I don’t know why—maybe it was money for gas, or time lost to make money, or a general inability to enjoy ourselves—but we did not when I was a child in Ora SC travel very much, if at all. I don’t remember even having gone to Clinton which was maybe in those days 15 minutes away by car. But I do remember us having driven a considerable ways to visit some relatives. I didn’t know where this place was back then, but I now know it was a place called Tigerville north of Greenville by 15 minutes maybe. That would have been a lot of travel back then close to two hours, I bet, what with what the roads and cars were like back then from Ora to Tigerville.
Actually Tigerville is more a name than a place, or let’s say if you did not know the name you would in all likelihood not know you were in the place, since there isn’t anything to suggest that there is a Tigerville exactly. But we went there because that’s where Uncle Neal lived with his wife and two sons, at that time back in the early 50’s. Neal’s wife, Doris, was a school teacher and the sons were Rusty and Jacks (yes, Jacks). They were roughly parallel in age to me and Brother Steve and I remember having enjoyed playing with them, though I have no idea what we did since we had none of what people might call toys. I suppose we ran around and looked at things.
Carol and I went to Tigerville escorted by my cousin, Lucy, to find located, where once there had been nothing, the campus of North Greenville Community College, directly in front of Uncle Neal’s House. I did not know fully understand the intensity of the relation of the Tingles to this college—a Baptist College—until driving onto the campus I read across the top of a building the name of my cousin, Jacks Tingle, and then further around back found the Tingle Residence Hall.
I don’t remember there having been any college there at all when I was a child but there must have been something there or maybe it appeared after my time, but that is where Uncle Neal became an ordained Baptist Minister and later worked through the ups and downs of the college over the years as head of facilities, I think it was. Later on, no doubt because of the location of the college and his father’s involvement with it, Jacks Tingle gave the college a lot of money.
Jacks has a lovely house located in a lovely piney woods right next to the college. The house is situated in such a way as to produce what in California might be called a view. Views are rare lower in the state, but around and north beyond Greenville one is heading into North Carolina and the Smokey Mountains. Jacks at one time was the owner of many, many Burger Kings and that’s where the money came from to help out the college so that now there is a Tingle Residence Hall.
Jacks has suffered several strokes so we did not drop in unannounced at his home, but earlier in the day, we did, down in Greenville, drive by Rusty’s nice brick house. He was out front doing something to his car, so we stopped. I can’t say had I seen Rusty on the streets that I would have recognized him; it has been 50 years more or less since I last saw him and people do change over 50 years. But as we talked I remembered his presence and understood why I had enjoyed playing with him and Jacks. He is a good guy.
A road in the rain outside Charleston.