Robert Maurice Jordan “Bo”
March 21, 1927 –August 1, 2000 (73)
As far as I was concerned, Bo had it all. He still lived at home, after returning from the Navy, when I enjoyed my summer visits with Grandpa. He would get cleaned up on Saturday night, put on a coat and tie and drive off in his long green and white 1953 Mercury hardtop (meaning it had no window posts). It was a beautiful car and he was truly handsome, sporting a dark tan as he drove up the dusty road. The person he was off to see was Quay Mills who would eventually become his wife (February 11, 1957). She was just about the prettiest thing I had ever seen—which further confirmed that Bo “had everything.”
Quay says on their first date, Bo showed up to pick her up and with no inquiry as to what she might want to do, proceeded to Kannapolis where he showed her off to Blease while asking Blease for investing advice—a relationship which he maintained for a long time.
At the time, Quay was working for Lynches River Electric Cooperative and had already met Lon, when he would come into Tucker Lumber Company where she had worked before. She had no idea he would become her father-in-law—nor could she have dreamed Lon would die just months after her marriage to Bo. But, coming from a large family (10 siblings), Quay adapted well to the Jordans—she seemed like one of us!
Like many of his brothers, Bo left school to work on the farm after the 7th grade. But Bo had a lot of ambition and was soon making good money hauling produce from Florida (sometimes with Leonard doing the same thing) and Blease was helping him invest. By the time of his marriage to Quay, though, more competition in the produce business made profits more difficult. Quay says he couldn’t sell his Charleston Grey watermelon crop at a ridiculously low 10 cents each! But he was determined and with Quay’s job providing a cushion and needed health insurance, they were by the next year able build a home and borrow money and parlay the “hauling” business into a very profitable roadside curb market in Pageland in 1967. With the new expenses, profits became even more elusive, and with the arrival of Robby on June 24, 1961 and Beth on July 23, 1964 he had to work really hard to provide. (They also had another child born in 1958 who only lived 7 days, Janet Elaine.) Eventually things turned around and Quay left her job to join him in the business in 1980, which was, by now, producing a very nice income. They eventually added a service station, a Laundromat and a car wash on the same property. Making good money, Bo also made good investments, now using professional advice for his decisions.
The business took most of their time and Quay notes that Bo had numerous other things he had wanted to do but never got around to. But his grandchildren became his pride and joy and remained so until his death. He was also crazy about his twin, Kitty, and would drive to Kannapolis to take her and Trudie to lunch and reminisce. He always left both of them with a cash gift.
Bo seemed to tangle a lot with Aline, whom he admitted could “beat his butt” and he would run when she joined the fight. She was the tough one—although you would never guess that from her gentle nature. Ester and others tangled with her as well, but she had a reputation for being the victor. Bo apparently woke up in a bad mood most days and would beat on the closed door of his room muttering things. Usually one of the others would say, “Go let the devil out.”
Bo was one month short of 7 years old when his mother, Gabriela, died, and he wasn’t wild about the prospects of having a new mom. He and J.B. (15) would eavesdrop on Lon’s courting of Tincie at Trudie’s house up the road. They would report their findings to Blease (who would have been 21) when he would return to the homeplace from his own farm nearby.
Bo was “the keeper of the cows” at this time, including one milk cow owned by Blease which was kept at Ray Stancil’s, a neighbor. Bo went to Ray’s to get the cows, but Blease’s cow wasn’t moving along. Ray’s wife, Kate, was there and, to help out, she picked up a stick and hit the cow to get it moving. Bo said “That’s right Kate, just bust her ass.”
When Lon remarried, Bo was raised by Tincie who was teaching the kids at home (and was also their teacher at school). She kept a tight rein on the kids and sometimes Bo resisted her disciplinary ways—including having to make his bed properly. Tincie refused to wash his clothes as he got older, so Bo would show up at Earline’s house with his clothes under his arms asking her to do his wash—which she always did.
Beth Jordan McCorkle was born on July 23, 1964 in Monroe, (Union County). She graduated from Central High School in Pageland, SC in1982 and from Columbia College in 1986 with a B. A. in Mathematics. She was in the Achievers Club and Leaders Council in High School.
She is currently a Territory Manager for Avaya, Inc. and married Joseph Phillip McCorkle (Phillip) May 12, 1990. They have two children: Kelly Elizabeth McCorkle born on September 11, 1994 in Columbia and Joseph Phillip McCorkle, Jr. (Joey) born on January 31, 1997 in Columbia. Beth says the Jordan trait she inherited is drive to be successful.
Robbie is named for his dad and was born June 24, 1961 in Monroe, NC (Union County). He graduated from Central High School in Pageland in 1979 and has one son, Seth.
Bo and Kitty’s birthday party (with remaining siblings) in March, 2000. He died in August of that year. Granddaughter Kelly is in photo.