We're moving-1958 (just 14 years old)

We’re moving!

We’d been living in Flatrock, South Carolina, on the land my parents bought and built a house from when I was in the second grade at the Flatrock Elementary school until I finished the ninth grade at the Starr-Iva Middle School, at least that seems to be its name now (2021).

My father got a steady job

My father worked mostly for himself it seemed, with work being rather sporadic. Somehow he was offered a job with Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in Shelby, North Carolina. I know that my mother was especially excited that he would now have a regular job with a regular salary.

The chance to create a "fresh" reputation

I was excited also. The newness of it all. One aspect that I particularly liked was the opportunity to create a new reputation. No one would know me in Shelby at the beginning. I felt that I could build a better reputation of how others saw me than the reputation I thought or imagined I had in Flatrock.

Filling up the holes in the yard

Things to do. We had started digging a swimming pool about 100 feet from the house, in the hollow on our land. We had to fill back in the dirt. 

I had also dug, with my sister Karen’s help, a “hole to China” in the backyard, only about three feet from the back of the house. It was about four feet deep and 3 feet in diameter. We filled that up. 

My encounter with my ownership bias, although not knowing it was a bias

When we sold our house and land, I thought we could get much more for it than we did. Today I can understand that I was blinded by the “ownership bias.”

Giving up on unrequited love

I had been secretly in love with Barbara McConnell for two to three years. I saw her everyday during the school year when we would wait for the school bus together. I knew that I would probably never see her again. Somehow that was okay with me. Also, I didn’t feel sadness about the few friends I was leaving, probably to never see again.

How moving from the countryside into a small city was good culture shock

Shelby really was a whole new world. With less than 20,000 in population, it was still a “big city” for me. Looking back afterwards, I saw that we moved from a lower-middle class neighborhood into a middle-class neighborhood. In my schools in the Flatrock area, if you made good grades, you were a bit looked down upon by many of the other students, especially the boys. You were the “teacher’s pet.” In Shelby that was not the case. Doing well in school was generally admired by the other students, not that I had been an outstanding student when living in the Flatrock area.

Also, looking back I concluded that I would have turned out to be a different Dwight if we had stayed in Flatrock. From the perspective of the new Dwight that developed in Shelby, I would have been a Dwight that I would have preferred not to have become. I didn’t like to admit that my environment outside my home, like in the school, had that much effect on me.

Our new home in Shelby

I don’t remember exactly what my parents paid for our new home at 306 Peach Street, but I think it was a little bit less than $20,000. With inflation, that would be about $189,000 today (2021). Here's a photo of the house today that was our house then, compliments of Google. And a photo of me in my first year of high school.