Tad’s Rubber, Steve’s Glue

He [Tad] was very ingenious and as we have heard, his ingenuity has come to bear and often he has used it to glorify God: with the truck, with relations with some of you and with other people, a helpful hand, but an ingenious hand also.

Two other little stories.

1944 Roosevelt Campaign PinSome of you will remember. There’s some of you have white hair or a skin-colored head as my age tells itself. During the Second World War, there was a vote for a new president. Actually, [Franklin D.] Roosevelt was running for the fourth time [1944]. Does that ring a bell with some of you? There was a man who was running against him. Does anybody remember, do you remember who was running against him?

[Someone in Crowd]: Dewey?

1944 Dewey Campaign PinDewey! Tad mentioned that he was for Roosevelt and I was for ooey-gooey Dewey [Thomas E., Republican]. That was stuck on me and so I was the underdog for this whole thing. Of course when Roosevelt again won, I was the loser. I was the young one.

A story that we have often recounted is that Tad, I don’t know where he got this saying, but it was a way of putting me in my lower echelon place. That was: “I’m rubber and you’re glue and glue doesn’t bounce.” Well, I don’t know where that came from but it was an insult to me the whole way.

Let me just tell you that, you know, it was Tad who taught me how to use the buzz saw. Of course, I cut the wire, but I learned how to use the buzz saw because of his teaching me with his buzz saw.

He also helped me get one of my first jobs as a landscaping assistant or a helper in doing landscaping and working for an immigrant who was working in the area. I learned how to do landscaping because he taught me.

Through the years there were a lot of things that you just pick up, but it’s that spirit that’s down below that says, you know, I’m here. I’m to help. I’m your big brother. I know I hassle you once in a while, but I’m your big brother. And I learned a lot from him.

Tad has used that expertise, that ingenuity, that willingness to serve, that willingness to help throughout his life. If one were to say anything about Tad, he was there when it was necessary. He was there to make the sacrifice, to do the work when it was called upon to be done.

Again, yes, we don’t know that he ever gave any sermons. In fact I was told, he was asked to be choir director here one time. He told me about it. I said, “You?! Have been asked to be choir director?” Anyway, he was. I don’t know how long he lasted, perhaps one week, but he stepped in where it was needed.

transcription of Steve Duncan, speaking at Tad’s memorial service, Wildwood Baptist Church (950 County Line Church Road, Griffin, GA 30223), June 22, 2012, 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.).

  • Can you tell other stories about Tad and singing or choir?
  • What years would you guess these stories took place? Dad, how old were you when you learned to use a buzz saw? Got your first job?
  • Is “ooey-gooey Dewey” a chant, button, something else from the campaign? I see references to “ooey-gooey Dewey Decimal System” and “ooey-gooey-dewey dope,” with regard to methadone, and the ooey-gooey worm poem on the same page of a 1944 newspaper as local Republican meeting which referenced Dewey, but not to the two together during the 1944 campaign.
  • Tad seems to have mangled the actual saying, which is, “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” Did he have a habit of misquoting or was this just the way a seven-year-old boy hurls half-remembered insults?
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