Thursday, August 4, 2011

Grover Oliver Traylor, Jr.

It is hard to know just where to start with my brother's story.  I guess his name says it all.  I never understood why he was made a Junior.  My mother's name was Pauline and everyone called her Polly.  In a way I was almost a Junior as well - Polly Ann.  I grew up calling my brother Bubba.  I am not sure if this started with me trying to say brother or the fact that we lived in Texas.  Bubba suited him very well.

I am 1 1/2 years older than Bubba, a lot more mellow, and knew when to keep my mouth shut.  Yes I was a Pollyanna and he was a Bubba.  He always had to have the last word which was usually the one that got him into trouble.  I was short, dishwater blonde hair, green eyes, and later in life on the heavy side.  My brother ended up over 6 ft., dark curly hair, blue eyes and thin. 

I have a lot of memories of our younger days and a lot of them come from times we were with Nanny.  I can see my brother walking down the street with a little suitcase in his hand running away.  Nanny would tell me not to worry that he would only go around the block and be back before we knew it.  She knew what she was talking about.  I remember trying to skate on the sidewalk.  In the "olden" days beginner skates had wheels on them that allowed tiny rocks to get in and the wheels would stop turning on a dime.  Then you had to sit down and get them out.  He did not have the patience to deal with this so he wanted to go straight to the big skates.  I have to tell you that most of his adventures resulted in him getting injured most of the time.  He fell often on the skates and soon decided that was not for him.   Bikes were another example of his daring way.  He hated having training wheels on his and I did not have them.  Off they came and down he went.  My Dad built us stilts to walk on.  They were pretty high and we would climb the telephone poles (they use to have metal steps up them) to get on our stilts.  It was fun, but probably not the best thing to put in Bubba's hands.  When he got old enough to drive, they tried to hold him off as long as possible.  They bought him a motor scooter but he had to have a sidecart on it so he could not really go very fast.  I would send him over to pick up my girlfriends to bring them to the house.  I wish I had a picture of each one of them as they pulled up in the drive.  If looks could kill, I would have been dead.  Each one only did the trip one time.  Then there was the time we stayed at a motel that had a swimming pool and he wanted to go swimming.  He was told not to dive off the board.  We heard a knock at the door and when my parents opened the door the first thing out of his mouth was "I know you told me not to jump off the board."  There was a man with him with a smile on his face.  He ended up with stitches in the top of his head.  The problem was he never learn to listen to people and I am not sure that he does to this day.

High school was another part of our life that, as I look back, was both good and bad.  I was a year ahead of him, but I was always known as GO's sister (by this time he did not want to be called Bubba).  Some people never believed that we could be kin since we were so different.  In our days you could not wear shorts to school and girls could not wear pants.  My brother felt he could get away with the shorts - Texas gets hot even in April.  My mother had to leave work, come and pick him up at school, take him home to change, and bring him back to school.  We also had ROTC at our high school and on certain days they had marching drills.  They had their little marching songs, but my brother had to change the words.  I was sitting in a classroom with the windows up and I heard this familiar voice, the words that were coming out of it, and I did not have to go to the window to know who it was.  Everyone else knew as well.  I was with a group of kids one day and one of them said "Hey did you hear about GO racing in the alley last night?"  This came from someone who did not know I was his sister.  They all started talking about the garbage cans getting knocked over and how he won.  My thoughts were "do I tell Mother about this".  I think you get the picture of growing up with Bubba.

He was not really enjoying school by the time he was 17 and wanted to get out and join the Navy.  My parents realized that at this point they could not get anywhere by forcing him to stay.  They signed the papers and I know it was very hard for them to see him go away at that age.  He went to San Diego for his training and after it was finished and he got his first leave to come home, it was a shock.  He had lost so much weight and had grown at least 6 inches.  He now was actually past the height limit for getting into the Navy because of the ships space.  He had scars on his head from hitting it on the stairs going down forward and the beds were too short.  Diving into burning water had messed up his sinuses as well.  He was assigned to the USS Enterprise, the first atomic powered aircraft carrier in the Navy.  He was proud ot this and during his 4 year time he was at the Bay of Pigs off of Cuba.  After 4 years of Navy life, he switched over to the Air Force and was there for 16 years.  When he came out, he had his GED, a college degree in computers and a career with DuPont.  Things in our life are for a reason.  My parents did the right thing by him even though it was painful for them at the time.

He is now retired from DuPont and the military and lives in Rockport.  As I have been writing this, I actually feel sad for kids these days.  At the time (50's) what he did was considered bad.  I actually find myself wishing our kids could only worry about those kinds of problems.  Life today is so different and I am not sure it is for the better.  I am almost positive that we were happier as kids and had a lot less to worry about than they do today. 

By the way, he has changed his name to Bud now. 

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful story....thank you for sharing Ann...♥