Mixsonian Larry Barbara Waive Ruby

The Junior Family Stories
 Fred “Cork” John Junior, Jr.

  Fred “Cork” John Junior, Jr.

Fred John “Cork” Junior
March 2002

I have heard of the conversations of my brother, Gary, and my sisters, Barbara, Sue and Dixie, concerning their memories and thoughts they are including in this family album.  I think that the idea of putting this together is wonderful, and I thank Kelly Junior for doing all the hard parts – the actual assembly and productions, but mostly getting her aunts, uncle and father to sit down and do it!

I am the last of six children (the “baby”) of Fred and Waive Junior.  I was the only child born in the South (Atlanta, Ga.) to an all Michigan/Wisconsin family.  Living in the South for all of my life I have always felt that this made me somewhat superior to my siblings.  The joke, that was always told about me, was that I was the “accidental” child.  Gary always said: “We had the same milkman in Michigan that we had in Atlanta.”  This lie remained in place until the year before Mother died.  She seldom spoke and this was in the hospital after her health got worse while at the nursing home.  A nurse came into the room and Gary and two of the sisters were there, along with me.  Well the nurse asked if we were related and Gary started on the Cork/accident story.  We never guessed that Mom was paying any attention, but she suddenly said: “That’s a lie, Corky was the only child that was planned.”  I ran to Mom, hugged her, and that ended the accidental child story for my siblings.


At birth I was named Freddie John Junior, Jr.  Being the youngest son, I never really understood this, since the oldest son is usually named after the father.  I found out later that Gary was originally named after Dad, but Mom changed it at the last minute, naming him after Gary Cooper.  Dad was a “Fred.”  I never felt like a Freddie or a Fred.  Mom thought she helped by giving me the nickname “Corky.”  No one could ever remember where the name Corky came from, but from the ages of five to eight, I learned to hate it.  You see there were two others named Corky: one was on a television show called “Circus Boy,” and stared one of the “Monkeys” singing group when he was a child (Mickey something).  The second was a series on the “Mickey Mouse Club” named “corky and White Shadow,” and Corky was a girl!  For those few years of school I was called Freddie.  One of my college girlfriends started the “Cork” to replace Corky, and it just stuck. In the 1970’s I had an attorney do a legal name change and have Freddie change to Fred, so that I would truly have Dad’s legal name. I remember, as a child, being the “preacher’s kid.”  That, and being Freddie John Junior, Rr. (known by some as Corky). Brought me attention I could hate, or take advantage of.  I decided to take advantage of it.  For as long as I can remember, that awkward moment when you first meet a girl, some dignitary, a difficult customer, etc. has never been a problem for me.  By the time I spell them and explain my name, the moment is over.


My first memory was something that Mom always thought I dreamed until Carole “put it together” for me.  It was of me walking with Carole, while she pushed a baby carriage along the sidewalk, and we sang: “When the red, red robin, comes bob, bob, bobbin along.”  Later we realized that it was my nephew, Dan Mixson, in the carriage, and we were at Trinity College, in Bellaire, Florida (by Clearwater).  I was probably four years old. My next memories were of Atlanta, Georgia, when we lived on Gresham Road.  I remember the house and living with Mom, Dad, Dixie, Carole, Gary and for a while, Sue and Dan.  I remember how I got to go on dates with Dixie, Carole and their boyfriends, after church.  Mom’s choice to the sisters was: “Go home and baby-sit or take him with you.”  I got to go to the Yellow Jacket drive-in restaurant, learned to play poker, learned to do the popular dances and a lot more; thanks Mom. I also remember helping with Dad’s mail-order, “Book and Bible House” business that was housed in our basement.  Dad was a preacher, businessman, and much, much more.  Growing up, I guess Dad was gone a lot, but I never felt cheated in any way since we had so much family and friends. I loved having Dixie and Carole at home while they were in high school.  Gary was five grades ahead of me, so I was just a pet to him, but by sisters had loads of girlfriends that came over, and it seemed that they didn’t mind my being around.  I had such a crush on several of them.  That is also how I learned to dance; I was the only male around to dance with (even though the girls danced together then).

After Dad met Tom Webster (though Carole’s friend that was his daughter), and went to work for him, selling for the headman Company, he would take me to downtown Atlanta to the offices (upstairs in a building on Peachtree St. near the Fox Theater).  I would get thirty cents and go to the White Castle or Krystal (can’t remember which) and get a hamburger, fries and Coke, and bring Dad the change (not much left, but he always said I could keep it).

I remember our house had these ugly, terraced walls coming off the front sides as a decoration.  Dad was always trading and buying things (a lot from Mexico), and he got these big, clay pots and sat on these terraces.  Later he added plants, which helped, but the pots were cheap and soon started to fall apart.  Mom hated them, but Dad never stopped surprising her with tacky addictions to our homes and property.  This is not to say that Dad never “hit on a good one,” but they were few and far between. We all realize today that this is a trait that Gary picked-up from Dad.

The house also had a big staircase on the back side.  Sue used to some Winston cigarettes.  While I didn’t really want to smoke, I, like most young boys, was very interested in smoking and how cool I looked while doing it.  Sue would be gone somewhere, and I would sneak into her room, steal a Winston and go under the back stairs and smoke it.  I feel that my sinful ways in the following years was a direct result of this smoking, which, of course, was all Sue’s fault.  This is why it is so ironic that Sue ran to Mom and Dad and told them that I had been drinking, while going to FSU.  What a fink; I would have never drunk if Sue had not introduced me to smoking when I was five!

When I was six years old, I had to have my tonsils taken out.  I remember my doctor’s name was Dr. Roach, and he did the operation for free since Dad was a preacher.  After the operation, when I had been home for a day-or-two, I remember the family all sitting at the dining room table and eating fired chicken and mashed potatoes with grave then, and still do now, but never more than that day when all I had eaten was a milkshakes since my surgery.  I begged for some, but they all said how lucky I was to be able to have milkshakes.  Mom finally broke down and added milk to some mashed potatoes for me, which helped, but I’ll never forget Gary telling me how good the fired chicken was.  (as a result, I feel God has always punished Gary with have to watch his weight, while I remain thing to medium build.)

I remember standing out by the road and having a fascination with throwing small rocks as cars approached, to see if I could get them to go under the car!  (tis seem to make sense at the time.)  Well I was doing this for a while and having no problem, even though I never got one under a car.  Well, a man turned his car around and drove back to our house, go Dad out of the house and began to chew-him-out.  He said I had thrown a rack and it had gone in his car, and out the out the other window.  Sure!  Well, Dad believed this liar and beat my butt good.  It is about the only spanking that I remember getting that I felt I got for the wrong reason.  I realize I deserved the spanking, just not for this miracle shot!

While Jim was in the Navy, Sue and Dan lived with us for a while.  It was great having a “little brother-nephew,” (since Gary didn’t want anything to do with either me or Dan), but I hated it when Dan called both Sue and Mom, “Mommy!”  I wanted to boss Dan the same as Gary bossed me, but Mom and Sue would take up for Dan, not me.  I always love Dan like another, and he will always be special to me, but I think we probably didn’t stop fighting until we were in high school.


This is an easy one for me to remember, even though I have never taken either one of the two favorite remedies since I was a child.  Mom felt that if you were ever grouchy you needed a laxative.  Milk of Magnesia and Ex-Lax would solve any attitude problem in Mom’s mind.  Put here in charge of the problems in the near-east and there would be a log of Jews and Arabs that were “regular,” and there would be no fighting.


Like most parents, Dad and Mom gave me plenty of advise.  One that stands-out to me, and that I quote to my children a lot, is “make them like you.”  That advice would seem to me like it would come from Dad, but actually was Mom.  She told me that as a preacher’s wife, and with Dad’s outgoing personality, she found that most people liked Dad as soon as they met him.  Unlike dad, Mom was a little shy, and not the type to “wow-the-room” when she entered (unless it was with one of her colorful outfits).  So, she tole me: “Corky, when you meet people that don’t seem to be friendly toward you, make them like you.”  I’ve used that advise in my personal and work life, and it has change many a person’s attitude toward me.  Sometimes it is someone that I want to like me, and sometimes it is jut someone that I want to know has pre-judge me wrong.  Either way, it’s fun to change a grumpy person’s opinion about you.  After all, what have you lost if you don’t’ make them like you?


Mom never much wanted pets because, like most mothers, the pets would love here the most and she already had to care for six children and a husband.  The one pet that I remember most was a parakeet named “Pretty-Boy.”  Pretty Boy was really smart and loved Mom.  She would let him play in the sink, with the water dripping (he loved to play in the water), and she taught him a rather large vocabulary (at that time he knew more words than Dixie, Carole and Gary).  Anyway, one day he got out the door and flew away.  Mom and I cried for days.  We told everyone to look out for him, but after a week we gave up.  Around two weeks later, some men who were building a home near us showed up at our door with Pretty Boy!  It seems they were building a house nearby, and Pretty Boy just flew up by them, landed, and talked.  They caught him, asked some people nearby if they knew of him, and went on to find us.  Pretty Boy lived to make the move to Florida with us and became a pest to our new cocker spaniel, Pepper, by riding on his back.

The other pets that I would never fail to mention are Agnes and Ollie, our basset hounds.  When Connie and I were married, but before Josh was born (about 1976), we got a female basset hound.  Because Mom always said that none of use would name a daughter after her (no wonder – Waive?), we decided to name the new hound Agnes Waive.  Mom never seemed to be satisfied with that, especially after we names Sara after Connie’s grandmother (Sara “Olivia”).  We decided to get a second basset hound and name it after Gary (Oliver “Rex”) who we called Ollie.  Due to Gary having a hang-up over the name Rex (“Only dogs and kings are names Rex!”), we hope this would qualify for the $10,000.00, that Gary promised to the first to name a child after him.  It didn’t. We later name our son, Joshua, after Gary (Joshua “Garrett”), but that didn’t suit him either, so we never got the $10,000.00.

Anyway, Agnes and Ollie, like so many pets with people that don’t have children, became our children.  We even had our picture taken with them at Olin Mills (they laughed and said we were the first, at that time, to do this).  After Josh and Sara were born, we worried that the dogs would be mean, or be depressed over the “new arrivals.”  They did neither one, and Agnes took on a motherly role with both of them.  Ollie was constantly pestered by Joshua, who would not leave his ears (very big) alone.  Both got spankings for their actions with the other—Josh for sticking his fingers in Ollie’s eyes and pulling his ears, and Ollie for snapping at Joshua.

The family pets that stand out to most are probably It’l (rhymes with little) Bit and Mimi, the miniature poodles that Mom and Dad loved.  They were real cute dogs, and very smart.  The problem with them—the one that made you hate them—was Mom and Dad (mostly Dad).  They baby-talked to them, prepared special meals for them, told stories about them, took pictures of them and pampered them to the extent that no one wanted to be around them.  I still get sick when I think of Dad walking It’l Bit and repeatedly saying: “Pee-pee It’l Bit, pee-pee.”  One night, while living at home, Dad and Mom went out somewhere and asked if I would “watch” the dogs (although they never referred to them as dogs).  I said yes, and by the time they were starting the car, I had to decided to teach that little runt, It’l Bit, to mind me.  I got a sing sheet of paper towel, rolled it into a circle, and used it as a spanking weapon.  Within five minutes I had taught him to get into, and stay, in his bed when told to.  Mimi had stayed in the bed the first time I told her, out of fear of my voice!  When Dad and Mom arrived home, I announced that I had taught the dogs a trick.  It’l Bit was sitting in his bed, and looking like I had beaten him with a baseball bat.  His head bent down, Dad knew that I had done something awful to his favorite “son”.  As It’l Bit slowly inched his way out of bed and toward Dad, I dug my grave deeper by holding up the paper towel and saying: “Bit, get in that bed!”  He turned to go, looked at Dad, and Dad came to his rescue.  Dad tole me that Bit never had learned to get in his bed, or any trick, and that if I wanted to continue to live at his house I had better “never raise a hand to him again.”  It’l Bit understood what was going on because he suddenly looked normal and happy, and he never listed to me direct him again.


I have very fond memories of my childhood homes, but until I was in the 5th grade, it seems we were always moving.  Our home on the creek in Gainesville (N.W. 36 Road) was a great time, but still not my favorite.  The best time, and home, that I remember was “the Ranch” on Newberry Road.  It was eleven acres with home, pool, stable, “steak cook-out house,” and duplex apartment house where Dixie, Kristi, Carole, Danah, Vandy and Carrie lived.  Ad them to Mom, Dad, Gary, me and a host of visiting family, friends and renters (in the pool house that was an apartment and office), horses, jackass, dogs, cats, etc. and it was a wonderful time.  It was family at it’s best!

I remember that Gary worked late at a job and went to school in the day.  Around 11:00 PM he would come home, usually pretty tired after chasing Mary (hog with large breasts), Martha (hog with large breasts), and later Dianne (beautiful sister-in-law and prone to cry at the drop-of-a-hat), then working and going to school.  I would wait for him to come home, and Mom and I would set traps for him.  Mom decided that a bucket-of-water-over-the-door trick was a good one.  It seldom worked and made a huge wet mess, but Mom always got a good laugh out of it.

The other late night fun was Gary and me aggravating either Mom & Dad, or “the girls” (Dixie, Kristi, Carole, Danah, Vandy & Carrie). It usually consisted of Gary “laying the ground work,” i.e.: telling them some lye to set-up what we were about to perform.  Our best example is probably the “scare them with the escaped convict story,” and then I posed as the convict.  I would dress up in dark cloths, Gary’s Navy watch hat (pulled down over my ears), and have a fake weapon.  If it were the girls, I would hide in their closet, or simply come in the front door.  We would wake Mom and Dad to perform (not sure that they ever learned to appreciate that!), and Gary would sometimes “flick” the light switch on-and-off to give a strobe affect as I moved about their room, like a burglar, and looked like an old silent movie.  We usually could get Dad to laugh, but Mom was usually directing Dad to “get those fools out of our room and make them go to bed.”

The festive atmosphere at the ranch really picked up from spring through fall.  In the summer, Gary ordained himself “social chairman” and would direct us around while blowing a whistle.  His other demand was that we did everything without being grump.  The punishment for grumpy was being thrown into the pool.  My favorites being punished by Gary were Mom and Carole; they see to take it so well.

Before we actually moved to the ranch and lived (about 1959-1961), uncle Bart lived with us and worked for Dad.  You never knew when Bart would be there, or if he would suddenly leave for months or years, but while he was there, he was a great uncle.  The ranch had about a mile of wood fences that had to be painted.  It was Bart’s and my job to pain them.  During breaks, Bart would allow me to drive Dad’s Chevy pick-up truck.  One day I drove down to Newberry Road, and on the turn into the entrance to the ranch (between two rows of fence), I caught the anchor post with the side running-board back to the rear wheel, like and accordion.  I knew that I could die then, or when Dad found out!  Bart came to my rescue, and said that maybe it wasn’t as bad as it looked (and it looked really bad).  Bart attached a cable to the corner post and the frame of the truck, then directed me to race the truck in reverse and jerk the frame back into position.  Thank the Lord for hearing the payers of a boy; it worked!  The only dent Bart could not get out was one tin the side of the door.  More than a year later, Dad and the truck were sitting by the pool, and Dad, noticing the dent in the door, asked: “Does anyone know how that dent got in the truck’s door?”  I said: “I was bumping into it and did it by mistake, Dad.”  It was several years before I confessed to Dad what I had done, but Bart never told anyone. To this day, I have always tried to be like Uncle Bart, when it comes to keeping secrets for my nieces and nephews.


I will always love, my wife, Connie, and she will always be my best female friend.  However, my best make friend for nearly forty years is Steve Duncan.  Steve and I first met while attending boarding school at Hampden DuBose Academy (1962-1965).  H.D.A. was a very strict Presbyterian school that Mom and Dad had tried to get all of my sibling to go to.  That should have told me something about H.D.A. but I was a slow learner!  I finally agreed to go, and stay, when Dad promised me a new 1965 Mustang if I stayed and graduated.  I did and so did Dad.  It was a wonderful car I drove to death until I was drafted into the Army in 1970.  Anyway, back to Steve.

Steve Duncan was from Orlando.  We met after I had attended H.D.A. for one year.  Steve was a wild man and did most of the things that Dale Haaksma (my other bet friend in high school) and I were afraid to do.  He moved to Gainesville, then moved his parents here in the 1970’s.  He introduced me to most of my bad habits (well, part of them!), and through the years has been a close, listening friend.  We can see each a lot, or not for weeks, but we always pick up where we left off and accept each other as we ar.  Steve and I have a tradition of celebrating our birthdays together when possible, but especially on the decade b-days.  We try and do something special between our birth dates of June 2, and June 22 (i.e. scuba trip to Bahamas, golf trip to the Fla. Keys, cruise with our wives, etc.)  Steve is also one of the only people that I know (outside of family) that can attend a Junio Family reunion and not have to leave early!


I remember, quite will, watching, in 1952, the speeches by President Eisenhower and his Democratic opponent, Adlai Stevenson.  I found out later that these were the first political conventions ever broadcast on television.  It was on a small set (by today’s standards) that looked like and alien monster, and was in black-and-white, but it made an impression on me.  Like most children, I was for whatever political party my parents were for, and to this date remain a conservative Republican.

My favorite show at a young age was “The Mickey Mouse Club.”  The show that was the funniest for Gary and me was “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Show.”  We would lay on the floor, with Dad watching too, and die laughing as the people would get on live television and perform (everything from playing the spoons, to singing, to making gas noises to a tune, under their arm).  As Gary and I cried from laughing so hard, Dad would get so angry because we “only made fun of those with enough nerve to get up and perform.”  Dad always seem to be for the guy that made an effort.  When I think of it, it seems like both Dad and Mom were always for the underdog.


I was drafted into the Army in September, 1969.  I had just finished attending Florida State University, and like most young men during those times, I new I had to go in the military, move to Canada, be able to get into the National Guard or fail the physical.  I had no political connections to get into the National Guard, and I was quite healthy, so I knew I had to go.  Gary did offer me money to go to Canada, but I figured it was my patriotic duty to go (besides, at that time Gary and Dianne were so poor that they would have to borrow the money).  I worked with Dad, Gary and Sue until I had to leave for boot camp, Feb. 8, 1970, at Ft. Dix NJ.  I followed that up with advanced infantry training and Tiger Land training at Ft. Polk, LA.

Gary always said that I could step in a pile of crap and still come out smelling like a rose.  I guess the Army proved that correct one time.  I ended-up being in training unit at Ft. Benning, GA, that trained Army Rangers.  I got to go to Eglin AFB and a special mountain training area near Dahlonaga, GA, but most of all, I spent a lot of weekends in Tallahassee with my old college friends.

The truth is I’m sure that God was watching out for me.  Several Hampden Dubose Academy friends and Army friends of mine died in Viet Nam.  I was in the infantry and scheduled to go, but other things happened and I never had to have a tour of duty over seas.  When I went into the Army, all I could think of was how ere had never been a premature death in our family.  Now, as the youngest child of Mom and Dad’s, I was going into the Army and probably heading to Viet Nam.  Sounds an answer to a prayer to me.

I was released two months early, like every one else in 1971, and I completed my Army tour in December, 1971.  The pay was bad, but I paid off my one college loan, bought and old car and went looking for a job.


Back in Florida, I worked for Dad and Gary at JR Office Furniture Co. until I was offered a job as assistant manager at the Gainesville Golf & Country Club, by Harold Teal, the manager.  Within a few months, a friend at FSU told me of another job in a country clubs in Newport News, Virginia.  He had worked there and the old job was open again.  I applied and started to work on July 4, 1972.  That day there was a party for 750 people at the club.  That night when things were wrapping-up Bob Miller, my boss, told me to lock-up since he was exhausted.  I didn’t were all the doors were!  I had not even been in half of the rooms within the club house.  The administrative assistant, Edith Brown, stayed, showed me were the doors to be locked were located, and helped in teaching me the other things to do in closing a club.  Edith had worked at the club for years, but little did I know or real relationship was to be family, not work.

I found out that Edith had a daughter, named Connie, that worked for National Airlines and lived in Miami.  My new friend, Glen, who was the club’s bookkeeper’s son, often took her out when she came into town, but they were just friends (I found out later).  Well neither Edith or Glen’s mother cared for the other person’s child, so they both worked to get Connie and me interested in each other.  Soon I was asked to pick pick-up Connie at the airport, then take her to the airport, then I asked Glen if I could ask her out.  He said they were friends, and to go ahead.  I did, and the reminder of the time I was in Virginia, every moment Connie was in town, we tired to be together.  Due to not having family or many fiends in the area, I worked a lot of hours.  Bob Miller loved this since it allowed him to spend more time with his family.  When Connie flew into town I would get off work and cook for her.  I hated restaurant food (I was around it all day). So being off allowed me to cook just what I wanted.  Knowing that “the way to a girl’s heart was though her stomach,” I cooked my way into her heart.  I also spent evenings writing Connie love letters.  She still has them.

Seeing Bob Miller’s life and thinking about a future with Connie, I knew that my career direction was not in country clubs.  This is when Gary called me and said that I needed to go to Gainesville and talk with him before I make up my mind about my future.  I did and he said he wanted to expand the business, build a big building and did I want to go into business with him.  For twenty-nine years Gar and I worked together.   Just last year, Gary sold the business to Bill Latham and John Crawford.  While I am still working full time, Gary is now a consultant and is seldom there when I am.  It seems strange not having Bro-Gary around;  I learned a lot from working with him.  I miss him.  It was a great twenty-nine years.

Back to Connie.  In January, 1973, I asked Connie to marry me and she said yes.  We agreed to have or wedding and live in Gainesville, since her friends were in Miami, her family was in Virginia, and the crowd attending our wedding would be from Gainesville.  Dad and Rev. Bill Shea performed the ceremony at Westside Baptist Church (the original building) on August 25, 1973.  Kelly was our flower girl, Gary was my best man, Steve Duncan was a groomsman, Rhoda (Connie’s sister) was a bridesmaid, and friends filled in the other positions.  We had a wonderful wedding week; Connie was a beautiful bride.  Don’t believe Gary’s stories about his having to convince her to marry me.  I did all the work to win her; I guess she saw me a marital “diamond in the rough.”  We went to San Francisco, CA for our honeymoon.


Connie and I were married for seven years before we decided to have children.  Not that the family didn’t constantly bring it to our attention, but we were enjoying our lives and traveling a lot.  In the late summer of 1980, we decided to take a big trip around the wester United States and conceive our first child.  Toward the end of the trip, we were leaving a restaurant in San Francisco, to catch a plane to Los Angeles, Connie complained she felt sick, and that evening, at our hotel in Los Angeles, we got a home pregnancy test and found Connie was expecting our first child—Joshua.

Joshua was more than three weeks overdue when, on a Friday night, Connie said that she thought baby was “on-his-way.”  That night I got food poisoning so bad that I thought I would die.  In the hospital, the nurses were taking care of me as I knelt over the toilet in Connie’s hospital room.  Feeling near death, I was sent home to rest, assured by the nurses I would be called if Connie went into labor.  She didn’t.  The next day, still feeling “green,” I went to the hospital.  That evening (around 8:00PM) the doctors convinced Connie it as time for a c-section.  I was the first father that was allowed to be in the operating room for this surgery at Alachua General Hospital.  Josh was born that evening and weighed 9 lbs. 3 ozs.  That’s one big baby for a 99 lbs. Mama!

Like most parents with one child, the decision to have another child, or not, came up when Joshua was two years old.  Connie and I agree that we didn’t want too many years between the children, if we were to have a second one (our last).  We decided that we wanted another baby, and in March, 1984 the doctor told Connie we that we had another big baby.  He also said that we needed to choose her birthday; Connie was destined for another c-section.  We agreed that Sara’s birthday would be April 11th.  It was a simple choice that would insure my never forgetting either or Connie or Sara’s birthdays (April 11th for Sara and March 11th for Connie).  Once again, I was allowed in the operating room.  Tom Zavelson, the children’s doctor, asked me what I thought of Sara’s weight at birth was.  I told him “eight pounds even, and guessed it exactly

God has blessed our family!  I don’t remember if it was Mom or Dad, or someone else that first told me: “God never gives you more than you can handle.”  I feel that God gave us both our children, and at times I thought they were more than I could handle.  Like most things though, I looked at the blessings I received though them, then I look at the problems most other parents have with their children.  I would not trade my children, wife or life for anyone’s, anywhere.  I love them all more than I can express, and I hope that they will always know that.


Dad and Mom had always told me that I had to be good while at church; remember, I was the preacher’s kid.  Once, while at a church were Dad was preaching, I was sitting in these children’s pews, to the side of the pulpit, in front of the church.  This other boy and I were whispering and messing around, and during the sermon (Dad was a hell’s fire preacher), Dad stopped and corrected me from the pulpit.   I don’t remember the year, the church, the boy, or a lot of other things that day, but I will never forget the embarrassed, flushed face I had, for as I live.  To this day it bothers me to have people talking, or children being disruptive in church.

Most of the time, while a boy, I had to sit with Mom in church.  Mom had her own special way to “correct” you if you were misbehaving in church.  First, she would give you the “you-had-better-stop-that” look.  The drastic action took place when you had to be corrected the second time.  Mom would lean over, get a piece of your upper arm between her pinching fingers, twist and whisper: “You had better be good our you will get “it” when you get home.”  I found out that “it” was a spanking, and I didn’t want any more of those than I already got.  Years later, Dianne Junior tried this procedure on Eric, while in church.  Eric was pinched, but before Dianne could issue the threat, he had yelled loudly: “Ouch that hurt!”  I don’t know why I never thought to do that.

Gary and I discovered that Dad could not pronounce the name Timothy correctly.  He pronounced it: Tim-o-tee.  I would always ask him questions like: “Dad, what two books in the Bible come after Thessalonians?” (I had to ask since Gary didn’t know the order of the books in the Bible).  And of course, we always asked dad to preach from I and II Timothy, saying it was our favorite book in the Bible, knowing he wouldn’t since he couldn’t pronounce Timothy.  I don’t remember Dad ever preaching from those books.

I remember when I was awaiting the Army, and was working at the old warehouse on south Main street, with Gary, Sue and Dad.  We had just gotten a new shipment of used furniture, run an ad in the newspaper (Why Pay More? Was our logo) and a crowd of people were there to buy.  This was 1969, and the “hippies” were prevalent in a college town.  Two such types came in when Gary, Sue and I were all with customers.  Soon Dad arrived and volunteered to help the hippies.  I know these two and Dad were from different planets, and besides loosing the sale, I thought it would be an embarrassment to me, for some dumb reason.  Dad performed his old-time sales pitch on them, and before I finished with my customers, they had gone.  A few days later the same to guys came back.  Dad was gone, and I was glad, feeling that I could now salvage the sale.  I asked if I could help them and said: “No thanks, were is the old dude, we want him to help us again.”

My second, Dad sales story happened when Dad was about to retire from traveling and selling check writers in Florida and Georgia.  Due to his heart problems, I was driving him to call on his customers, along with carrying the machines in-and-out.  We visited 1st Federal Savings & Loan in Orlando—a large and prestigious bank.  As we entered the round bank, with large round teller area in the middle, I heard a teller yell loudly: “Lock up the vault, the Preacher is here!”  In about five seconds, most of the bank stopped working and Dad was the center of attention.  He performed his magic.  Soon, the woman vice president broke-up the party and called us into her office.  She was tough and in charge of purchasing such items as check writers.  She was also a fan of Dads.  She immediately told me that Dad was there to sell her back the check writers that he had traded from her on his last trip.  Dad laughed and, before we left, had traded all of her check writers in the bank for new ones.

The other revelation about Dad, I found out about when I worked in Grand Rapids, MI, in the summer of 1967.  While I was visiting a family that had known Dad had invented some things, and asked if he was till doing so. I had never heard of any such thing and assumed they were mistaken.  When I got back to Gainesville, I asked Dad and Mom, and found out that Dad had invented several things.  Have you seen those clothes lines that are on a reel between two buildings, so that you can real your clothes to you?  Dad invented that.  You know the pull-tab on a cellophane package (like cigarettes or gum)? Dad invented that too.  I asked Dad why he never told me about the inventions, and he told me that he had sold the ideas and not marked or patented them.  Therefore, to Dad, it wasn’t a big idea.

I remember that one of Mom’s plays, when arguing with Dad, was to threaten that she would get a job and no longer be a housewife-slave to an ungrateful family.  I don’t remember the “final straw,” but Mom decided she would teach us a lesson and she got a job as a floor salesperson at Belks.  Her first workday came and Mom dressed “fit to kill” and drove her Lincoln to her minimum wage job.  Whatever the reason, she worked just the one night and gave up the threat forever.  Gary and I teased here a lot, saying that she spent more on gas and dry cleaning her clothes than she made working.  Dad knew better than to say a work.


I feel that the most important things in life are your relationship with God, your family and your attitude.  I am very fortunate to have had Christian parents; something that they were not blessed with.  I am now blessed with a family that is filled with relatives that are the serving the Lord.  I often look at us as a family and realize, in part, how extremely blessed by God we have been.  My children would look at the word “attitude” (above) and say: “I knew he couldn’t write this much without preaching the sermon about attitude.”  I feel that attitude is the one thing we have control over.  One of the reasons that our family has been so blessed, I believe, is our attitude.  We may fight with each other, but we support and love each other.  I can not imagine having the relationship with a family member that I see many other have with their siblings or parents.  We are loud, opinionated, and argue with the “Junior Logic.”  We even teach our wives and husbands to do the same (sorry Connie and Diane).  Still, I have had many people tell me for years that they “envy” our family, or “wish” they could be in our family.  I don’t know if others in our family appreciate this, but I do.  Thanks family, I love your all.

Cork Junior

The End