In this column on July 14, I shared some memories of a few members of the Conway High School Class of 1952, realizing that by talking about their past, they unintentionally told some of the history of Horry County — and the world.
They were children during World War II, and while they were in high school, the Korean War was taking more of the area’s men.
While attending the historic Burroughs School, Donald Jordan played midget football. He kept playing at Conway High and earned a scholarship to Newberry College. “I didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to go to Korea,” he said.
He went to Columbia to sign-up for the Army, but he had a bad football knee, was rated 4F and turned down. “I told that colonel, ‘I didn’t come up here not to go in the Army,” he said.
They took him. He said he didn’t make it to Korea before that war ended, but he later volunteered to go to Vietnam and did.
He spent 20 years in the Army before retiring in 1973, but his work days were not over. The night he came home to his wife and children, already situated back in Conway, his daddy, a popular Conway plumber, called and said he needed him to work the next day, so he began his second career.
Pickles Kelley, who grew up in the Salem Community off S.C. 90, saw first-hand the effects on families whose land was seized by the Army Air Corps and turned into the bombing range. She recalls a plane crashing and people going to see what happened. “I saw two dead men,” she said.
That incident brings home one of the sad military facts that lingers still; many men and women die just practicing to keep America safe.
After World War II ended and the economy improved, numerous families that had only one car, if any, now owned two or more cars. Jordan said his father bought a 1946 Dodge, parked it in front of their house and told his mother, “When you learn to drive, you can go somewhere.”
He said his mother drove that car back and forth in their yard for a while, and then she took to the roads, driving for two years before she got a license.
Class member Polly Derrick, my sister, got her first car while working as a lab technician at Loris Hospital. It was a beautiful pink and gray 1955 Chevrolet.
After other careers, Derrick and her husband, Julius Derrick, started the Children’s Mentoring Program of Horry County, which matches children in single parent homes, or living with extended family members, to adult role models. The program, a United Way agency, is governed by a board of volunteers across Horry County.
Since Julius died in 2015, the program that meant so much to him has continued. The only fundraiser it has is on July 28 at the Waccamaw Shrine Club in Conway.
For tickets or more information on the Children’s Mentoring Program, call 248-0164. If there is no answer, leave a message.
Peggy Mishoe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 365-3885.
At A Glance
What | Children’s Mentoring Program of Horry County Fundraiser
When | July 28
Where | Waccamaw Shrine Club in Conway.
More information | For tickets or more information on the Children’s Mentoring Program, call 248-0164. If there is no answer, leave a message.