Mixsonian Larry Barbara Waive Ruby

The Junior Family Stories
 Gary Rex Junior

  Gary Rex Junior

Born: October 3, 1940 In Grand Rapids, Michigan
The 5th Child and 1st son to Waive and Fred Junior

I write these rambing-on’s in March 2002. It is done upon my wife’s and daughter, Kelly’s persistence to have in writhing my remembrances of my life.  Maybe my children, grandchildren, and others will know me a little better after reading this.  Hopefully, I am and will be remembered as a good leaf on the tree…

Now that I am what I used to thing as on “old man”, I no longer think “old” is “old”.  I remember Mother saying she knew in years she was old, but in her mind “the years had come and gone so quickly it seemed she should still be a young woman”.  I now know what she meant.  I now believe that the best way for young people to look at growing old is in something I read: “As we are, they were; as they are, we will soon be”.  Remember this and live a full life and try your best.  If you are lucky enough to find a true love, never take it for granted.  Love family—they are the ones you can trust and depend on the most.  Be grateful for what you receive, since none of use deserve the riches we have.

Never think I have done anything.  Remember, “But for the Grace of God there go I”.  Most importantly, search for God in your life.  Everything else is secondary.

Methodist, Faith Presbyterian, and now Westside Baptist.  Westside is the most meaningful church Dianne and I have attended.  It has brought about a rededication to Christ in our lives.  It has filled a void of Christion friends and work, which was missing in our lives.

Pastors in my live have made up some of my closest mentors and friends.  Starting with my father, Fred Junior, under whom I accepted Christ as a small child though his preaching.  He taught me generosity, which showed to me and others all of his life.  Starting with Pryor Street Mission he helped kids and adults financially.  He helped all the family from Grandma and Grandpa Schwander, Bart, Bob, Etc. to people he just me but would support and give a place to live.  His children were benefactors with his starting a business for Carol, Dixie and myself.  He and Mother always welcomed any of us children who found it necessary to move home for a short or extended time.

Dad introduced me to Reverend Bill Shea in 1963.  We started attending Highlands Presbyterian in 1969 where Bill was pastor. Bill and I remain dear fiends and possibly each other’s closet friend, though he is nearly 20 years my senior.

Dean Martin, pastor of Trinity Methodist Church, was a special friend for a few years.  We had a strange closeness I have never understood.  He was a very shy and intelligent man.  He came to me the day he found he and inoperable brain tumor and we cried together.  One of the most intense and uplifting happenings in my life was to be with Dean though the months leading to his death.  One of the most memorable sermons I ever heard was, “Hair is Not That Important”.  He preached this after he lost his hair from treatment for his tumor.  I sat though the night with after he could no longer speak or move and we communicated by his blinking his eyes to my questions and conversations.  I have always prayed that I might have such strength and dignity in my death.   He died as he lived, with a complete faith in Jesus Christ.

Gary Crawford, our pastor at Westside, is a real challenge.  He argues like a Junior, with added documentation of his points from the Bible.  (At times I think he makes them up.)  Being a Junior, I find this a real handicap.  He is a man who seems to grow though his difficulties.  I believe he may be the best pulpit minister I have ever heard.  Kelly, Eric and Krystle have all made a profession of their faith under his ministry.  I have grown as a Christian and Dianne seems happier than in a long time.  Gary Crawford will always have a special place in my heart as a minister and as a friend.

United States Navy 1959-1963

Hobbies include hunting and working.  Mostly, I love to take something worthless and make it into something nice and lasting.

My best friends in live as an adult have been: Dianne, Bill Shea, Jimmy Heart, Cork and Sue.

Saturday night as a child meant…sitting around listing to radio programs.  Going to bed early so we would be rested and ready to be in church all day on Sunday.  As a teen, it meant going to the Suburban Drive Inn Theater with Gina and then going to the Humpy Dumpty Drive in on 13th Street.

My favorite smell is the burning leaves in the fall.  It brings back memories of being in Michigan and Atlanta as a child when we would rake leaves as a family and burn them.  As an adult on occasions in a wonderful flow, the years all seem to disappear when I have been in the North in the fall and happen to catch that special aroma.  I am a child again with Mother and Dad and sisters on East Lake Drive on a cool fall day.  One time in Massachusetts, driving by a river with houses across the street, I caught that wonderful fragrance.  I stopped and watched a family raking leaves in their yard and burning them.  As the smoke drifted by, it actually brought a surge of emotions I have seldom felt.  I wept.

My favorite home growing up was on East Lake Drive in Atlanta.  I was 5 or 6 years old. While living there I remember:

1.    Playing doctor with a little girl down the street and Carole finding out and telling on me.  I lied and so did the little girl.  Carole got a spanking.  I felt so bad that I never did anything wrong again in my life.  Carole never let me live it down and has sought revenge continuously even as we enter our twilight years.

2.   A beautiful picture of Christ over the fireplace.

3.    Shep (collie Dad got from his cousin in Wisconsin), horses and milk cows—this house was something else with terrace rose gardens, brick walls, etc. 4.          Mother holding me and reading me poetry, I especially remember the poem, “Trees” and pomes by Longfellow.

5.   Mother sitting me on her lap and teaching me to whistle.

6.   Dad making chocolate milkshakes with a mix master Sunder Night after church.

7.    Going down to see the “pretty water” which was a fountain with lights changing the water color in downtown Atlanta.

8.   Old Soldiers Home, where Civil and Spanish American War veterans lived.  I talked with them and even as a child know it was important as the war they fought in was so long ago.

9.   End of Work War II and going with Mother and Beverly Talent to meet Marvin who was returning with the 101st Airborne Division from Germany.  Marvin had fought for three years in some of the worst battles in WWII.  Wounded were carried in and as the troops marched in, women would scream as they saw their love ones.  Then the soldiers broke ranks and everyone was hugging, kissing and crying.

10.  Sitting on Dad’s shoulders to watch the victory parade on Peachtree Street where we saw two jet planes fly over.  None of us had ever seen a jet and it nearly scared us to death.  Women screamed.

My favorite house after I was married was our restored log home on 11th Road in Gainesville.  It was a wonderful place to me.

Other remembrances:

  • Working at Sunland Training Center which was a home for severely retarded children.  I worked there during college because I could work all night and go to school during the day.  At first I thought I would never learn to clean feces from these patients.  Not only was I able to do that but I also became fond of many of them.  It broke my heart to watch them.  I taught Wayne math at night.  On Christmas morning, Dianne and I brought them a car load of presents.  My friend, Wickie was supposed to play Santa.  He got drunk the night before so Cor (my skinny, blond haired brother) played the worst Santa I have ever seen.  The kids loved him but Wayne (a patient) said, “I know that is your friend, but he’s nice”.

  • My favorite keepsake handed down in the family to me is my Dad’s ring.  Although Cork got the much larger diamond, I am happy with my much less valuable keepsake. I became use to receiving less than my sibling sand I think that is why I have always been over weight—my siblings always got the lean meat and I received the fat.

  • My favorite food growing up was Mom’s eye of round roast, gravy, mashed potatoes and creamed peas.

  • Getting rid of warts by rubbing half of a potato on the wart and then planting the two halves apart from each other.  It worked!  The wart came off with weeks.

  • Don’t go to a doctor if you are sick.

  • One thing that I have learned as I grow older is that I don’t know much about anything and neither does anyone else.

  • How the prices of things have changed!  I remember when gas was $.19 a gallon, cigarettes in the Navy were $.10 a pack and Coke was a nickel.  When I was in Europe in the Navy (1960-63) a good weekend was $10-$15 and that was first class (dinners, beverages and hotels).

  • The nicest thing I have ever done for myself was marrying Dianne.

  • My favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31—“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar like Eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

  • Mother and Dad taught me: The two most important things in life are to have Christ and the importance of your family.

  • Sitting on Aunt Marie’s lap and going though her purse when I was three or four years old.

  • Being called the nickname “Peaches”.

  • Seeing Great Grandmother (on Mother’s side) and thinking how wrinkled she was and how little she looked—I was round 3 or 4 years old.

  • Dad’s coffee truck in the garage in Michigan and the smell of the coffee he ground and sold door to door.

  • Pryor Street Mission: Dad’s ordination there.

  • The man with no legs who went to Pryor Street Mission pushing himself around on a little cart with his hands.

  • Going with Dad to a black church in Atlanta where he preached in the mid 1940’s (1946, I think).  I was the only white person in a congregation of about 200.  This was a courageous act by Dad at that time in the south.  The KKK were extremely power in Georgia at that time.

  • Standing in a house (prior to East Lake Drive) and being encouraged to preach (make a fool of myself) to anyone who came into the house, pointing to the fireplace and saying that’s where you go if you are not a Christian.

  • Morris and Jimmy dating Barbara and Sue.

Cork Junior