Remembering Booger, Hazel, Marvin Jr. and Meadowlark

Published 10:00 pm Friday, January 8, 2016

I remember a younger blond boy climbing into the school bus in Lynn as well as the feisty older guy who always had something to say at the Lynn reunions. Booger Ford was indeed a “piece of work.” Loved them both, as Rometta Ford took over the Lynn Reunion leadership after the passing of Ruby Alewine.

I used to buy gas at Bob Constance’s “Gas for Less” station when I came home from the Air Force to visit Aunt Mildred and friends here back in the 50s. Unfortunately, I do not remember that Booger ran the station for him (I learned that in his obituary. Just did not recognize the boy grown tall, I guess.)

We are truly bereft because there was no Lynn Reunion at Harmon Field this past October, as no one stepped up to do what Rometta did. Too bad . . .

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What a shock! Hazel was as bright-eyed and ready to laugh as ever the last time I visited her and her husband “Speck” Owens at White Oak. I loved her dry wit and happy disposition. Her comments as she participated in the merriment generated by their children, always in attendance when I visited, were usually not what anyone expected, and therefore either funny or thought-provoking. We are all gonna miss that lady!

I just wrote about Marvin Edwards, Jr., working with us at the counter to single-wrap little Bulletins going to the troops overseas during WWII. We got a note in Polly’s Christmas card that Marvin had died in November, right after his 90th birthday.

I have known Marvin since my early teens. He sold me his well-used deluxe Western Flyer bicycle with its whitewall tires. He prepared the little hand-held machine that he used to apply mailing labels to the local Bulletins and to the wraps for those going elsewhere in large bundles, mostly to APOs and FPOs. The counter that we stood before to wrap the papers is still there—today it usually has edibles on it for breaks, or more for parties.

We stopped in Paducah, Ky., on our way to St. Louis once. I did not know which newspaper Marvin worked for, but when I called the first one I asked if they had a Marvin Edwards there. He came on the line after “Just a minute.” When I said, “This is Garland Goodwin” he said, “Yes?” as if he did not recognize the name. However, he joined us for lunch and we had a fine time sharing stories about Tryon.

When he visited us here some years later, I gave him one of two nearly new type cases I had bought from an antiques dealer. We had both set a lot of type from similar cases, and had re-distributed just as much type back into them to be assembled into words and lines again. Once a printer’s devil, always a printer, I suppose. I still love to select fonts in my computer and arrange those letters into business cards, greeting cards, posters, signs, even these columns!

Fran and I went to see the Harlem Globetrotters play in San Diego sometime in the late 50s. Meadowlark Lemon had replaced “Goose” Tatum as their star player, and they got a lot of laughs while soundly defeating the locals who were recruited to battle them. I wondered where they found all those midget officials to referee the game, but discovered when allowed onto the court afterward that the refs were all at least my height of six feet. I had not realized that Mr. Lemon was actually two years younger than I until I read his obit.

True, our world is diminished by their passing, but I prefer to think on how much they contributed toward making our lives better.