The Boys

When I started writing about the family, I tried to remember stories about each of them and it's funny, but I don't recall too many stories about Dick and Thurman individually; it was always Dick and Thurman or 'the boys.' They must have been extremely close.

Dick and Thurman were just a couple of years apart. I don't think they fought like a lot of brothers, although I'm sure as kids they had their moments. I know they loved and respected their mother, watched out for their sisters, and adored their little brother. Both boys served in the Korean War - a time that I'm sure was hard on Granny. At this time she would have been widowed twice and remarried with a little one.

One thing that I remember my mom telling me about Dick was that he loved Christmas and was always the one to decorate the tree. She said sometimes he would decorate the tree two or three times before he got it the way he wanted. I can just imagine the old ornaments. I still have a few that were granny's.

One time when Dick was home on leave from the Army, he caught my mom smoking. She was sneaking to the outhouse with one she had rolled (probably the field blossom she talked about). He knew what she was doing, so he chased her down. She fell to the ground with the cigarette in her hand. He took the crumpled cigarette from her hand, took one from his pack and told her to 'smoke a good one.'

Thurman bought my mom a big family bible, but there was a story behind it. One summer we were spending in Kentucky, a traveling salesman was peddling bibles - big beautiful family bibles. My mom wanted one of those bibles and didn't have the money to pay for it. He was a young, inexperienced salesman, but my mom didn't care. She just wanted the bible. I don't remember how much it was, but he held her one for a down payment of $10. I guess he had an arrangement to come back and when he did, my mom told him she was sorry, but she still didn't have the money. The salesman said "Well gee whiz mam, you said you would." He must have been quite comical, because that became a phrase we joked about for years. In the end, Thurman paid for the bible. I still have that big ole bible. It's dated 1972, and presented by Thurman Bailey and Fern, so Granny must have kicked in some too.

Thurman passed away first from cancer that I believe started in his spine. Dick was older and I remember him telling my mom when they lost Thurman, that he never imagined it happening that way. I guess being older he thought he'd be the first to go. Dick passed away shortly thereafter from a heart attack. Thurman is buried in a cemetery behind Rubyville School in Rubyville, Ohio and Dick is buried at Fern Cemetery in Columbus.

About Dick Bailey


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