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Tony Gentry

Then the Bob White Called
by Virginia Gentry

MAMA WAS BORN IN 1921 and outlived the Century, so she was a member of the "Greatest Generation." In her later years, she loved to sit in a rocker on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea and tell stories, so she was a Southerner. One day at a yard sale, she spied a heavy old manual typewriter with a couple of cloth ink ribbons. Daddy hauled the thing to the car, so she became a writer.


Like the quilts she so lovingly sewed, the book you hold in your hands was intended to pass warmth and comfort along to her descendants, while serving as a reminder of old ways and means. Mama threaded together tales we'd heard on the porch with some she'd kept to herself, typing out a memoir that stretches from a hard-scrabble sharecropping farm during the Great Depression and the travails of a war bride during World War II on to motherhood, factory work, and the rest of a Century that changed everything. Her story spans that era, yet one of its appealing aspects is that she lived it all in one place, the rural central Virginia community of Fork Union, a crossroads town that could not escape the upheavals of the time.


Mama gave me the stack of onion skin paper that made up her memoir, so l typed it out on my computer and spiral-bound a few copies for the family. The Fluvanna County Historical Society printed an excerpt in one of their quarterlies, bringing her a gratifying few moments of local fame.

I'm reprinting it now, courtesy of Amazon's KDP publishing platform, as a proper book. Any proceeds from sales will go to the historical society.

I'm sure that's what Mama would have wanted.

– Tony Gentry

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