I started this blog back in 2006 I think because, at the time, we, my brothers and I, knew our father, W.B. was at death’s door. His death and the next year Joan’s, our mothers, and the events surrounding both seemed to have given me or fueled me with some sort of energy that led me, especially in the early phases of this blog, to remember and then recount moments from my childhood and teenage years.
But things have changed. I think about doing a blog entry, and either nothing or too much comes to mind and I don’t write anything.
The original energy is not there, and I think it significant that this year the anniversaries of the deaths of Joan and W.B. slipped by me without acknowledgement on the blog. The anniversary of W.B.’s death slipped by me until a couple of days after it has passed. Then I remembered it.
He died February 7, 2006.
Joan died April 10, 2007.
That my blog energy has changed doesn’t mean though that I have come to terms with the death of either exactly or my ongoing and changing feelings about them. Freud said the most significant event in a man’s if is the death of his father. I don’t know that he is right, but even if he is half or a quarter right that would suggest the death of one’s father is a kind of defining event, not something easily overcome, resolved, or put in mothballs.
Here are Joan and Bill at the Delridge House in front of the Delridge fireplace. I do remember a time when W.B. sported a mustache. I think this picture was probably taken in the late 80’s.
Must have been 15 years ago, I was visiting down at J and B’s and WB said did I want Grandma Tingle’s chair. Sure, I said, sort of noncommittal because he never gave me anything, but it seemed as if in some family way he wanted to pass it along to me. So I took it–though I can’t remember how I got it up to SB–and then a month or so later he called and said he wanted it back, and I said, sure. I guess he missed it, but then later he said he didn’t want it back, and so it has sat in our condo living room for 15 years, I guess.
During the remodel, I took it out in the garage and applied several coats of wax. No way to get the stains and such out, short of a complete refinishing, but the waxed shined it up a bit and the wood was getting dry. It kept sopping up that wax.
I don’t think it qualifies as an antique or anything like that. I don’t know how old it is, though I expect it is probably as old as I am.
I wish a remembered Grandma more fondly. But I think she was pretty much done with having little kids around (and she didn’t like Joan either) by the time I was running through her corn rows. That’s about all I remember, her yelling at me for running through her corn rows though I still don’t know why that was such a big deal or why as a kid I felt some sort of compulsion to run through them.
Must have been a really long year because I have a hard time believing just a year ago we California Tingles gathered to clean up the storage area that contained Joan and Bill’s last earthly possessions. According to my blog we did that about July 24, 2008, and just around that time, a few days later, Brother Steve was driving across the USA to his new house in Clinton, SC.
So he’s been there a year now and it’s hard to know when the four of us Brothers will be together again for a group pic.
Here we are last July, in the storage area, in Escondido, CA.
On this date, June 20, Carol and I have been for the last three years (2006, 2007, 2008) back in South Carolina. Each occasion marked a kind of transition–the burial of a father, then a mother, and then a family reunion. They weren’t of course all the same kind of transition. Had we been back there this year at our regular time, we might have experienced the big windstorm that hit Laurens County and knocked down trees right and left near Addie and Ed, and Janet and Bobbo, and also near Emily. They got hit pretty hard and I think the juice was out for three days.
The bi costal Tingle clan has been hit by fire in the west, winds in the east. What’s next?
This year, while we are in CA and not SC, Carol and I are going through a different kind of transition.
We are remodeling our condo. We have lived in it since 1993 and none nothing by way of upgrade, except what was forced upon us by a slab leak that destroyed the living room rug and provided the pretext, as well as some insurance money, towards getting a new carpet and some new paint.
This time we are going whole hog. The whole place will get a new coat of paint and the kitchen is being redone.
We have had to move out completely. Everything is stacked in the garage or piled on the back deck under plastic tarp.
I doubt we would have decided to do all we have decided to do had neighbors not said we could camp out on their condo while they take a two week vacation.
So that’s where we are now. Camped out in another condo. I can’t find anything and the cat is going nuts.
I miss South Carolina and all the folks back there.
Inevitably, going through all that stuff, the Brothers hashed and rehashed memories, told and retold old stories.
Casa De Oro elementary school was right across the street from 10194 Romana Drive.I only went there a couple of years before moving on to Spring Valley Junior High, about a mile walk away.For some reason—and I didn’t know this—Brother Dave, who went to Casa De Oro elementary school for all the six years or maybe seven if he had kindergarten, had to come home for lunch.I don’t know why that was.I didn’t have to come home for lunch.Thank God.But for some reason, Brother David had to come home every lunch for those six or seven years, and every lunch for those six or seven years, he was served a bowl of tomato soup.Six or seven years of lunches of tomato soup.For God’s sake!I imagine he had some saltines too or–what did we call them– soda crackers.But he didn’t say if he had those or not.
Brother Dan had the same thing every day for lunch too, though I forget what that was.Also I do believe when we brown bagged it to Junior High we had pretty much the same sandwiches everyday.A baloney sandwich.And one of those little bags of Fritos.That was the best part of the lunch as far as I was concerned.
Brother Dave also said he got in a fight in second grade with another young fellow when that young fellow told Brother Dave that his mother had told him that our mother was a nut, a busy body and a trouble maker.What?I said never having heard that story before.And Brother Dave in his defense—though he need not have made it—said hell, I was only in second grade.What did I know?I consider it to his credit that he defended his mother’s honor even if the young fellow’s mother was correct in her assessment of our mother.
Brother Dan has indicated for some years now that he owes a debt of gratitude to his former allergist down in San Diego.Brother Dan had and still has awful allergies and he had to go to the allergist quite a bit and of course Joan insisted on being right there in the room with Dan and his allergist.But one day the allergist managed to get Brother Dan off by himself and said (though these may not be the exact words), “Son, you do know, I hope, that your mother is crazy.”Brother Dan said his life changed right there on the spot as if a veil had fallen from his eyes.All was clarified.
I wish somebody had said something like that to me.As it was I had to learn the hard way, over time, and with a hell of a lot of reading.As Brother Dave indicates, what do you know?A child knows only what is known to him.And even down there hashing over memories, I was still learning.While I knew our mother was crazy, I hadn’t known that our mother was a known nut throughout the neighborhood.
So, as I said, on Friday Brother Dave opened the storage area door:
We set to work, throwing out garbage, multiple bags of it, making dump runs, taking out nearly all of the furniture and then putting it back so that the lady we have hired to sell the stuff might see what she is selling.
Also we put pictures of the furniture on line for her to look at and you can too at.
About midday Saturday, after Brother Dave had hauled off some large items to the dump, we sat and contemplated our efforts.
That Saturday afternoon, we sat in Brother Dave’s garage going through the four or five big pictures of papers.Joan appears to have saved any card ever sent to her by anyone living or dead.We threw those out.She also saved any letter any body ever wrote her; we also threw those out.Also she kept strange notebooks with lists of expenditures but sometimes without dates to show when the expenditures were made, also lists of words.And a page of instructions on things to be done on the occasion of her death; she wished to have a ceremony performed at Westminster Abbey.
Very very strange going through that stuff.But we got a few laughs too.
Here Dan hands Dave a picture of me.Good for a laugh.
Saturday evening, Sister in Law Teresa prepared an excellent Mexican dinner attended by many Tingle males living in California.
Sunday morning we helped Brother Dave go through the mounds of old tools WB had collected.We took pictures of these and put them on line.We don’t know what some of these things are.We thought of holding a name that tool contest.
The URL for Dave Tingle’s Tools came out DaveTingleSTools.Be assured.Tools, not Stools are pictured.
The Tingle Brothers gathered at the storage area containing Joan and WB’s last material possessions. I had never seen the area before.
Brother Dave said, Be Prepared! when he opened the door.
Oh my God!
We were worried about what to do with the two heavily motorized wheel chairs Joan and WB had in their last days. The batteries were long dead. And we didn’t know who would take them even as trash. We thought about illegal action. But about two a fellow drove by in his Suburban Truck and asked what we were going to do with them. We said, Sir! You can have them (please) if you want them, He said his church could use them. So we set to moving the things.
Tingles are not new to Clinton, SC, where Brother Steve will be moving. Amy Tingle King, daughter of Uncle Douglas, said in an email that she and her husband, Dennis, used to live there in a house located at 101 Jackson, mere blocks from 220 Bailey.
Much to my embarrassment I failed to remember that I had met Amy at the funeral for Joan. Now I recollect that she, her sister, Emily, and her brother, Ricky, were all there last year. Amy reports that her mother is recovering well from her recent surgery.
Also I just learned Emily works at Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton. She is a family teacher (houseparent) for 7 teenage girls and Amy works as secretary/receptionist for First Baptist Church in Clinton.
In celebration of finding his new house, Brother Steve treated Carol and me to dinner at a restaurant called 120 Musgrove, conveniently located at 120 Musgrove.
That’s Steve’s rental, the green one, right there in front. And next to it the car Carol and I rented; we rented with it a GPS. Having never used one of those before I found it a hoot, though quite inaccurate on more than one occasion.
Inside the restaurant known as 120 Musgrove, formerly a five and dime. Our food assistant person, formerly known as a waitress, told us that some patrons had objected to the red walls, as perhaps a tad to suggestive of hell. The food was excellent. For further details click here for menu. I give 120 a big two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone in the area.
Clinton: the main intersection.
Intersection with train. Golden Arches visible to left.
On this last Sunday, Carol and I had a pleasant time sitting with Addie and Ed and Lizzie and Larry and Janet and Olivia trying to figure out who had attended the Tingle Family Reunion on Saturday, June 21.We believe close to sixty persons in some way related to Tingles, either by blood or law, attended and if that is the case, as based on Aunt Addie’s records, this may have been the best attended Tingle Family Reunion of all time, or at least the best attended in the last three years, since it has been the only one during that time.
Carol took this picture of me on the right sitting next to Jane Wallace and her husband. I took the school bus with Jane down to the Ford School. She still lives in her old family place on Cow Lane right off 221 North. I am holding a copy of the little pamphlet Jane had of a reunion of my classmates at Ford. I was surprised I was able to identify myself in my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade class pictures, though that was made easier somewhat by my wearing the same t-shirt in two of the class pictures.
I did not take good pictures. I do not know the name of the person in the foreground right. Standing, with that silver grey hair, is Rusty, and seated in the red shirt is Sam Tingle and next to him standing–well, that could be his daughter Samantha.
That’s Cousin Janet on the very far right seated. With Uncle Ed right behind. Way off at the very end of the table where Janet is seated is her husband Bobo Walston. We had a good talk with him as we closed up the place after the day’s festivities.
That’s Butch Dean, husband of Lucy Tingle Dean , in the red shirt. Next to him is Larry Williamson, Lizzie’s husband. She is seated with her back to us. They live up in North Carolina and had a pretty long drive down to Ora.
Here are people getting deserts. There were a lot of those. That’s Aunt Doris bending over a pie and that’s the back of Aunt Addie. I took terrible pictures.
That’s Cousin Lizzie, Elizabeth, standing. And Cousin Rusty with the red cup in his hand. He has a pony tail, not visible here. And has worked the night shift in a Greenville Post Office for years and years. That’s the back of Uncle Carl to the right. He has had to leave his home on 221 North, and now lives in an old person’s home. The home was formerly the Lauren’s Hospital, where Brother Steve was born.
Here Carol chats with Cathy Corbett and across the table Beth Corbett with whom we had dinner later in the week. Cathy drove clear up from Aikin.
Another bad picture. Right behind the pole in the middle of it is Bill Brockman, father of Wayne, Susan, and Teresa, all of whom were present.
Everyone is eating. That’s Bobo standing in the middle, and up front you can see Rusty’s pony tail.
That’s Sam in the red shirt, and behind him people check out the books of pictures of Tingles past and present.
People in the back hitting the deserts.
In the back, next to the window: Aunt Addie.
I stand right behind that pole with Rusty on my right and Aunt Doris on the left.
Here’s a great picture below; Samantha Tingle Dobbins sent it. Thanks Samantha!
Four Generations in this picture. Aunt Doris on the far right, mother of Lucy Dean, on the far left and Sam Tingle, in the middle back. Samantha, daughter of Sam, with her child, Bree. Brother Dave notes in a blog comment, as did a number of people at the reunion, how much Sam Tingle and my brother, Dan, look alike.
Three is a charm, they say.The reunion marks the third time in three years that Carol and I have traveled back to Ora, SC.The first was to bury W.B. in June of 2006, the second to bury Joan in June of 2007.The reunion puts a period to our travels back there and rounds them out in a positive way.I was able to develop further relations with family that had begun over the previous two years and start, however tentatively, to develop relations with people I had not met before or had not seen for fifty years.
If others in attendance that day have pictures in digital format send them along and I would be happy to post them in this entry.Also if I have made mistakes in identifying people, please correct me.I can make changes.