Last updated: April 01. 2014 2:31PM -
By Robert Lindsay Guest columnist

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Mary Minerva , born 1915, died in 1993, and Sally Vick, born 1917, died in 2007. The two were the last children of this family.

Mary left home as son as she graduated from high school. She wanted to continue her education, and traveled to Charlotte, to enroll in Kings Business College and live with a couple, cleaning and cooking for them while attending college. She became a secretary working at Commercial Bank. While working at the bank, she met and married Bryant Mason Stone, a pharmacist at Walker Drug Store on North Tryon Street across from the First United Methodist Church where they married. This was during World War 11. Bryant was called into the Navy and served as a Hospital Corpsman on the Islands of Guam, Saipan, Guadalcanal and other South Pacific Islands. He saved many Marine’s lives tending to their wounds. Some were not saved but he gave his best. After the war he returned home to Mary in Charlotte, working at the same drug store. I remember visiting them in their beautiful home with the white picket fence, spending only one night, eating dinner in a formal dinning room, and being ever so careful and mannerly. I was a little uncomfortable choosing the correct eating utensil, spreading my cloth napkin over my lap, and wiping my lips carefully. The drive from Hobbton to Charlotte was always exciting. We saw our first mountain, beautiful Mt Morrow, overlooking the Pee Dee River near Albemarle.

The Plaza, a street In Charlotte, with a median was breathtaking with beautiful flowers and shrubs in the middle. They lived off the Plaza on Belvedere Street.

Mary and Bryant moved to St. Petersburg, Fla. where they bought and operated their own pharmacy. Together, they put in many long hours at the store, but it was all worth it. Here they had their first and only child, a boy named Mason. They returned to NC, where they retired in Hendersonville. Mason graduated from Georgia Tech as a civil engineer . He and his wife Sharla live in San Antonia, Texas. They have a boy named Bryant who has worked with General Electric in Hong Kong, and Tokyo , Japan. He is now in Chicago, but is looking forward to another far-away assignment . When he graduated from Boston College he was ready to travel and see the world, but in a different way than his Navy grandfather.

Erica, Sharla and Mason’s daughter graduated from the Wharton School of Finance in Pennsylvania . She, too, liked traveling. She is married to Stephen Pak, a University of Maryland graduate. They moved to Seattle, Wash. where Stephen works as business market manager with Amazon . They recently had a baby.

Sally Vick, the youngest and probably the most fiery and out spoken one in the family, told my wife, when I was considering moving back to Sampson county after retiring. ” Anner” ( her pronouncation ) and mother’s for Anna. ” This is old English like the Kennedys saying Cuber rather than Cuba. Aunt Sally Vick said “Anner don’t let him bring you back here, all you will do is buy a black dress and go to funerals.” Needless to say, we did not return to Sampson cCounty to live. Yet I return as often as possible to visit family and gather information for our book.

I’m still gathering information for The Bass’s of Plain View and the Lindsay’s of Goshen. Ronald Lindsay is author of the Lindsay book, which is to be published this year. Ron lives in San Jose, Calif., and would be pleased to hear from anyone wishing to share information on this family. He may be reached at 408-292-4780 or email RonaldLindsay@comcast.net. He will share information with you also.

Sallie Vick was without a doubt the hardest working woman I have ever known. We children use to help she and her husband, Allen Ship, harvest tobacco. She would be at the barn tying tobacco as fast a two or three people could hand it to her. At lunch time she would rush home and help her older sister May Bell get dinner ready for all of us workers. When needed, she would be at the barn hanging the sticks of tobacco that had been cropped that day, many times after the sun had set. She was up every day at 4 or 5 a.m. getting ready for another hard day in the fields, barn or wherever needed. She was a” ball of fire,: She remained the thinnest of all the children until her death in May 2007, just before her 90th birthday in September. She worked as a nurse assistant at Sampson Regional Hospital for several years. Many people there would tell you she had more energy than anyone they had ever known. Allen died in 1962 at the age of 53. She was left with four children — Melvin Allen, 22, Josephine, 20, June Gail, 18 and Larry 10.

Melvin Allen, known as “Biscuit” to most people in Sampson County was the oldest. It was a name given to him by Leo Daughtry , a classmate at Hobbton School when Melvin Allen reached in his pockets one day to pull out something and there were biscuit crumbs that came falling out. His mother sent him to school with biscuits to eat, making sure he did not go hungry. Melvin worked for the Department of Prison and Corrections in Clinton until his retirement. He drove a bus for the elderly for several years . His wife Gannel Sutton finally insisted he stop driving and travel more and enjoy the children and grandchildren more. They have two children, Wendy and Jeff.

Josephine, the middle child of Sally Vick and Allen, went off to school in Cincinnati and charmed the Ohio people with her southern accent. When it got warm in the office where she was working , she would ask one of the Ohio girls to crack a window to let some fresh, cool air in. The girls would say I’m not going to break a window. They misunderstood Josephine’s use of the word crack. Another term Josephine used was boot rather than trunk of the car. The girls did not know about a boot of the car.

Finally Jo, as she is now called, returned home, married Vernon Clifton, now part owner of Royal-Hall Funeral Home in Clinton. They have three children, one in Clinton, another in Elizabethtown, where Jo spends a lot of time helping take care of grandchildren. I’m not sure where the third child is located. Jo has not sent her narrative for the Bass Family book. She keeps promising, but does not deliver. Spoke with her brother Biscuit today; he said she stays so busy she does not take time for herself. Maybe someday she will sit down and write the narrative. The book will not be complete without it. An incomplete book is not as interesting as a complete one.

The second girl, June Gail, was as pretty and sweet as a girl can be. She and her husband Norbert McLemore did not have any children. He owned and operated his upholstery business until he retired. June Gail continues to work part time at Carr Insurance Agency in Clinton. They enjoy their place at the beach, fishing and walking along the beautiful North Carolina shore. I often stop in to visit June Gail in her office to see that sweet smile and to talk with her for a short while. The baby , Larry, lives in Raleigh working in the real estate, selling homes , working as hard as his mother. All four of the children were raised to work hard. They know no other way.

That completes the narratives on the children of Josephine Odom and Joe Bass. They raised a family that speaks well for the Bass name.

The next column will be written on the strong limbs of the Bass family tree.

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