Billy David Ingram lived in Cliffside from his birth in 1933 until leaving for the Navy in 1952. His parents were William T. Ingram, Jr. and Jewell Davis Ingram. The family lived first at 20 River Street then on South Main below then Post Office.
“I never worked in the Mill but had my own paper route and delivered the Shelby Star from age nine until age twelve.”
“I graduated from Cliffside HS in May 1951. As a Junior I joined the NC National Guard (Battery B, 112th Field Artillery Battalion). Attended Clerk/Typist School in Fort Jackson and promoted to Corporal and was Captain Herman Green's driver several times. I was discharged from the Guard on Jan 3, 1952 and enlisted in the US Navy the next day. I successfully completed Radio Operator and Crypto School and held a Top Secret Clearance.
“After a 20-year career, I attended Mira Costa, Calif., Police Academy and upon return to NC enrolled at SW Tech College in Sylva, NC, and was granted an Associate (AAS) Degree in Police Science. I enrolled in Criminal Justice Degree program at WCU/UNCA but was transferred to Durham, as my wife had a terminal illness. Earned over 1700 hours in various law enforcement training schools, i.e. Certified Criminal Justice Instructor, chemical analyst, ATF school, NRA firearms instructor and N.C. Justice Academy firearms instructor.
“Ms. Randolph, Mrs. Lynch, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Huss, Ms. McCardwell and Ms. Christy. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Lynch who was homeroom teacher and typing teacher. Our birthdays were on the same date and I would give her an apple when I could find one, Thus, this would ensure one of my few 'A' subjects.
“Believe it or not, I had a slew of friends Two of my favorites were Dean Scruggs and Harry Ingram Jr. who took the leader role and got me in hot water on occasions, I also hung out with Charles (Red) Humphries, the Hill twins, Floyd and Boyd, Norris Pearson, and Max Humphries, who was a shipmate of mine on the USS Wantuck APD 125 in Korea. Gordon Thomas was also a close buddy who became a Magistrate and booked many crooks for me when I became a Law Enforcement Officer. Lastly, my fishing buddy, Gene Ingram, who helped me bring in the fish to feed our family something else other than cabbage and cornmeal mush.
Parents & Family:
“My parents were Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Ingram, both deceased. My Sister is Rose (Pat) Dothard, now living in Alabama, and Gene 0. Ingram is my baby brother, who is now a senior citizen living in Iowa.
Special, funny incidents:
“There were a lot of incidents, some that I won't mention here, but one really sticks out in my mind happened one summer day on 2nd Broad River. We called it Little River that flowed into the Big Broad near the Duke Power Plant. Dean Scruggs and I were floating down to the dam where we enjoyed fishing for bass, bream, and other species. We had borrowed his dad's flat boat for that day. We spotted this other boat, around Jim's Cabin, manned by the famous Beheler brothers. One was tugging on his brother's feet while the brother's head and torso was under the river bank. The one in the boat shouted out to us for help pulling in his brother. "Hey boys, help me get Lonnie and a carp out from under this bank.” So between the brother and us teenage boys, we pulled Lonnie out—along with a 20-30 lb Carp. We laughed the rest of the day over that, but Lonnie got his fish.
|Bill, Dean Scruggs and Donald Robinson
(Photo courtesy Dean Scruggs)
Special about life there:
“I always felt free to roam the woods and hills, fish the river, and not have to lock our doors. Everyone knew each other and trusted their neighbors. We were expected to take care of our one (1) pair of shoes and by May we inserted cardboard (called pasteboard in Cliffside language). Our parents, grandparents,uncles, and aunts were our mentors and we learned to respect older people. I learned to catch fish, shoot rabbits and squirrels to supplement our diets. It was as kids say now, A COOL PLACE TO LIVE.
What do you miss?
“I miss the close friends I made that have now passed on or in bad health. I miss also the generation of our parents and the guidance they gave us that is forever gone. I have always missed the bowling alley, 12-cent movies, Sorgee's hotdogs, playing fox and dog, swimming in the river with feces floating by, and finally the joy of being proud of our Town.
Where have you lived and worked?
“I spent 20 years in the service of my country and went on to another career in Law Enforcement,, and my spouse, Winifred Hollingsworth of Spindale, NC, (now deceased) and children who were a credit to my career and backed me a hundred percent. They were there when I returned from the deployment to Korea, Vietnam, and the Far East. We saw many changes of residence every two years such as Norfolk, VA, Natchez, MS, Charleston, SC, San Diego, CA and San Bruno, CA.
“I also saw shore stations, such as 7th Fleet Communications Station, NOTS, China Lake, CA. My sea service started at Norfolk, VA on the USS Waller DD-466 and we were offshore at the BAYA DE CONCHOS (Bay of Pigs) when I was at the tender age of 23. Other tours, too many to put on this page, in Korea, Vietnam (2 Combat tours). I was also awarded a number of ribbons, medals, among those the Combat Action Ribbon. I also had sea duty in the Middle East and visited ports in Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon. Suez Canal, Pakistan, and India.
“After retirement, I attended the Police Academy in Mira Costa, Calif., but came home and secured a position as Deputy Sheriff, Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent as a street officer in Elizabeth City, NC then promoted to ALE Supervisor in Asheville, NC, district 10, enforcing the liquor laws in 18 Western NC counties.
|Bill and granddaughter Adrianne Ingram|
“After four years I resigned due to being transferred to Durham, NC as a political move by a new governor. I left my home in Fairview outside of Asheville and took a position as Chief of Police in Boiling Springs, NC. I guess that my tenure as a Alcohol Enforcement Supervisor was the most enjoyable in all the 18 years of service. We chased bootleggers, and busted up illegal stills. It was like the movie, Thunder Road. We would even sing the song while chasing bootleggers at speeds up to 100 mph. We caught most but some were adept and escaped to become NASCAR drivers.
“While Chief of Police in Boiling Springs, my wife of 28 years passed away with terminal cancer. I sold the Farm in Fairview, NC, and headed west toward San Diego were I intended to buy a boat with the proceeds of my sale. This boat would be used as a charter fishing boat. But I met the Sheriff of Sweetwater County, Wyoming, and he hired me. I went on to be Chief of Police in Lake Lure and returned to Wyoming in 1986 as Chief of Police in Glenrock, Wyoming, and retired for good in 1990.
“I now teach Concealed Carry for the North Carolina Justice Academy. Salemburg, NC, and am active in the American Legion post 527; VFW; Fleet Reserve Assn.; NC Sheriffs Assn.; National Rifle Assn.;Cleveland County Sheriffs Assn.; and am a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.
“My first wife and I had three children: a son Rick and daughters Catherine Whitesides and Dixie Lee Bullocks. I am the proud grandfather of nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren. My present spouse is Josephine, a native of Casar, NC, where we live. She has three children by a previous marriage.”