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Introduction

Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2008, at 6:15 PM

(Photo)
This is the Corbin home on Cato Slough, where a family of eight children were born and raised. I stayed here until I was eighteen years old.
My name is Paul Corbin, and this is my first attempt to create a Blog. I have a feeling that I am getting into something that is somewhat above my expertise in the use of the computer, as I did not start using the computer until I was 85 years of age Anyway, I am going to give it a try, and I will start out by telling you a few things about myself.

I was born in South Bollinger County Mo. in 1914, and after reading some history, I discovered that my birth was not the only notable event to occur that year, as Joe DiMaggio, Joe Lewis, Danny Thomas, Jane Wyman, and Dorothy Lamour were also born in 1914. The Panama Canal was opened that year; Edgar Rice Burroughs published "Tarzan Of The Apes," and the first red and green traffic light was put in operation in 1914.

World War 1 had its beginning in 1914, and I was old enough to remember seeing the soldier boys march down the cobble-stone streets of Cape Girardeau after helping to win that war, so I have lived through two World Wars, and witnessed the transition from the horse and buggy to the automobile and space travel, all the way to putting a man on the moon, and landing a craft on the planet Mars.

I heard the first feeble voice of radio, and watched as it spread instant communication to all parts of the world and outer space. I witnessed the arrival of the miracle, "Television", and watched with awe its first pictures, which were just about like looking through a dirty window to the outside on a cloudy day, where children were playing in a snowstorm.

I watched the flickering pictures of the silent movies, where captions were flashed on the screen to outline the dialogue of the actors.

When I was growing up out on the farm, our family income was about $300.00 to $500.00 per year. We had no electricity, so our only lights were the kerosene lamp or lantern, which gave off just a little more light than a glass jar filled with fireflies. We had no refrigeration, so any food left from the noon-day meal was simply covered with a table cloth, and come supper time, a few more beans were added to the pot and supper was ready. I guess salmonella had not been invented at that time.

We carried our water from a pitcher pump in the back yard. We didn't have a bathtub and didn't take a bath very often. Our washing machine was Mom and her corrigated wash board, and our clothes dryer was that slender wire, stretched between two posts in the back yard. The only time we had frozen food was when the fire went out in the "King Heater" in January.

In driver's education the first thing we learned was "Gee and Haw." Any discussion concerning the "Race Issue" meant a couple were arguing about who had the fastest horse. When anyone mentioned "The Pill," we knew they were referring to "Carter's little liver pills." Having a weapon in school meant that some boy was carrying a slingshot in his hip pocket.

We didn't have a lot of modern conveniences back then. We did everything the hard way, but we still found time to visit our neighbor and help any of them that were in need. Today we are producing many things to make life easier, things that will last for fifty years but will become obsolete in six months. We have so many time-saving devices that we have to spend most of our time taking care of them, and we need someone to help us carry them around.


Comments
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Welcome to the Blogisfere, Paul Corbin!! We who have enjoyed your columns in the North Stoddard Countian for years look forward to sharing ideas and observations with you on this very cool website!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jun 25, 2008, at 6:58 PM

Howdy, Mr. Corbin. It's a joy to read your stories in the paper and I'm delighted to see you have a blog. It gives me goosebumps to read about all the changes you've witnessed. You're a treasure. Keep up the good work.

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Jun 25, 2008, at 7:23 PM

Welcome Mr. Corbin. I'm very much looking forward to reading all the amazing stories and insights that you put on your new blog. You'll get the hang of it in no time. I hope you enjoy telling us your stories on here as much as we'll enjoy reading them. Happy blogging!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Jun 25, 2008, at 7:43 PM

Welcome aboard, Mr. Corbin! I very much enjoyed reading your blog - my father was also born the same year as you. It was such an insight to read all the changes that has occured in your lifetime.

-- Posted by my2kids on Wed, Jun 25, 2008, at 8:55 PM

Welcome aboard, Mr. Corbin! I very much enjoyed reading your blog - my father was also born the same year as you. It was such an insight to read all the changes that has occured in your lifetime.

-- Posted by my2kids on Wed, Jun 25, 2008, at 10:25 PM

Very interesting Mr. Corbin. Welcome aboard!

-- Posted by greer958 on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 8:20 AM

You've had such a warm welcome, you're obligated to keep up your blog now! We look forward to it.

-- Posted by gardengirl on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 2:26 PM

Paul CORBIN, I HOPE THAT YOU HAVE SAVED ALL YOUR STORIES SOME DAY THEY WILL BEIN A BOOK AND YOU WILL OR SOME ONE WILL BE RICH.

-- Posted by rusty nail on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 3:35 PM

Are you kidding?? If Paul Corbin can save that shingle-making tool that he and his brother used when they were kids, (see photo on Madeline's blog "A look back at gas prices") then he would most certainly save all his stories!!! ;-

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 5:32 PM

He's already written two books! They're great!

-- Posted by user mac on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 8:41 PM

What are the two books? and where can they be purchased?

-- Posted by greer958 on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 8:32 AM
Paul Corbin's response:
This is Madeline. Paul Corbin's two books are "Reflections in Missouri Mud," and "Fragments of my Feeble Mind." I'll add them to the introduction under his name. I know he doesn't have any more copies of the first one, but he does have extras of the second one.

I'm sure he won't mind if you email him at corbin@clas.net to see how you could get one. I think he mails them all over the country. And, of course, you could subscribe to the North Stoddard Countian! We publish a new Corbin column every other week!

Mr. Corbin,

Many thanks for your tenacity in taking up new technologies! Good for you!

I appreciate your stories and hope you will continue to remind us of how things have changed through one lifetime. Isn't it interesting how we all need several bathrooms now, but many of us grew up with outhouses, then one bathroom. We're cleaner, but are we any happier?

Please keep your stories coming! Thank you from Washington State.

-- Posted by JillJohnston on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 11:41 AM

I have one of Mr. Corbin's books. Love it. I know they're in the Advance Library because I remember a story in the NSC about him donating a copy to the library.

-- Posted by Ducky on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 12:14 PM

Wow! Welcome to the blogosphere! I'll be looking forward to your wit and wisdom!

-- Posted by swift on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 2:51 PM

By the way, I'm sending this to a bunch of my family and friends. They really enjoyed your insight on oil and gas prices.

-- Posted by swift on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 2:53 PM

I am looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Your stories from the past remind me of my Dad, he was born in 1912.

-- Posted by mythought on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 8:43 PM

I got an interesting email from an uncle of mine in Caifornia after I sent him the email link to this. He really liked it and made copies of it. Your popularity is going national!

-- Posted by swift on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 9:11 AM

Welcome aboard! I am looking forward to reading your blogs and I am also highly interested in reading your two books! I am a real book lover and I enjoy your writing immensly!

-- Posted by huxgirl28 on Mon, Jun 30, 2008, at 10:59 PM


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Paul Corbin is a 98-year-old historian, humorist, and amateur archeologist from Advance, Mo. He grew up in the Greenbrier area west of Advance, where he attended Stepp School on the banks of Cato Slough and the Castor River, important waterways throughout his life. In an age when many area residents did not go to high school, the young Corbin made the decision to walk the five miles to Zalma, graduating in 1933. Throughout his life, he was an enterprising businessman, selling Watkins products from house to house throughout a large area - and later opening a variety store in Advance. He and his wife Geneva traveled throughout the United States, even following the route that the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled. His knowledge of Native American culture is extensive, and he has donated a sizeable collection of his artifacts to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center and the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History in Marble Hill. Throughout the years, he has submitted articles to TBY, the North Stoddard Countian, the Ozark Mountaineer, and several other Missouri publications. He has also written two books - "Reflections in Missouri Mud," and "Fragments of my Feeble Mind." The first one is out of print.
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