My dad - Curtis Claunch Gillespie, Jr. - wrote this out on sketch pad in 1980 when he was fifty years old. Note the references to Chapel Hill and the Gator Bowl of 1949.
As I approach my own half century the reflections are awesome, vivid, and lovely – Why the reflections at this age – maybe fear, joy, or what? Am I afraid to pass this milestone – King of my Grammar School – the Jewish girl who could beat me up but love me – The fights as a twelve year old – Columbia and Woodrow Street – Hand, Dreher – Pawley’s Island – Drinking White Doves Beer at Davis’s – Falling off the back of the pavilion – The cashmere sweaters and pegged pants – Knocking down the door at the girl’s house party – I was bad but I guess normal – The Dark Horsemen, my girls, Woody’s Band at the Jefferson – The Parkway ??? - The Green Derby – The Cotton Patch – the Citadel & that beautiful redhead – My roommate pissing in the middle of the quadrangle & getting kicked out of school – the wonderful years at UNC – The Frat House – My brothers, many of whom are dead now – the Bowl games – The Gator Bowl in ’49 which will never be topped – The Air Force - My love for Maurine - our marriage Denver - St. Louis – Our beautiful children in the 50’s – The Little League teams – The troubles and trials of growing children – My careers mostly successful – My art which I loved – The rest seems to glide by to now – Why am I scared – These reflections make it passable (?) so maybe instead of fear I should look forward to The second half – It could be the best of all – But of all these reflections the thing that made me the happiest were my father, my mother, my wife, my children, all individuals with different personalities and goals – I am sensitive and meditative about these people who I love so much – I have not given enough – But I am me – maybe I can reflect again when I approach 75 – The only regrets I really have is that I have not been able to love enough for I have so much in me
My dad died suddenly in a freak accident in June of 1989. He was 59. He never got to have those reflections he wanted to have approaching 75. He would have been 75 in 2005.