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Remembering Win Ball

By Garland O. Goodwin

Remember When column

 

Lost one of our lovely lady neighbors from our apartments last week. Winifred Ball was another one who lived more than a hundred years. Win was always fashionably dressed, unlike many of us who opt for comfort in well-worn clothes.

Win wore her hair short, but always carefully styled, from never missing an appointment with her hairdresser. She also possessed a ready wit, always supplying an apropos quip to liven the conversation around our dining table.

Her plate, always prepared to order and delivered to her, was heaped with one of everything! She ate most of it (way more than I can eat comfortably!) and took the rest home for supper. Can’t imagine how she stayed so tiny on such a diet!

Did anyone notice the anniversary of D-Day, 6th of June, 1944? All of us alive during WWII remember it very well. It was the long-awaited launch of the invasion of Europe to finally rid the world of Nazi Germany. Thousands of Allied lives were lost, losses felt right here in Polk County.

Everyone alive then remembers where they were when they heard about the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, and years later when we heard about the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Is there another recent date we should all remember?

I am truly sorry to hear of the vandalism at the Stony Knoll Library. I have heard of the rocky road travelled by Della Jackson to get that going over several years back before WWII. I remember her bringing her weekly column in to the TDB; in it she chronicled life in her community.

Here at White Oak, we have one Timothy Brown on the maintenance staff. He is the son of my friend “Pick” Brown, who used to be the custodian at my church, First Baptist of Tryon. Pick soon learned that he should clean another part of the church while I was tuning the grand piano in the sanctuary!

When I completed our house in Holly Hills, we invited the church staff to visit us. Pick had to be assured that he and his wife were both included. Timothy told me that his Mom has died, but that his Dad is doing alright.

I’d like to report on changes in the Air Force since I was in back in 1948-54. The “new Air Force” was created from the Army Air Forces in September of 1947. I was issued Army uniforms and we had Army rankings, as in Private, Corporal and Sergeant. I held all of those ranks before I was issued a new Air Force blue uniform and I became an Airman 1st class instead of Sergeant.

President Truman integrated the military services during that time, and we found two African-American friends in our barracks one night after work. This was a “non-event” for us at Scott AFB in Illinois. The WAFs (Women’s Air Force) were still housed separately, in buildings located in a remote area of the base.

When our son enlisted in the Air Force in about 1982 there were no longer WAFs. The women were housed in the same “dormitory” building, but on a different floor! And the Air Force brass wonders why there are so many more sexual assaults nowadays!

The Air Force now has its third woman Secretary in a row. The newest Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is Kaleth Wright and the newly confirmed Chief of Staff is General Charles Q. Brown, both African-Americans. I printed out photos of the two men from my Air Force magazine, and gave them to Timothy. I hope they all can make the Air Force a shining example of equal opportunity.