1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Frank Crawford
John McCurdy

The Crawford family has been part of my life for the last 50-60 years, from my days of going to the farm with Charlotte Ann as a teen-ager. I would see a golf bag standing just inside the door,  “it’s Uncle Frank’s,  Sugar would say.  “Uncle  Frank” to me, in those days, was a handsome man who  would sometimes come by where we were and would sorta pat us on the head and tell us to, “hang in there, mate”!

Grandmother Crawford, Virginia and Charlie always made me feel welcome and in later years  when Pearl and I  were raising a family,  about every two weeks one or both of us would go out to the old, white farm house through the covered bridge  to the Crawford’s  to buy eggs.  Howard and Madeline and the red-headed beauty Rachel, along with Charlotte and Martha and Margaret will always have a place in my heart, all are dear to Pearl and to me. 

But Frank Crawford was a special person,  in the words of another friend, “ he was one of a kind”! 

Margie and Frank were more than friends,  they were our mentors as well. I sometimes could be mad enough at Margie to cheerfully kill her the next minute she would do something unbelievably kind for someone.  

Frank did not “suffer fools gladly”, If he liked you,  you could soon know it and  if  he didn’t , well  never mind.  He was a genuine hero in  World War 2,  he suffered grievously from wounds of battle, he spoke little of it until late in his life,  when on the outside  of a dram or two or three of spirits  from his silver pocket flask he had bought in London in those years, he would have some spirited remarks  to make  about  a event or person,  who  in his opinion  was not “toeing the mark”,  in something about our country. 

After Margie died Frank just sorta slipped away from us, Bill Simmons or I would  often pick him up  and bring him to church.  I know when he  sat with us he would  get out his old worn-out dilapidated wallet,  undo the rubber bands that held it together, and extract what  looked to be  a letter from Margie, he would refold it and return it and the rubber bands to his pocket  and a tear would come to his eyes.  In a few minutes  he would again  go through the same procedure. I knew then that life held little of interest for Frank.                                                                                                            

 He was a  gentleman and a  gentle man, and yet I have seen him with fire in his eye,  generally about some breach of etiquette on the golf course!  I am sorry that I was not Frank’s companion on some of his golfing exploits, such as when he spent the summer  driving to Florida and  visiting friends and playing every  golf course  he came upon.  I am  proud  that I  was one  of his  last golfing companions,  I believe  I played with Frank  the last time he took a stick in his hand. I drove down to his house and picked him up, we went to the club and played nine holes.  Frank was as  graceful as ever when he swung, the ball did not go as far as once it did,  but his eyes did not fail him on the putting surface, we ate at the clubhouse, he seemed to enjoy it, old friends greeted him,  and then we came home. The next time I called, he said he just didn’t feel like it. 

Frank was the person who told me to take the club back slowly and close to the ground,  something I think of  each time  I swing the club,  he told  me, “swing easy, hit hard”! 

Frank Crawford  played the ball as it lay,  both on the golf course and in his life, that’s something pretty special to say about anyone, but then, of course, Frank Crawford was a very special fellow.  To day on my dresser I found a note Frank had written on a napkin at the golf course dining room. (Frank, in all of the years he had played golf, good golf, had never made a “Hole in One” )! The note read:  “to John McCurdy, whenever I get a “Hole in One’ I will buy you a Bottle of the best Scotch Whiskey in the store”. I’ll not throw it away, who knows what may have happened since last I saw Frank! Like I said he was a special fellow.