J.B. Jordan

December 8, 1918 –July 17, 1976 (58)

J.B. (named after our great grandfather Joseph Berry “Dock” who was killed over the infamous ox) was one of my favorite uncles and it was such a shock to the entire Jordan clan when he died suddenly in July of 1976.  J.B.’s death of a massive heart attack set the standard for how his brothers and sisters would die in coming years.  In a way it is a blessing that the Jordans tend to die suddenly, but it is always a shock to get a phone call that another brother or sister has died.  This happened far too many times, but it became a ritual for the family to get together to bury one of its own.  I’ve seen my mother weep over the caskets of her siblings so many times.

Another reason J.B.’s death was such a shock is that he was relatively young and, although he was a smoker, he seemed to have boundless energy and enthusiasm for life.

 

Black Creek Stories

J.B. had a great sense of humor and seemed to enjoy life immensely.  He also had a very tender heart and cared deeply about my mom and her situation and, liked some of his brothers, was always trying to do things to help my mother–specifically with cash, which was always helpful.  He and my mom had an old unsettled score about his stealing her eggs from her hen nest when they were children (see letter of confession from J.B. in this section). Apparently, J.B. liked to “count all the eggs in his nest” whether they belonged to him or not.

 

J.B. is mentioned as the practical joker and teaser in the family, always cutting up. You will see stories elsewhere in this book about his interactions with the siblings. When we did the famous “What Do You Know?” interview at the reunion,  J.B., who was running for office at the time, noted that there was lots of fun in the old swimming hole, but there was always a mule waiting and lots of work to be done when they left the swimming hole.  He also reminisced about how the family would get in the old T model and go to Cross Roads Church on Sunday.  He noted that it was a large family but there was always lots of fun picking on each other.  J.B. used to particularly pick on Lloyd, calling him “Snark” all the way to and from school which irritated Lloyd; J.B. said that Leonard always wanted to be Uncle John’s boy and they teased him about that. (Also see the funny story about J.B. and Ester involving Grandpa’s snuff in Ester’s section.). J.B. used to tangle with his brothers at bedtime, playing jokes on them as the tried to go to sleep. Later, when Lon was courting Tincie at Trudie’s place up the road, J.B. and Bo would eavesdrop to see what was happening. Then they would report their clandestine, juicy gossip to Blease (who already had a place of his own but would return to visit).

 

Lloyd says that one time he and J.B. were supposed to be watching the cows and J.B. let them get out. Lloyd got the whipping that was due J.B. over that mistake. Lloyd also says that once Lon noted that one of the cows was looking puny and asked J.B. how much he was feeding him, to which J.B. replied, “Somewhere between a bushel and a peck.”

 

Almost any time we went to “the country,” (our name for the homeplace in South Carolina) we would stop by J.B.’s oil distributorship in Midland.  I was always awestruck by the huge fuel oil and petroleum tanks on the property, and as far as I was concerned, my uncle was an oil magnate.

 

When grandfather Lon died in 1957, J.B. bought the home place and enjoyed visiting there himself on weekends.  At reunion times, which was the first Sunday in May, he would fix the place up to welcome his brothers and sisters back home.  He had a huge sign painted and placed at the entrance to the home place which became a standard at each visit.

 

J.B. was always insistent that we get together and sing gospel music and hymns following the reunion lunch.  His favorite was “Suppertime” and we usually ended the music session with that song in which J.B. would narrate the “talking section” which went as follows:

 

Friends, some of the fondest memories of my childhood are woven around suppertime–when Mother would stand on the back step of the old home place and say, “Come on home, son it’s suppertime.” 

 

But for me time has woven the realization of the fact that when the call comes from the portals of glory saying “Come on home, son, it’s suppertime,” then we’ll gather round the table with God himself at the greatest suppertime of them all.

 

J.B.’s success in the oil business allowed him to be a leader in his community and he ran for county commission in Cabarrus County in 1966.  The photograph used in his obituary is the same photograph that was used in his county commission campaign.  My mom had a copy of that campaign poster.  She cut out the photograph and framed it and it stayed on our piano top for years.

 

J.B. was a ham operator and had a friend in Concord who was also a ham.  The two of them would talk and relay messages to my mom by telephone in order to avoid long distance charges.  My recollection is that I did not see much of Becky and Susan except at the reunions and Christmas gatherings at the home place.

 

Becky and Susan now have a gift store (Something Special Gifts & Home Décor) in Midland. J.B.’s wife, Frances, died August 8, 2001 from lung cancer.

 


Notes from Becky Jordan Glosson

 

Rebekah Jordan Glosson …I was born September 4th, 1947 to J.B. and Frances Garmon Jordan and

 

graduated from King’s College in Charlotte. I married Ted Dennis Lawson, October 16, 1965.

 

We lived in Kansas for two years while Ted was in the army and Daddy loved to come out to visit us.

We have three sons:

 

Ted Dennis Glosson II, named after his father, was born on January 10, 1969 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte. He graduated from Central Cabarrus High School in 1987.  Ted attended UNCC and is now living in Detroit, Michigan where he works for General Motors.

 

Travis Brian Glosson, was born on December 16, 1970 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte and graduated from Central Cabarrus High School in 1989.  From the time Travis was born, Daddy adored him.  He constantly called and said, “Pack the boy’s bag. I’m coming to get him.” He would take him to his house and sing songs, record on the tape recorder and do so many things with him that he never took time to do with his daughters.  He would take them to “Lob Lolly” which is what we called Daddy’s homeplace and the thought of that really scared us after he died, thinking what would’ve happened if Dad had gotten sick with Travis down there.  Travis still misses him.

 

Travis went to taxidermy school and is now working in construction.  He married Tracy Ramsey Glosson and they have three daughters: Hunter Leigh, Lindsey Nicole and Laney Elizabeth.

 

Benjamin Kerr Glosson was born on October 30, 1975 and was only nine months old when Daddy died.  Of my three boys Ben was the Jordan–looks so much like my dad–dark skin, dark glassy eyes, short fingers and about Daddy’s height.

 

Ben married Emma Michele Steiner Glosson on October 19, 1996 and they have a daughter Anna Michelle who looks just like Ben and have another daughter due in January of 2006.  Ben is a brick mason and 100% Jordan.

 

I always felt kind of left out when it came to my cousins as Susie and I were the only ones of the family to live in Midland, the rest living either in Kannapolis or in Pageland.  Because the family was so big and scattered, it wasn’t often that we all ended up at Grandpa Jordan’s at the same time–so until Daddy started having the reunions, we never saw each other.  The cousins closest to me in age were Joy, Kay, Jerry and possibly Judy.  I would go with Daddy to Kannapolis occasionally to visit his siblings.  One time, we stopped at Aunt Trudie’s and Jerry walked into the room.  I had no brothers so when Aunt Trudie said “Jerry, the barn door is open.” I had no idea she was telling him his pants were unzipped! I offered to go with him to close the door!

 

Ted adored Aunt Trudie.  The first time he ever saw her, she was sitting on the steps of the homeplace, her hair rolled tight to her head with bobby pins, her hose knotted at the knees and snuff in her mouth.  What a sight to behold! She would call us occasionally just to catch up on things and always loved to gab trash with Ted.

 

My daddy had some real tales to tell about his childhood.  Most make him sound like a juvenile delinquent! Once, the boys at school put firecrackers in the old potbellied stove in the one-room schoolhouse just as the teacher backed up to it.  They also eventually set fire to it.  They were a mess.

 

Our grandmother died after the twins were born and that meant the boys had to quit school to work the fields.  The girls had to cook and I remember Daddy telling of Ester standing on a chair to make biscuits and doing the cooking.  The boys gave Grandpa a fit when he was courting Tincie at the homeplace with their pranks.  I think they spent lots of time in the woodshed with switches or worse!

 

I will always remember swimming in Black Creek with Daddy and Uncle Bo and them telling how they all learned to swim there with all the snakes and every other animal!

 

–Becky Glosson 8/05

 


Susan Jordan Haigler

 

Susan is JB’s second daughter, born September 8, 1951 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte. She finished Central Cabarrus High School in 1969 and earned an Associate degree from Wingate University in 1971. She and Becky jointly own Something Special, a gift store in Midland. She married Rick B. Haigler on September 11, 1971 and they have two children:

 

Matthew Ryan Haigler was born August 28, 1975 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte and graduated from Central Cabarrus High School in 1995 and from UNC-Charlotte in 1999 with a degree in Business Administration. Susan says he is a great provider—just like JB. Matthew married Amy Dirgler on October 13, 2001 and they live at 3111 Wallace Road in Midland and he works for CTC in Concord. Their daughter, Cassidy Elizabeth was born on September 12, 2003.

Stephanie Nicole Haigler Wallace was born on April 20, 1977 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlottte and graduated from Central Cabarrus High School in 1997 and from Stanly Community College in 2000 with a Nursing degree. She married Robert Lee Wallace III on April 8, 2000 and they live at 13750 Barberry Avenue in Midland. She works as an ER Nurse at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. “Stephanie never meets a stranger,” says Susan, “and is always willing to help someone—just like Daddy.”

 

Susan’s recollections: When I remember my daddy, my first thought is him getting me up every Sunday morning (usually with cold water in my face) and making sure I was on time for Sunday School and church. We walked through the woods and I can remember so many good moments with him.

 

I also remember the excitement when it was Jordan Reunion time at LobLolly—he just could not wait to see all of his family. We would drive up and the first person we would see was Aunt Trudie on the porch just as excited as Daddy was!

 

I am so proud to have come from such a unique family—as life goes by, you really begin to realize how we all have been so blessed. The Jordan family was a wonderful family that saw many hard times growing up, but worked through their hard times with love.

 

Another thought: my daddy loved to have a garden in the summer and watch it grow—he would say that it was going to be a small garden—but the rows were at least a mile long! He would get so excited seeing all the family working together, gathering the vegetables and going to the Farmers Market every Saturday morning.

From a letter to Trudie 12/16/67

 

Dear Sis:

 

I hope you are fine. As for us we are OK. Becky and Ted are supposed to arrive in Charlotte this afternoon at 4:40 and we are looking forward to seeing them.

 

Trudie, I hope you will accept this little gift. I am trying to re-pay you for the eggs I used to get out of your hen’s nest. I don’t think God will hold that against anyone for stealing eggs during a GOP administration. They had us eating out of the garbage cans, didn’t they–doing our jobs in the woods, and walking around with the seat out of our pants and our ass shining like new money. They call it the Grand Old Party, but I say to hell with it and all it stands for.

 

Trudie, I hope you and your family will have a Merry Christmas. I don’t know if I will be able to get up that way or not, but I will be thinking of you anyway.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

PS I hope I didn’t say too much about the GOP. I think there is a place for all people and I think I know where their place should be.

 

V-Mail

 

Certainly kids today know nothing about what a V-Mail was. In WWII, V-Mail was the military’s censored letters to and from servicemen (both directions). Actual letters were copied, reduced in size and mailed with a censor’s stamp of approval.

 

Here is the text from numerous letters from J.B. to Trudie. J.B. was a cook in the army and apparently Trudie was pregnant with Linda during much of this time.

 

July 18th 1943 V_MAIL

 

To Mrs. H.M. Hancock

Wilmington, North Carolina

 

Hello Sis,

I wonder what you could be doing these days for a big time.  Watching over the kids I guess.  As for myself I have been working pretty hard for the last week, but I am off resting up today.  I guess you wonder why I haven’t written you in such a long time, or maybe you know why.  Well I am in a different country now.  I am in England some place, but I can’t tell just where.  I like it over here OK.  But I had rather be back in the states with my wife and people.  This place lacks a lot keeping up with the U.S..  You don’t hardly ever see a car and when you do it’s an old one.  They all drive on the left side of the road you know about how strange that looks.  Well it is getting late so I had better close.  Write me often and tell me all the news from home.  Tell Maro and the kids hello for me.

Love to all,

J.B.

 

September 17th 1943 V_MAIL

Dearest Sis,

I wonder what you could be doing today.  Working I bet.  As for myself that’s what I’m doing.  How are you folks getting along? Fine I hope, as for myself, fine.

 

I received your letter yesterday, sure was glad to hear from you.  You said that you haven’t been getting along so well.  That’s too bad.  Don’t let a little thing like that get you down.  You said I had been talking about you.  That’s right.  I always did like to talk about you.  Maybe some day you can get it back on me.  I hope so.  Ha ha.

I get 11 letters yesterday.  It took me about an hour to read them, four of those were from Frances. Of course I read them all first.  I got one from Ruth Purvis.  It sure was sweet.  Wish you could read it.

 

Trudie guess what I have done now? I made two rabbit boxes and set them about four days ago and I haven’t caught a rabbit yet.  I believe they are afraid of my box.  Ha.

 

Don’t be mad at me for writing short letters like this.  I have lots of them to write.  I’ll try to do better next time.  Write me when you can and feel like it.  Ha..

Tell all hello from me.

Love all.

J.B.

 

September 25th 1943 V_MAIL

Dearest Sis

How’s everybody getting along? Fine I hope.  As for myself,  fine.  Received your letter yesterday.  Sure was glad to hear from you.  Why can’t you write me more often anyway? Well I guess you do pretty good for the shape you’re in, Ha.  I spent Sunday and Monday night in London.  Wish you could see that place.  It’s a old city and a large one too.  Lots of things that are interesting to see.  It’s lots different from the cities back home.  You don’t see many cars on the streets.  Nothing much but taxis and buggies.  They are lots of them.  The taxis are old model cars, they look to be about 15 years old.  You would laugh if you could see one.  You will see lots of buildings that have been wrecked any place you go in London.  I hope our cities back home will never look that way.  I enjoyed my trip fine.  I stayed at the American Red cross.  When I started to register I looked through the list of names from North Carolina.  I saw Joel Tyson’s name from Kannapolis.  Guess that’s the preacher’s son.  I also saw a boy’s name from a store in Concord.  I went through Basic with him.  Write when you can.  Don’t get too fat.  Ha.

Love to all,

J.B.

 

September 29th 1943 V_MAIL

 

Dearest Sis,

 

How’re you getting along these days?  I bet you are having a swell time.  Ha ha.  As for myself OK.  I’m on duty 24 hours then off 24 hours.  I have a very busy time and I’m getting fat too.  But not like you.  I weigh about the same as I did when I left for the Army. At first I lost weight but I have gained it back now.  I eat lots.

 

We have good things to eat over here, just as good as we had in the states.  And we also have pretty good cooks in the kitchen.  Every time we have visitors they always brag on our mess.  And you know that’s what it takes to make a cook feel good, isn’t that right? I get along well cooking now.  I put lots of confidence in myself.

 

Trudie, I want you to write me every time you can and feel like.  I think about you a lot.  You have always been a real Sis to me and I appreciate it lots.  I’m wishing for the best of luck and health.

Love to all,

J.B.

 

November 18th 1943 V_MAIL

 

Dearest Sis:

 

How’s everyone get along tonight back home? Fine I hope.  As for myself OK.  I have had a bad cold but I’m feeling OK again now.  Why don’t you write me a letter some time? Ha.

 

I got a letter from you yesterday.  Sure was glad to hear from you.  You said you were not getting much mail from me or not getting it regularly.  Well I’m sorry, I don’t get my mail regular either but I try not to fuss about that.  Ha. ha. I had a letter from Wilson yesterday.  Sure was glad to hear from him.  He is get along OK and is expecting a furlough soon.

 

How much more have you gained? I bet you are pretty now.  I sure would like to have a picture.

Love,

J.B..

 

March 4th V_MAIL

 

Hi Sis,

How’re you get along these days.  Fine I hope.  As for myself,  OK.  I received your letter of February 20th today.  Was glad to hear from you again.  Yes I know all about cigarettes.  Now that was pretty, wasn’t it?

Trudie I know you think I should write more often.  Well it’s like this, I don’t have the time to write like I used to have even though I am thinking of you all.  I haven’t had a letter from Frances in the past four days.  I wonder if she has herself a 4_F’er now. Ha Ha.  No I’m just kidding.  When you see her tell her hello for me.  Will you?

 

Well Sis, I didn’t have any news.  So I’ll say so long for this time.  Take care of yourself and be good to Maro and the kids.  Tell Jenny I got her letter and Beth too.

Love to all,

J.B.

 

 

England

Sunday March 18th V_MAIL

Hello Sis,

I wonder why I am trying to write you a letter with nothing to write about.  I haven’t had no mail in two weeks almost.  I’ll try to scribble off a few lines of something.

 

How’s everybody getting along now.  Fine I hope.  As for myself, OK.  And I’m so full now I can hardly move.  I have been drinking fresh sweet milk.  I got a gallon.  It cost me 60¢ but one quart is worth that much to me.  You’re lucky if you can find milk and fresh eggs in England at any price.  It wasn’t only the milk that made me so full.  I have been eating fried chicken and peach pie.

 

Trudie, do you ever see Frances now? I sure would like to see her again.  When you see her again tell her hello for me.  And I still love her.  Will you?

 

Well I haven’t any news so I must sign off for now.

Love to all,

J.B.

 

England

November 8th, 1944 V_MAIL

 

Dearest Sis,

Will try to answer the nice letter I received from you today, was so glad to hear from you again.  I haven’t had any mail for the past week until today.  Boy! I was hurting too.

 

Trudie, in the last letter I had from you you were telling me about aunt Jane being sick and David getting to come home from the Pacific.  No, I don’t think I could go home in case of sickness.  I have heard of lots of boys getting telegrams like that, in fact, and of the cook getting one a few days ago.  But there’s no (or not much) chance of getting to go home.  If you have been overseas two years or more, that seems to have something to do with it.  That is in case of sickness.  You don’t go in case of death.  I’m just living in hopes that I don’t get such a message like that as long as I have to be away.  Boy, if something would happen to Frances, I wouldn’t care if I ever go back or not.  I know I wouldn’t enjoy nothing.  Let’s just hope nothing like that will happen.

 

Trudie, you asked me some time ago to write Irene McCarnes.  I never did get around to it.  You don’t know how many people I write to.  My fountain pen is my first buddy in the army.  No (I’ll take that back).  But I sure do use it lots.

 

I have been in England 16 months today.  I sure hope I don’t have to stay in the army 16 more months.  Life is rugged in the army.

 

Be good Sis and write me often.  Tell all hello.

Love,

J.B..

 

(JB just before being sent to England)