Branson Wayne Overby
(Member of theTri-City High School Class of 1956)

(Photo and information  submitted by Ace Overby )

Ace wrote: 

     This was my dad, passed away in 1985.  He was an employee of Fieldcrest Mills from 63 til June of 85, he was a good man and taught me a lot about loyalty.

    In the future I will send you a story about him and the men at the shop at Fieldcrest. They were all like brothers to each other and their story should be told.

   Thanks Kenny

Would the real Buddy Overby please stand up?

     My dad was Branson Wayne "Buddy" Overby Sr. The problem was, every time I told someone who my father was, they said '' The cop right?".

       Well I never met the police officer, heard he was a good man, but only heard about him by reputation. I often wonder how many people asked him if he used to work at Fieldcrest or if his family owned "Short Sugars" over in Reidsville?

      It was the question I heard at least twice a year as I grew up. Five different Overby families in Rockingham County (at the time). Heck! I even dated an Overby from a different set of Overby's. How country can you get?

Revenge of the Beast By Ace Overby

     When I was eight years old I got burned in an accident and couldn't walk for a couple of months. I wanted to be a fireman for years after that.

      So one day my dad took me to Burkes and Vestals to get some sweet feed for my sister's horse and introduced me to Woody Vestal. He was a Spray fireman back in the 50's and 60's. I read about Clarence "Fat" Vestal on, and by reading about an incident at the municipal building in '59, figured they were brothers.

      Anyway, Woody invited us over to his house just off the Cook Block. On his wall in his basement, he had two wall statues made of wood. One was an old policeman, and the other was a fireman. He gave me the one of the fireman, I was about ten, and I went home and hung it on the wall of my bedroom.

     I think I know now why he didn't give me the policeman statue, being he lost his brother just a few years before.

      I got over wanting to be a fireman, but I'll never get over the people I grew up around, or the town I still am proud of being from.

 Christmas to Remember at the Overby House

     My dad was out of work for two months back in '77 or '78, and was a proud man. He had an operation and it was Christmas Day when Ralph Kirks and Mike "Poo Poo" Pugh showed up at our front door.

    They had a cord of wood on Mike's truck,(which he had just bought from my dad) and Mike started unloading the wood. As Ralph was talking to dad, Mike began to chop the wood. It was 60 degrees that day and the temperature suddenly dropped to about 20 degrees real fast. Mike was sweating hard and got sick later, but that was the kind of men my dad worked with.

     Poo Poo had chopped the whole truck load in about 45 minutes and when he had finished, he and Ralph handed my dad an envelope. In it was a collection of about $200 from all the guys from the shop at Fieldcrest.

     I was about twelve or thirteen then, but remember that Christmas most of all.

     I am forty now, but the best Christmas present I ever got was a lesson in humanity and friendship. So when you ride past the mill on Henry St, think of those proud men that worked as hard for each other, as they did for their own families.

15 cent hamburgers for 39 cents, 1973 was a pretty good year

     I miss that year the most. I was eight and every Friday my Dad would go by the mill and pick up his check, they gave them out on Thursday night later, we would go to White Dot for cigarettes, Winn Dixie for groceries, and of course, Burger Chef. Hooray!!!!!!!!!!

     If I recall correctly, Mike Beliczky was with the Sheriff's Dept back then, and he ate there quite often.  I missed him after Burger Chef closed down and heard years later he was on ECPD. I wonder if I bugged him too much when I was a kid? But in retrospect I remember him as being real nice to all the kids, not just me.

    I haven't seen him since then, but I do recall he said it was a shame to pay 39 cents for a 15 cent burger. My dad liked him and I did too. Wonder about him ever now and then, but I guess that's part of life, remembering home and the people.

      Yes, there was a time when policemen were heroes in 73 Dodge Polaras , and earned respect of the people they served by being just nice guys who cared about their community.

Leaksville Traffic Jams

     I remember in the late 60's and early 70's there was a lot of traffic problems in Leaksville. It wasn't the fault of the police, or the newly formed Eden City Government. It was something that had to change and it did.

     I remember quality time with my dad, just sitting there waiting for the train to pull out of Fieldcrest. It would block Bridge St, Washington St, and Boone Rd, if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Jay St and Monroe St got real busy and Boone Rd would get busy too. But train schedules have always changed constantly. Then, out of the blue, no more trains. I figured that out when they paved over the tracks. I think about that time whenever I am sitting at the railroad crossing near my shop where I work .

    It is sad that trains are a lot shorter than they used to be.  

Interesting how you can learn new things about your Dad (Branson Wayne Overby, pictured far left in above photo), long after he has gone.

Back to the Photos

Hit Counter