|I was born right outside of Davidson College on a hundred-acre farm with eight brothers and sisters and a great mama and daddy,
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|and most of us have gone on to hold some type of public office. We've had three mayors. As my mama said, she never had a favorite among us but none of us ever went to jail,
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|and I always thought that was a nice compliment. Joe was mayor of Mooresville for about thirty years and Russell was mayor of Davidson for sixteen years
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|and I became mayor of Charlotte for four years. Well you know it's the greatest thing if I could have everybody grow up the way I did.
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|It was where you killed or hunted for whatever you wanted to eat, you raised it on the farm, a great mama and daddy with no money. We all had chores,
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|responsibility, whether it was carrying in the firewood, milking the cows, or doing whatever but it gave you hard lessons about what life was about,
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|and we were relatively poor. I can't tell you that it was a bad life because we had a great mama and daddy who took us to church and commanded that we go to church.
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|I recall singing a solo almost every Sunday. My daddy would give me a dollar and my brothers and sisters would offer me two not to sing, but that was just sort of the way it was.
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|But we still have a very close family relationship with the ones that are surviving, just me and Ray and all the grandchildren.
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