Friday, April 6, 2012

A to Z April Challenge: F is for Fred

This is day 6 in the A to Z Challenge.

is for Fred.  For some reason “Fred” is a popular name in the Slade line, and not just my direct line.  I have found numerous Freds in other Slade families.  I don’t know why they like that name so much because it’s usually the made-up name given to the butt of a joke.  The joke might start off, “The guys were playing poker when Fred lost $1000 in a single hand…” or “Ol’ Fred had been a faithful Christian and was in the hospital near death…” or “There was a drunken cowboy named Fred sprawled out on the ground.”  See my point?  But the 3 Freds in my life are no joke.

My dad was Fred.  Fred Robert Slade, Jr.   I have written previously about Fred HERE and HERE and HERE.

Momma always liked that name, but I can still hear her yelling, “Fred!” to get his attention or even when she was annoyed.  Short.  Clipped. No syllable that could be drawn out forever like “Mik-uuuuuuuuhhhhllll” or “Barr-yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.”  Here is a picture my sister posted on Facebook recently on the anniversary of Daddy’s death:

Fred Robert Slade, Jr.
7 Aug 1928 Portsmouth, VA - 31 Jan 2009 Portsmouth, VA
He was leaving the YMCA probably following a game of tennis or handball.  He had evidently been to the ABC store for a bottle of whisky.  FRED!

Since he was Fred Jr, obviously next up is Fred SR, my granddaddy. 

Fred Robert Slade
8 Nov 1901 Princess Anne Co, VA - 4 Feb 1983 Portsmouth, VA
Julia Mary Walsh Slade
6 Sep 1907 Portsmouth, VA - 17 Apr 1982 Portsmouth, VA
Wasn’t he cute?  He owned a taxi cab company in Burlington, North Carolina for awhile.  Granddaddy had a coke machine in the garage.  Sometimes when I see an antique coke machine or even a big round Coca-Cola sign, I can smell the garage, and I can hear the rumble of the glass bottle traveling down the chute.  I always got the first sip.  Or 2.  I spent many hours either in the office with my Granny who apparently was the dispatcher (she let me comb her hair while she was working) or riding in the front seat of the cab.  I’m sure I was adorable and deserved credit for any success Granddaddy may have enjoyed as a businessman with a heart.

Granddaddy kept a kennel of hunting dogs next to the office.  He would set me on top of the dog house at feeding time – I don’t know if he was keeping me out of the way or preventing me from stepping in something.  For years Granny and Granddaddy would tell the story that I lost his keys.  They suspected they were somewhere around that kennel.  I don’t know. 

And finally here’s Little Freddy, my second cousin.  His dad Wallace “Buddy” Slade was Daddy’s cousin.

That's MOI holding the big bear
I remember I did play with him whenever I was in Burlington.  I thought of him as an older boy, but judging by this picture, he wasn’t THAT much older.  I wonder if he remembers me??

For more F Fun, Find your way over to the A to Z Challenge. 

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Very lovely post! {Burlington, NC is about 30 minutes away from where I live}

  2. Hi Wendy,
    Just wanted to say thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
    Reading your blog right now has just made me feel so comforted.
    The picture of your little girl with her legs sticking out of the crib made me smile. And looking at all of the old pictures and hearing about the people in them took me back.....back to when my Christmas trees looked like that and our TV looked like that.
    Thanks for sharing.............I'll be back!

  3. Good stories of Granddaddy's taxi business. I never heard them. I bet those keys were in the kennel. He had some dogs! Daddy always said the dogs ate better than they did! HA!

    1. Love this one too! Were your Grandpa and Grandma on the couch short, or is that couch just huge? You look pretty proud of your bear. I bet that your cousin Fred would really enjoy reading your blog, if you can find him.


      Kathy M.

    2. Kathy, HILARIOUS - I hadn't noticed how short they looked on that couch. But yes, it was a BIG couch, very high back.