Foolin’ with Old Junk

Carol and Tad, ca. 1961I delight in the fact that he [Tad] liked to work. He liked to work.

When I went to Union Baptist Church, he had an eighteen-wheeler. And an eighteen-wheeler is like a motor home. If you don’t keep it on the road, you’re not going to get your money out of it. When you own an eighteen-wheeler, you have to keep it rolling. He’d make long runs. I’d see him come out from where he lived and I’d see him come back in. He worked. He was a hard-working man. Everything that I can say about him, Carol, he was a worker. He was a worker.

I know the last, I guess maybe the last conversation, I was over there cutting grass at their house. Tad had a mower and he was cutting. I said, “Tad,” I said, “Why don’t you consider getting you a big mower?” If you’ve been over there where they live on Steele Road, it’s a pretty good size yard, isn’t it, Trey? And I think I might have had him talking into getting one.

“But Tad was a guy; he liked to fool with old junk.”

[Trey interjects]: Amen!

Old junk. My son-in-law gave me a lawnmower, a riding lawnmower and it was parked down at the house, Marvin. I didn’t ever use it. I said, “Tad,” I said, “Could you use this old mower?” It cranked up and run good, but it had miles on it. He brought it over. Still over at the house over there. You rode it the other day. He got it out and was going to ride it when they got back. The deck on it wasn’t level. When I saw him, he said, “Ralph, I’ve cut some grass, but I really whacked it up.” You could, you could see it where it was dug in. I said, “Well that’ll heal in time because that grass will grow back.” He was that kind of a guy. He just liked to take something or other that looked like it was wore out and make it go. And most always he was successful. I delight in the fact that he was a workman.

I delight in the fact that he loved his family. He and Carol met on a blind date. Didn’t you?

[Carol]: Yes.

Carol, Gloria, Trey, Tad, ca. 1970You did. He was in the Air Force. You see Tad’s from Massachusetts. That’s where Romney’s from. I don’t want to get into politics. But Carol’s from Pennsylvania. There’s a distance between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Anyway they were brought together on a blind date. A spark flew. It turned into a fire. And they got married [ca. 1959]. I believe you told me y’all had been married 48 years?

[Carol]: Fifty-three.

OK. How about that? And in that marriage, the Lord gave them a handsome son and a very pretty daughter and also a son-in-law Chris and a grandson Brett. He delighted in his family.

Tad delighted in the Lord’s work. I never heard him teach a class nor never heard him preach a sermon, but he delighted in joining in and participating. He liked music. I delight in that fact.

But there was something else about Tad Duncan that I can’t pass over and that’s this: I delight in the fact that he was man enough to stand up when he thought something was wrong and speak out. And some of you know what I’m talking about. He wasn’t hard to get along with, but if he didn’t think it was right and going right, down the right path, he would stand up and he would speak out. There were times he had to stand alone. I delight in that.

So, my dear friends, I could go on and say more, but time is passing by.

Ralph Simmons, pastor and friend, speaking at Tad’s memorial service, Wildwood Baptist Church (950 County Line Church Road, Griffin, GA 30223), June 22, 2012, transcription of audio provided by Gloria Boyer (Tad’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you recall other stories about Tad as an adult?
  • Can you tell about his experience in the Air Force? When did he join? Why? What did he do? Where did he train? Where did he serve?
  • Can you tell more about Tad and Carol’s wedding? Do you have photos? I guessed they married in 1959? Was that right? Can you provide the exact date?

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