My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.” I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways.
is for Ollie. Ollie Nathaniel Bonney.
Ollie was one of my paternal grandfather’s best friends. They were actually part of a threesome. Three men in tub. Three Musketeers. Three Stooges. Not sure which. But Fred Slade, “Kentucky” Thom, and Ollie Bonney hunted together and fished together in the 1940s and 50s, maybe even longer but I can’t verify it.
Their fishing trips seemed to be mainly in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Their successes aboard Ken Ward’s “Cherokee” made the newspaper several times. Of course, fishing reports were always popular items in the cities and towns here along the Atlantic Ocean.
O.N. Bonney, left, and Fred R. Slade pictured with the large catch of fish they made recently in the Gulf Stream off Hatteras. Fishing with Capt. Kenny Ward of Nags Head, they made this haul in 1 1/2 hours. The catch included 12 amberjacks and three dolphins, with the amberjacks weighing from 5 to 32 pounds and the dolphins from 8 to 18 pounds.
|Greensboro Daily News June 27, 1948|
The same trip was reported in the Greensboro (North Carolina) Daily News a few days later.
|Fred Slade, Ollie Bonney, "Kentucky" Thom|
The big news on the 1951 trip was Kentucky Thom's sailfish. But Granddaddy and Ollie were right there too with plenty of dolphin and amberjack for the picture.
I wish I had more information about their fishing trip to Florida. I’m not even sure of the year. Ken Ward was their guide on the “Cherokee” making their way along the intracoastal waterway from Virginia to St. Augustine, Florida.
|Ollie and Fred|
|Fred Slade and Ollie Bonney|
|Fred Slade, Kentucky Thom, Ollie Bonney aboard the Cherokee, St. Augustine, Florida|
Ollie was born April 18, 1901 to John and Martha Bonney in Gates County, North Carolina. He was the third of five children in a logging family. But by 1920, the family had moved to Portsmouth, Virginia. Ollie and his father both worked at the fertilizer plant, Mr. Bonney as a machinist and Ollie as an electrician.
Not long afterwards, Ollie moved on as an auto mechanic. Maybe that’s how Granddaddy and Ollie met. My grandfather owned a cab company and no doubt needed a good mechanic.
Ollie married Margaret Price November 22, 1934 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. In 1940, they owned their home on Spratley Street in Portsmouth, valued at $2000. His parents lived with them.
The city directories include Ollie and Margaret for many years. In fact, there is an entry for Ollie N. Bonney in 1993, two years after his death. That makes me wonder if this was a son or if the city directory just hadn’t been updated.
Ollie died on March 31, 1991 just shy of his 90th birthday. Margaret followed almost one year later. They are buried in the Olive Branch Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia.
You are under no obligation, but it would be obtuse for me to obstruct your odyssey to the A to Z April Challenge.