Remembering Martha and Grover 

Published 8:00 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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I did not know Martha Covil, but I do know and still cherish several of her offspring! Vicky and Ed Justice especially, as well as their daughters Leah and Missy. Have to add Gigi and Joe . . . I did a lot of emailing over the years when I could not interact with them personally.

Ed rolled a lot of paint on the walls of the house I built in Holly Hills. I met Vicky at Tryon Federal when she worked there. I wrote about Leah when she died recently. We were hoping she would recover and return to reporting for the TDB; Jeff Allison held her job open until it was no longer possible. I enjoyed a long visit with her in Saluda as we waited for their parade to start. I have admired Missy’s leadership that has placed her girls in the winners circle as they competed in meets. 

Gigi Covil was (is? If so, Gigi, call me!) the Bookmobile driver some years back. She would bring the Library to YOU!

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Now Grover Whitmire has gone to live “in God’s house,” as our little granddaughter said of her late Grandpa. I shall miss Glenn Burgess’s and Grover’s active participation in the Memorial Day observance in Polk Memorial Gardens. Grover was in my class (rather, I joined his class when I skipped the fifth grade at Tryon School.)

Miss Thelma Mills, Mother’s friend and my 4th-grade teacher, had given us something called “standard tests.” I had scored “12th grade, 9th month” on several parts of the test, nearly perfect scores. Miss Mills asked Mother if she’d agree to putting me in the 6th grade. In those days, parents generally went along with whatever the teachers recommended.

So I wound up in the 6th grade . . . but there was a catch: I had to take home the fifth grade books, and prepare workbooks of the problems they presented. Mother had to remind me to read and work: I remember that I was always hot and sweaty—nothing was air conditioned then. Worst summer of my life!

I had to teach myself United States history and geography. Same for the math book; fractions! Fortunately, the math was easy for me; but the history and geography were not. Nothing could have prepared us for Miss Baldwin’s quite thorough approach to history when we got to high school, though!

I attended the VFW Memorial Day program at Polk Memorial Gardens. I was glad that they had a special recognition for Grover Whitmire. I was also glad to see Tammy Waldrop there as usual. She was my favorite teller at the Columbus branch of Bank of America when it was open. 

I sat with friend Dick Belthoff; when we left, Jack Saunders volunteered to fetch my car for me. He assured me that he could drive a stick shift!

My ’06 Saturn is beginning to wear out. Things that generally do not give problems during the normal time that people keep a car are beginning to give out on mine now. The switches that lock and unlock all the doors have quit working. Now the ignition switch’s locking pins are no longer responding to one of my keys—could not turn the key to start the car!

Since the essentially new spare key works fine, I will have to ask Warren Durham whether I should replace the ignition switch, or just use this key. I thought when I bought this car that it would probably be my last one, but I had no idea that I would live long enough to have these petty problems with it!

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