Tag Archives: Trey Duncan

Taylor May Have News

Congress Hall, Philadelphia, PA.

Congress Hall, Philadelphia, PA.

Verso of Congress Hall, Philadelphia, PA.

Verso of Congress Hall, Philadelphia, PA.

postmark: 11.09.1922, 12:00 pm, Philadelphia, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, NY c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

Thursday 9:15 PM
Dear Virginia ;-
This is one of those times when I haven’t anything to write about. May have some news by Saturday. Will send you a special, to reach you Sunday am.
Ted
* * * * *

Plot of Unknown Dead Containing 779 Unknown Bodies of Victims of the Johnstown Flood, May 31, 1889.

Plot of Unknown Dead Containing 779 Unknown Bodies of Victims of the Johnstown Flood, May 31, 1889. Over 2400 Lives Lost Out of Population of 30,000. Property Loss Millions of Dollars. Water Rose to the Height of 17 Feet on Main Street.

postmark: 11.13.1922, 4:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

Dear Virginia ;-
We are here and on the job. Will write you tonight.
Ted
* * * * *

Cambria Public Library, Johnstown, PA.

Cambria Public Library, Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(1)
If I don’t see you this coming Saturday, I will try to next
* * * * *

View of Cambria Steel Co. Johnstown, PA.

View of Cambria Steel Co. Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(2)
It will be a shame if both of us are disappointed Saturday.
* * * * *

Bird's Eye View, Johnstown, PA.

Bird’s Eye View, Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(3)
I am trying hard to avoid disappointing you Saturday
* * * * *

New Pennsylvania R. R. Depot, Johnstown, PA.

New Pennsylvania R. R. Depot, Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(4)
I hope to see you Saturday.
* * * * *

Luzerne Street, Westmont, Johnstown, PA.

Luzerne Street, Westmont, Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(5)
I’ll be disappointed if I don’t see you Saturday.
* * * * *

View of City Park, Showing First National Bank Building, Johnstown, PA.

View of City Park, Showing First National Bank Building, Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(6)
Indications are that I shall see you Saturday
* * * * *

Bird's Eye View of Business Section, Looking West, Johnstown, PA.

Bird’s Eye View of Business Section, Looking West, Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(7)
Am working hard with the view in mind of leaving here Friday night
* * * * *

Quemahoning Dam Near Johnstown, Largest Dam in Penna.

Quemahoning Dam Near Johnstown, Largest Dam in Penna.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(8)
If I leave here Friday night, I will surely see you Saturday.
* * * * *

High School, Johnstown, PA.

High School, Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(9)
I’ve made reservations to leave here Friday 10:32 PM.
* * * * *

Post Office and Mayer Building, Johnstown, PA.

Post Office and Mayer Building, Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(10)
Expect me Saturday
* * * * *

Business Section and Main Street, Johnstown, PA., From Fort Stanwix Hotel.

Business Section and Main Street, Johnstown, PA., From Fort Stanwix Hotel.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(11)
Am arranging to arrive Penn. Sta 1 P.M. – Don’t hurry I’ll wait for you at Waiting room entrance.
* * * * *

Fort Stanwix Hotel, 200 Rooms, 175 Baths. The Only Fire-Proof Hotel in Johnstown, PA.

Fort Stanwix Hotel, 200 Rooms, 175 Baths. The Only Fire-Proof Hotel in Johnstown, PA.

postmark: 11.16.1922, 8:30 pm, Johnstown, PA
address: Miss Virginia M White, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. c/o Stehlin, Miller, Hines Co.

(12)
Say a little prayer for a pretty day Saturday.
* * * * *

transcriptions of 14 postcards from Taylor to Virginia in November of 1922, courtesy of Taylor Duncan III (Tad’s son)

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.

  • Anyone want to guess as to the reason for this series? Nothing to write? Unused postcards and stamps? Pending wrath of a woman who didn’t receive sufficient correspondence?
  • This was toward the beginning of their courtship. They were married in 1925. What do you suppose was going to happen on Saturday once they saw each other?
  • What memories do these postcards jog? What can you add to the stories?

Generous with Money, Time and Knowledge

Tad and Trey, ca. 1980Well, I hear everybody talking about my dad and I said, yeah, I’ll tell some stories.

I remember him as being a very generous man. And I remember when he was a landlord. These tenants would come by and give him a sad story, and he’s giving them money. And I’m going, “Dad! This is a for-profit business and you’re not doing a very good job! You know, just giving away money!” It would just make me so mad.

He was very generous with his time and very generous with his knowledge. I was talking to a friend of mine. I told him what happened and he says, “He got to spend the last year of his life, it was with you, working on your house in Arizona.”

I would come home and I would say, “Yeah, I didn’t do much of nothin’ today, Dad.” And he’d say, “Well, look at everything you learned.”

He had a lot of knowledge and he knew how to do everything. I’d say, “I don’t know how to fix this, Dad.” And he’d say, “This is how you fix it.” I thought, well, I’ll go on the internet and see what the internet says. It said the same thing, too. So that was it. He had a lot of knowledge and he knew a little bit about everything.

I miss him and I think about him when I travel on the highways.

Trey (Tad’s son), 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.).

  • What did Tad teach you?
  • What did Tad help you fix?
  • What did Tad lend you money for?

Tad Somehow Liked Fire

Steve, Tad, Taylor, late 1940s, courtesy of Colin DuncanTalking about having known [Tad], I think probably I’ve known him more than anybody here, since I’m his little brother. That would be more than twenty, twenty-five years. [Laughter.] 

We grew up in Philadelphia. My father had been transferred to Philadelphia because of the war. He was in the Navy. He was a captain in the Navy and we were moved to Philadelphia. That’s when my first recollections of Tad were. 

At that time—and none of you have known him as this—it was “Junior.” Junior was the son of his father, who was Taylor Albert Duncan. And Trey is “tre-,” which means three, Taylor Albert Duncan III. So, he was Junior. He was Junior to all of us. 

I grew up learning something, a lot of things through Tad Junior. I’d like to tell you just a few little snippets of things that talked about his character and maybe some of them are humorous because we lived through them as little kids, some of them. 

One day when Tad was playing with a neighbor kid, they decided that they would be firemen. And they had to make it a real story, so they got a lot of wooden boxes out in the back yard. They piled them one on top of the other. Now some of you will remember how they would pack fruit in the old days. They would use some sort of wood cuttings, wood chips. So this house of wooden boxes was filled with that. And to make it a realistic story, they put little brother into the house and lit it on fire. Ingenious. 

They would then go to the neighbor’s house, get the bicycle around which they had wrapped a hose. My job was to yell “Help!” which of course dutifully I yelled and yelled and yelled. The story goes that the neighbor boy was then called by his father to come on in, “Philip!” Weaverling was his name. “Come on home, Philip!” So my brother was alone. He didn’t know how to ride a bike. And he surely didn’t know how to take care of the situation. It got too hot. Yours truly broke out of the structure. 

playhouse fire, not actualHe also, he somehow liked fire. There was a playhouse that we had in this home in Philadelphia and it was made in the structure of the regular house, but it was much smaller. It was just a playhouse, just for the kids. Again, he got called into the house. They had had a little bit of a fire and they put the ashes behind the wall of the [play]house. Before long we had a charred [play]house. Completely. Completely done. 

A third episode happened when we moved up to New England to Boston, the Boston area. We lived in a three-story house. In the family, there were six kids. He was the next to the last and I was the last. He had another friend and they were in the cellar. They were again checking fire out and its characteristics. He understood—someone had said to him—“if you take gasoline,” which we had for washing bicycle parts, “if you take a match and you put it in fast, it’ll go out.” If you do it fast enough. The next part of the story is that the fire department is there. The chicken that we had in the first floor as a pet from Eastertime had to be rescued. My father went in and rescued that. But the house was just covered, filled with smoke, and the cellar again, black. Completely black. Had to be rebuilt. 

So Tad had some propensity toward fire for some reason, but he was very ingenious.

Steve, 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.).

  • Can you tell other stories about Tad and fire?
  • Can you tell other stories of Tad as a youngster in Philadelphia?
  • What years would you guess these stories took place? How old was Tad at the time?

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?

Outravert, Music Leader, Source of Electricity and Trucks

I know that I have been acquainted with the Duncan family for—I was trying to figure it out—for 28 or 29 years [ca. 1983]. When I pastored Union Baptist Church back in the 80s . . . and where the pastorum and the old church building was located on Jenkinsburg Road, Tad and his family lived just down the road from the church. And that’s how Katie and I got acquainted with Tad and Carol and the kiddos. . . .

I came back to Griffin at the beginning of ’03 . . . And while I was here at Wildwood, I looked out one Sunday and who was there? It was Carol and Tad. And we—I don’t think—we had seen them in about twelve years. But of course I was glad to see them. So was Katie. So when you take our acquaintance and put it together, it equals out to about 28 or 29 years. It’s been a very good relationship.

I never found Tad Duncan to be a man hard to get along with. He was an outgoing person. I’m an introvert. He was an outravert. It’s true. He never met a stranger. He could talk to a sign board. I’ll tell you. That was Tad.

[Woman, perhaps his wife Katie, interjecting:] But it would answer him back, too.

We’d go out sometime with Tad and Carol to have a meal, usually at the Chinese house up here at Belk’s, and he’d have something going with the waitress. That’s the way he was. . . .

While I was here at Wildwood as pastor, we had need of someone to lead us in music. And Brother Milton and Brother Tad, they joined in together and they helped us in leading the music here.

When I get back to myself as just a personal guy from Tad to myself, he was very special. I know we have two ceiling fans hanging in our house that Tad put up. We have two other ceiling fans that Tad put switches in. There’s a light on the front on one of the barns behind our house that Tad wired up. That Chevrolet we drive that’s parked out back here, he put Freon in. And there are other things he did. He probably never thought anything about it.

When that tornado came through last year, my truck trigger, it got damaged. It got damaged bad. It’s still in the hospital. You know what, Guys, I don’t know when he’s going to fix it. But Tad and Carol had just come back from Arizona and they came by to see us. We had some damage. There was other people had a lot more damage than we did. He saw the truck how it was damaged. He said, ‘Ralph, I have a pickup truck at the house.’ He said, ‘I’m going to bring it over here to you. The insurance is paid. It’s got a tag on it. You won’t have to worry at all about it. I want you to take it and keep it and use it.’ So they went back to Arizona and I kept that truck for nearly a year.

And Tad called me one day and said Trey was needing a pickup, and needing a big pickup. It was a big pickup. I said, ‘That’s fine’ because I was going to let Tad have it back—I’d had it for nearly a year—when they came back from Arizona. Trey came back a little bit early and I brought it over to him. Well when he and Carol got here, he insisted to put a trailer hitch on our car. I said, ‘Tad, you don’t have to do that.’

‘Yah, I want to. I feel bad about taking the truck.’

I said, ‘Don’t feel bad about it, man. I had it nearly a year.’ But he went and found a hitch for that automobile that we drive. And he took it over somewhere. He was going to put it on himself, but he ran into somewhat of a problem. (When Tad and Carol came back this past time, I knew something was wrong with my buddy; he had just lost too much weight. I knew. But he just kept going.) So he took that car somewhere and had that thing put on and then he had to wire up the lights.

And you know, when it comes to somebody like that and having a friend like that, I just don’t forget it. I just don’t forget it. I enjoyed being in his company. And there were other things that he did for me in a personal way. So when I come here today in a celebration for Tad Duncan’s life, I can celebrate the fact that he was a great friend of mine. There is a sadness and I miss him already. So does Carol and the family. I know that. But there is something to celebrate when a man lived a life like he did. Not a perfect life. None of us are perfect. But he lived a life.

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, partial transcription, 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.).

  • Did Tad ever helped you out? What do you recall about that incident?
  • Do you remember singing with Tad? What did you sing? What was the occasion?
  • Did he play an instrument? Who taught him to play? Sing?
  • Growing up, did he talk to everyone? Was he an extravert? Give an example.