gave their lives or are presently serving in order that you and I may live in a free America.

Category: Genealogy, Military Monday | Tags:

Throw Back Thursday: Stanley Girls

Posted on by 3 comments

Judy Bobbie Ann and Kitty Stanley

 

Judy Stanley, Bobbie Ann Stanley Mumford and Linda “Kitty” Stanley LeBlanc

The two cute little girls are my sisters, Judy and Kitty, and cousin, Bobbie Ann, was made about 1956 when we lived in Jefferson, Texas.  Judy and Kitty’s dresses were red and white polka dots.  The umbrella Bobbie Ann is holding actually belonged to my sisters and was red and white as well.

Category: Throw Back Thursday | Tags: ,

MILITARY MONDAY: CLAUDE NORRIS GINGLES

Posted on by 2 comments

Harvey Samuel Gingles married Ella Mae Daniel in 1910.  Of this marriage there were twelve children. Seven of their sons served in the military along with one daughter; however one son, Claude Norris, is the subject of today’s Military Monday.  Claude Norris, or Buster as he was called, was born October 22, 1911 in Elberton, Georgia.

 

Claude Norris (Buster) Gingles

 

Buster served both in the U. S. Army and the U. S. Air Force. In the Army Infantry in World War II he served in Germany.  In the Air Force he was a fireman.  Between the two branches of the military  he spent twenty-one years in service retiring as a Staff Sergeant.  Other locations he was station at included Camp Stewart, Georgia, Panama, the Philippine Islands, Reese AFB Texas,  Columbus AFB in Mississippi, Roswell AFB in New Mexico Gary AFB in Texas and Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.

On December 8, 1939 Buster married Buena Gladys Martin Hanson, a young widow with three children; James Kenneth Hanson, Myrtle Virginia Hanson and Billy Noel Hanson.  Three Gingles children, Roy Claude, Ella Pearl and Robert Dale were born to Buster and Gladys.  As often happens while in the military, Buster was on away duty when Claude and Ella were born.  Robert Dale died at birth.

Gladys died in the Barksdale Hospital at the age of fifty-one.  Four years later Buster married Phonelle Lynch Hanson, the ex-wife of his step-son, James Kenneth Hanson.

Buster Gingles 1990

Claude Norris Gingles passed away on March 31, 2006 and was buried with full military rites by the Barksdale Air Force Base Honor Guard at Centuries Memorial Cemetery in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

 

 

THROW BACK THURSDAY: WESLEY BIRDWELL STANLEY

Posted on by 1 comment

Wes Stanley (in hat) baling hay

I am not sure of the date of this photo which shows my grandfather, Wesley Birdwell Stanley in the pith helmet, overseeing the bailing of hay. Please note it took seven (7) workers to run the hay bailer.

Military Monday: John Thomas (J. T.) Bain

Posted on by 1 comment

On this Monday I would like to honor J. T. Bain, Air Force # 6398048, my first cousin once removed.  J. T. was the first child of William Edward Bain and Buena Vista Martin.  He was born October 12, 1912. J. T. Bain J. T. first enlisted and reported to active duty on December 12, 1936 at the age of twenty-four. As you can see from the newspaper article listed below, William Edward and Buena had a very patriotic family as not only did J. T. serve, his brothers, Laurice, Marvin, James Houston and sister, Justine, did as well.

Buena Martin and Ed Bain's children in WW II

 

 

Following his first tour of duty J. T. reenlisted again on January 22, 1940, again on October 12, 1945 and lastly on October 12, 1948.  He had received an Honorable Discharge each time prior to his next reenlistment.  J. T. received his training at Barksdale Air Field as well as in Savannah, Georgia.  He served as a mechanic with a P-38 fighter squadron and served in India. While in service he attained the rank of Master Sergeant.

J T Bain Death Cerftificate

 

J. T.’s Death Certificate states that he passed away at the 3700 USAF Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base in Bexar County, Texas of a tumor of the right temporal lobe.

My next step was to research his Headstone Application, which I discovered.  Page one is listed below:

J T Bain U S Headstone Applications for Military Veterans

From this I discover his place of birth, written in red, as Kiblah, Arkansas. The application is signed by his wife on April 15, 1954 and states the tombstone will be shipped via Railway Express and that his brother, L. E. (Laurice) has made arrangements to transport the stone to the cemetery.

For some reason, I decided I would check the next page in the tombstone applications as I have many Bain relatives that served in WW II.  Much to my surprise, the back side of the application listed all of his military history!  It also states that he was in the 3555 Maintenance and Supply Group.

 

J T Bain U S Headstone Application, pg.2

 

 

 

J. T. and his wife, Mary Belle Hinton share a tombstone at Bethsadia Cemetery in Ida, Louisiana.

Mary and J. T. Bain

Category: Military Monday | Tags: , ,

THROW BACK THURSDAY- THOSE HEMPERLEY KIDS

Posted on by 2 comments

Steve and Kelly Hemperley

May I take the liberty of introducing you to my children?  Steven Cue is four in this photo and Kelly Anne Hemperley Brown is two.  Fifty years later they look a lot like they did then except Steve has less hair and Kelly has more!

Category: Uncategorized

Wednesday’s Woman: Beulah Thompson Stanley

Posted on by 3 comments

My paternal grandmother, Beulah Thompson Stanley, was born May 30, 1888 in Oxford, Calhoun County, Alabama to Alex Thompson and his wife Martha Able.  While living with her sister, Essie Thompson Wall, Beulah first met her husband, Wesley Birdwell Stanley.  He was in Huffines working in logging and came riding up on a big white horse named Eli.

Beulah and Wes were married November 13, 1908 from this marriage there were six children, two of which died young.  All of her grandchildren referred to her as Granny however Wes most often called her “Miss Hootie”.

Wesley and Buleah Thompson Stanley
Wesley Birdwell Stanley and Beulah Thompson Stanley

Granny was petite, always wore starched ironed dresses, liked her nails done, and always wore her hair short. She loved pretty jewelry and while she didn’t have, she particularly loved diamonds which she referred to as “di-monts”. She was a member of the Purity Chapter Order of the Eastern Star in Ida, Louisiana and enjoyed the social events of the order.

She was a talented musician and she and Wes could play most any instrument. They taught their children well and the group often played at family gatherings or when others came to visit.

Wes worked mainly as an over-seer for many plantations in Caddo Parish and I suppose you could explain Granny’s life as privileged. She had a maid as well as a man who came in daily to build a fire before she got up, put a pan of biscuits in the oven and milk the cow. I don’t recall her cooking too much, but she really knew how to make fried apple or apricot pies!

Wes pampered Granny all of her life, especially in her later years after she suffered a stroke. He did everything for her including adapting a chair with wheels so that she could move around in the house.

Wesley Stanley and Beulah Thompson Stanley
This photo was made when they lived on Annie Burney Means’ plantation.

When we went to visit the silverware would be in the center of the table covered by a table cloth. If you spent the night you could barely turn over for all the handmade quilts piled high on the bed. She dipped snuff and could spit into the fireplace from half way across the room. And of course she had that special snuff brush made from a black gum twig, carefully chewed until it became soft enough to be dipped into the snuff.

One of the favorite things we grandchildren loved most about being at Granny’s was playing with a big brass bowl someone had brought her from Mexico. It was large enough for one child to sit in it with legs crossed. Your brother, sister or cousin would wind you up and spin it around. I suppose maybe the Stanley grandkids invented the Sit and Spin we know today.

Recently while visiting with cousin Neva Stanley Thomas, she gave me a most prized possession of Granny’s….. a collection of shoes from Petty Pottery in Ida, Louisiana. I am told that at one time Granny owned almost every piece of pottery that Petty made.

shoes 1
Petty Pottery Shoes made in the 1930s

Also, a special thanks to Neva for giving me the doily crocheted by her mother, Oneta Tolleson Stanley, for the Petty Pottery shoes to sit on.

Beulah and Wes were married sixty years before her death in 1968. Both she and Wes are buried at Munnerlyn Cemetery in Ida, Louisiana.

Throw Back Thursday: Those Stanley Kids

Posted on by 3 comments

Charles, Jim, Tommy and Kookie Stanley

Charles, Jimmy Clyde, Tommy and Kookie about 1945 in Bivins, Texas.

No, Jim didn’t always wear funny hats like this; he was dressed for a school play.

Category: Uncategorized | Tags:
%d bloggers like this: