1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


  My Introduction to How the Other Half Live

John McCurdy - October 11, 2011

Sometime about February of 1948, Finley Gwinn invited me to accompany him to the Greenbrier to go swimming in the indoor pool. Finley picked me up in his family's late model Chrysler, he had to stop at his fathers place of business on Main Street in Alderson to raid the cash register before we left town. I was all eyes as we entered the grounds of the Greenbrier and parked in front of the massive front entrance. We found our  way to the swimming pool area, since that was my only time there I have no idea where or how. I imagine Finley knew. 

I  know we were issued a locker key and changed into our swimming  trunks and proceeded to the pool. After several hours we returned to the dressing room, an elderly black gentleman greeted us and told us he would wash our swimwear to remove the chlorine left from the water in the pool. In a few moments he returned and handed us two waxed paper bags containing our damp trunks, remember this was 1948 and Zip-lock bags were still far in the future! He then, very grandly with a long-handled clothes brush, brushed us off after we had dressed and asked if there was anything else with which he could help the young gentlemen.

Now I didn't know much of high-class behavior, not having been exposed to much of it in my young life, however I did know that a gratuity, (that's a tip for any of you not high class as me and Findley)was expected when one got such fine service. So without hesitation I pulled a dime out of my pocket and handed it over along with my thanks. I was chagrined when Finley, with a flourish, pulled out his wallet, extracted a $5.00 bill, and with  a accent right out of the movies, said, as he dropped it in the old gentlemen's hand, "thank you, my good man"!

I was reminded of that experience when the Aldersonian published the old photos and after last week coming upon some Greenbrier stationary I had walked off with, (read stolen), from the writing room in the lobby of the hotel.  I remember I wrote letters to all my cousins and many friends, I wanted them to know that I had gone up in the world and was now a frequent guest of the Greenbrier! Never again would swimming in Kerr's Creek behind the Sensabaugh house be high class enough for me!

Please enter your name to comment.
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...