Firestone News (Gastonia, N.C.) /
Oct. 1, 1955, edition 1 /
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Plant Watchman Vergil Stiles saw his two
tomato plants grow into six-foot giants and
yield almost two bushels of fruit.
Some of the tomatoes were approximately
three inches in diameter. They kept growing
Watchman Who Turned ‘Green Thumb’
Raised Prize Tomatoes Here Last Summer
For more than 20 years now Firestone Textile
has been turning out quality products of the tex
tile industry. And this summer just passed one
of the employees added to the plant’s history an
other story of achievement; Some of the world’s
^®st quality tomatoes.
Vergil stiles, first shift watchman at the
Plant’s main gate, had, for several summers,
taken note of the tulips and chrysanthemums in
small plot near the safety record board. For
time they’d been failing to do their best.
Jle figured that the flowers were not adapted
^0 the soil, even though it was quite fertile.
So last June, Stiles obtained from Alvin Riley
Quality Control, and a successful gardener,
some plants of the Oxheart variety and set them
^0 grow where he could watch over them while
duty at the main gate entrance.
^nder his careful nurture, the plants grew
yell—so well in fact that they reached six feet
height at season’s end. They were supported
by stakes and tied with discarded spinning tape.
foliage grew so dense that the tomatoes when
full-grown could not ripen properly. The watch-
plucked them periodically and set them
^■ripening on the window sill of the gate booth.
ALL DURING late summer employees on tha
way to and from work watched the tomatoes
grow red. And often they would stop to receive
one at the hand of the generous gardener.
“Best ever,” was the comment of many who
sampled the fruit. The grower pointed out that
the quality in this variety accounted for the
firm texture of the fruit and the absence of
“a lot of juice.”
Stiles estimated that the two plants yielded
almost two bushels, most of which he passed on
to fellow employees and his neighbors around
1015 West 3rd Avenue.
The watchman, who intends to experiment
further with tomatoes next summer, is a veteran
gardener at home. There each season he raises
okra, beans, peppers, potatoes and other vege
ONE OF the original group of 20-year em
ployees here, Stiles has been a watchman since
World War II. Before that, he was a boiler fire
man. His father, Manuel Stiles—once a watch
man here—is now retired from the Company.
Vergil’s first cousin, Wade Stiles, is also a 20-
year record holder. And Vergil’s brother, Willard,
is in the Weaving Department here.
After 20 Years: A Ride On Horseback
★ ★ ★
Score of years is a long time
someone to suspend an avid
hobby. So think Ben Davis,
^en’s Club clerk, and his broth-
Grady, employed in Carding,
they decided one day last
®^mmer to renew their love for
o^ses by going riding over some
the bridle trails around
hirnney Rock, near Asheville.
It Was a thrill to get back in
® saddle again, they both
The DAVIS BROTHERS
(left) and Grady re-
an old love for horses
'^HEIR INTEREST in horses
^ates back to youth when they
on a farm in Cleveland
^ounty^ near Shelby. With a
Jeatn they hauled lumber from
sawmills of the region,
ogged farmed. And often
the business of making a living
got in the way of their riding
any more, until last summer.
Ben and Grady have another
brother who works at Firestone.
He is Roy Davis, a clerk in the
^ide the saddle horse.
•''nen the family moved to
pstonia in 1916 they had to
^ave their horses behind. And
Your safety is our business at
Stop, look and think Safety.
Drive to Open
—From Page I
Mr. Firestone, who was na
tional chairman of United Com
munity Campaigns of America
in 1954, has also served as presi
dent of U.S.O., board member of
the National Society for Crip
pled Children and Adults, mem
ber of International Committee
of the YMCA and the Interna
tional Chamber of Commerce.
What Memory Of Childhood Or Youth
Does The Month Of October Suggest?
The tenth month is a month of memories. Here these
employees recall their happiest experiences of childhood
and youth—in October.
Edna Harris, Carding—Getting
settled to the routine of school
and then attending the round of
fall parties, especially Hallow
een parties, make very pleasant
memories of childhood in Octo
ber. Even now I just love to
dress up for a Halloween cos
Joel William Jordan. Cloth
Room—My fondest recollection
—takes me back to hunting as a
youth in October—a sport I have
followed ever since. Rabbits
and squirrels have always been
my favorite game, usually hunt
ed with a .410 shotgun.
S. A. Buchanan, Shop—Best
memories of my youthful days
in October are corn huskings,
bean stringings, log rollings and
fence building in Swain County,
N. C. These things, with au
tumn parties, made up our social
life in the mountain country.
Margaret Whitener, Rayon
Weaving — the annual county
fairs stand out best in my memo
ry as something I looked for
ward to in childhood in October.
The things best remembered
about fairs were the rides and
other forms of entertainment,
and candied apples.
Corene Lewis, Sales Yarn
Twisting—Early fall parties, es
pecially Halloween, with stunts
and pranks. I remember going
to Halloween parties and bob
bing for apples in a tub of
water, and taking part in taffy-
Boss Parson, Elevator Opera
tor—Down in Commerce, Banks
County, Ga., where I grew up,
gathering apples in October and
making them into cider is a
pleasant memory. I would turn
the apples press with a crank
and sample the sweet juice as
it came out.
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