“RGee” is Robert Glen Watkins, a Cliffside native who moved to Southern California over 40 years ago. He traveled light but made room in his baggage for memories of his beloved hometown, and, from time to time, he shares them with us. As they arrive, we’ll present them here. Sometimes he interlaces his memories with funny but implausible stories, but we’ll let you sort those out for yourself.
Glen, who was born in Cliffside on Nov. 29, 1921, died on Sept. 14, 2007 in Riverside, California. He was buried with full honors next to his wife Muriel at the Riverside National Cemetery. Glen was 85.
Here’s a list of his musings.
- The Wart Removers
- Like grandfather, like grandson. If you believe,
strange things can happen.
- The Original Rescue Crew
- There was one before the “First One.”
- Working in the Bank
- Posting the ledgers and waxing the counter at the old Haynes Bank.
- Working with Guy
- Working on the old “central” phone system and the town clock, and
building techniques used in early Cliffside
- The $5.00 Automobile
- RGee buys an old Ford Model T
- A Mouse Tale and Random Memories
- A Cliffside mouse nibbling cornbread; fake organ pipes
- Wells and Springs of Cliffside
- Drawing and hauling water in Cliffside of the ’30s
- The “Northeast Corner,” Perils of a lineman
- The old mill office; stringing phone lines in the new Duke Village
- Paving Main Street
- Christmas presents; chasing rabbits; spring houses and graduation
- Ropes, pulleys and reed hooks
- RGee shares his knowledge of how the mill was powered in the days before electricity
- The old gym
- He foils the visiting team with a flashgun, and rigs a sail for his boat
- Answers to a few questions
- RGee tells us where he now lives, about his interests, and recounts some more of his Cliffside adventures
- RGee’s darkroom
- Learn about RGee’s darkroom under his father’s house, and the train tracks to nowhere
- Old Cars and Young Girls
- How to drive—and survive—a Model T
- Mr. Gold, The Whippet Truck and Missing Pants
- Mr. Gold finds a snake under a rock; driving the Whippet on an icy road; debating in borrowed pants