Cousins Jerry and Kay Durning, 1953

Cousins Kay and Jerry Durning

I enjoy this old picture of my cousins Kay Durning and Jerry Durning. Kay was quite a bit older than me, and I did not know her well. Jerry was about three years older, and I saw much more of him through various non-school playground activities and the sports that he played.

Their dad, Bill or Willy as my dad called him, owned a garage on East Huntsville Road, not too far out of town. He made his living for decades fixing cars. The garage was decidedly utilitarian. It was heated by an old wood stove, and was pretty dark when the doors were closed. Plus it had strange smells. I determined at a very young age, after spending a few minutes in the garage, that I had no interest in fixing cars. Fortunately, Bill was very good at what he did and we could depend on him to take care of our auto problems.

Jerry is a good soul: I don't remember seeing him without the smile you see in this picture, though with more teeth. In his younger years, he was a very good catcher who hit for a high average in Fayetteville's Babe Ruth and American Legion Leagues. Also, he played football for Hillcrest anf FHS.

He married Shirley Eans, who was a classmate of mine from the third grade through high school. She was one of the smartest students around.

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