Glenn Barbee's Story
The Early Years (1936-1953)
My formative years were spent in central North Carolina. I grew up and attended school in Oakboro in Stanly County. I started first grade as World War II was into its first year. Mostly what I remember about those years are things like rationing, shortages, War Bonds, singing patriotic songs at school, and my grandfather listening to the war news on his battery-powered radio.
I am the oldest of five kids born to Reece and Emma Barbee. Two sisters and two brothers came after me. One sister died in infancy. The rest of us all live on the East Coast stretching from Virginia to Georgia.
We didn't live on a farm, but I did a lot of part time work on local farms. I also had typical jobs in town, such as pumping gas (we really did that back then), washing cars, and working in the local grocery store. In the fall, I helped my father in the cotton gin.
I got my first guitar when I was about twelve, and this has been something I've enjoyed throughout my life. I'm just a simple country picker. When I can't play well, I play loud.
For reasons which were probably sound in my mind at the time, but difficult to explain now, I quit high school shortly after entering my senior year. This was not a smart move, but since when are seventeen-year-olds smart?
I worked for three months in the cotton mill in Kannapolis. The main thing I learned from that experience was that I did not want to be a career mill worker, if I could help it.
I went to Charlotte to visit the Navy Recruiter. It was the beginning of a long journey... It was the right decision and I've never looked back.
Contact: Glenn Barbee
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