Carl Staley, Julie Staley, and John Staley

Recorded December 22, 2010 Archived December 22, 2010 41:33 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ATL000640


John Staley interviews his parents Carl and Julie Staley. The group talk about their careers, favorite family memories and proudest family moments.

Subject Log / Time Code

Carl and Julie met at Catwaba College In Salisbury, NC. They were introduced by friends and fell in love.
Carl served in the army. He was stationed in Europe and traveled all over Europe while there. He also served as an executive director to the agency that eventually grew into the leading child development/child welfare center in North Carolina.
When integration/busing came to Greensboro, NC , Carl and Julie were heavily involved in promoting integration. They developed a program to have parent chaperone on buses to make sure all the children and parents felt safe.
In their retirement, Julie’s favorite activities are bridge and cooking for the family. Carl still works although retired because he feels working is his favorite past-time.
The group recalls a family trip to Europe
Carl and Julie recall a trip to Alaska and the beauty of the wildlife.


  • Carl Staley
  • Julie Staley
  • John Staley

Recording Location

Atlanta Storybooth

Venue / Recording Kit


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00:07 My name is John Staley. I am 46 years old today is December 22nd 2010. I'm in downtown Atlanta Georgia, and I'm talking to my parents Carl and Julie Staley.

00:21 My name is Carl Staley. I'm 78 years old. This is December 22nd 2010. I'm in downtown Atlanta and I'm speaking to my son.

00:34 This is Julie Staley. I'm 75 years old. This is December 22nd, 2010 in downtown Atlanta, and I'm talking to my son.

00:47 Well, the first thing I want to know is Julie. Where were you born? I was born in Richmond, Virginia and Carl. What about you? Where were you born? I was born in Frederick, Maryland and Carl who was in your family when you were younger when we lived in the same house that my mother was born in and grew up in and my grandfather was still there in the house in addition to my sister and my father and then of course after I was born my younger brother joined us and

01:28 We had a family of five. My grandfather died then.

01:35 When I was about 4 or 5 years of age and I'm not quite sure exactly how old I was.

01:45 Julie where did you live when you were younger?

01:49 Okay.

01:53 First I lived in Richmond then I lived in New York and then I lived in New Jersey and then I move to Charlotte, North Carolina.

02:06 Carl what did you want to be when you were older?

02:12 When I come while I was in junior high school, I wanted very much to be an accountant.

02:18 I thought that was the thing to be in that I would enjoy doing cuz I enjoyed mass and number so much.

02:25 And then as time went on I got more interested in administration and then other kinds of things.

02:32 UK and Julie, what about you? What did you want to be when you when you grew up?

02:38 I don't really remember.

02:41 Okay.

02:43 Julie where did you get your education? I went to Boyden High School in Salisbury, North Carolina. And then I went to Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. And what did you study while you were a college student teacher?

03:01 And you were you a teacher? Yes. I was for a couple years. What grade did you teach second grade?

03:09 And Carl, what about you? Where did where did you and Julie meet?

03:14 We met at Catawba College act. I came back to college after the service and met Julie there and then we've finished our together.

03:29 What year did you graduate from college I graduated in 1958 58. Yes, and really what about you? What year did you graduate from college in 1957?

03:43 And what when did you get married?

03:49 We got married in 1956 or I graduated from college was about if he was in the service and he was a he where did you serve while you were at you were in the Army? Is that correct? That's right. And where did you serve while you were in the army?

04:15 I've started out at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland went from there to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey from there to Fort Bliss, Texas and there I went overseas with the first contingent of Corporal missiles that were taken to Europe and stayed in Europe for 11 months and then return to the United States and discharge. I was only in for 2 years. Where did you where were you in Europe?

04:49 I was actually station than gonsenheim mites, which is on the Rhine River about 25 miles from Frankfurt, Germany.

05:00 And did you travel a lot while you were in Europe? I was lucky enough to go into the army as a sergeant from the military reserves and had my car with me in Europe. So yes, I did get to travel a whole lot and got to see a lot of the European nations and was just excited and delighted by what I saw over there. I had the time to move around a good bit mall with over there. What was the one place that you saw that you is the most memorable while you were there? I guess Wesley the Alps around.

05:43 Heart and Kirk and I think is the right name. I've done not quite sure of the name anymore. But it was just we were there in the middle of the winter and it was just positively beautiful. It was just amazing sight to see and I still remember it as I said here. What country was that?

06:03 I think you'll find that was in Germany that I was in with may have been over in Switzerland sort of half in half out.

06:19 And Carl another question for you. What jobs have you had? And what was your favorite?

06:29 Cuz when I start talking about jobs, I have to go back a long way because even before I graduated from high school. I had worked as a telephone operator and then as a night auditor for a power company and then for a hotel and then after after high school went to a Iron and Steel company where I was working in the office working with the accountant and from there to an insurance company where I was a special agent traveling the states of Maryland Delaware in the district and the District of Columbia in addition to the two states.

07:12 Went from there into the military after I came back went to college then talk for a year. Then went to a children's home where I was the interim administrator for a year and from there went to grad school where I graduated with an MSW it with a social work degree and earned my MSW and started working at a children's home again, then went to a juvenile court where I was a chief probation officer to the State Department of Public Welfare where I was the assistant director child welfare services for the whole state of North Carolina and then left State Department Public Welfare to join a new agency in Greensboro North Carolina as the executive director of a new child care course.

08:12 Dating agency and stayed there for 30 over 30 years working with it as it grew to be a very large agency at some points having close to 200 employees and serving 1802 children or she'll be your favorite. I think that the favourite was the agency in Greensboro where I was executive director. This was started out as United day care services and evolved into United child development services as we added other services and it was an exciting job where there was always something new going on and growing and changing and struggling with the issues and really seeing children learn and grow and enjoying working with her family. So they're so that was my favorite job. I'm sure.

09:11 That leads me to another interesting question. I had reason in the last few years to sit and talk with an old friend of Carl and Julie's who shared with me something that I did not know was that when we lived in Greensboro and when Carl was working as the Director of of United child development services, which was then United United day care services that North Carolina had resisted the the integration of schools have because it would require busing and then in the early 1970s North Carolina was forced by the Supreme Court to integrate the schools, but this was not done simply overnight and that it was something that took some encouragement from members of our of the public and this individual shared with me that

10:09 Did the two of you were involved in going around and talking to people about school integration and about busing in order to make that happen? What can you tell me about that?

10:26 There was a whole series of community meetings as we tried to work with the community or your mother and I were the co-presidents incoming co-presidents of the PTA at one of the schools that was going to be we were going to be busted job was going to be brushed you from across the other side of town and I don't remember how I got to ask to be that but anyway, we were very very very much involved and then we ended up our agency ended up with a van that I got permission of our board of directors to allow the committee that was doing the presentation Xavier series of public meetings.

11:22 Let them use our van at nights to whole the

11:31 Screens and projectors that were used back at that day and time to share with the audience of the presentation that have been developed about what was going to happen. Then though we went on and worked.

11:48 First few months of the integration of the busing we actually had Parents riding on every one of the buses and a parent to ride to school and a parent to read home for the first month of school when we assigned parents and these were all people who volunteered who went to school and picked up his parents and gave him a ride home and another and then we are saying somebody else who took the parent to school to ride the bus. So we do this for a month to try to reassure people, but we were going to take good care of their children.

12:34 And it worked pretty well and we had no problems whatsoever in our community with that. This was a non-event. It just worked. Well, everybody worked hard at making it work. Well when it was a very smooth transition for our community.

12:54 I should mention that another related thing to that is the fact that I had Frederick Maryland where I had grown up.

13:05 Was the

13:07 First County in the I believe I'm correct in saying in the whole nation that totally integrated. They were not account. They were not a county that resisted like so many other places did and but maybe that's maybe that was part of why I was so ready for it. But I was also working with an agency that was working with a number of black children at the time so that it was something I was very familiar with in terms of the benefits of what was going to happen.

13:45 Well that was sort of care assistant to one of the other questions about one of those moments in your life that you would be proud of what first of all I guess let's why don't we ask Julie Julie? What's the what's the proudest moment of your life?

14:08 That was one of them is working with them and getting the kids. So they were happy with school and their parents were happy to

14:16 And I don't know many others right now. Nothing else special. I'm sure there's a lot of it.

14:23 Okay. Well Carl, what about you? What's what's one of those? What's the proudest moment of your life?

14:34 I had so many.

14:37 Word great time since

14:41 I guess that one of the really special moments was when the state legislature pass past the new daycare licensing law after there has been so much rhubarb over having Licensing in the state and then the evolution that occurred as we organize the board for the implementation of the law and actually ending up being the chairman of the daycare licensing board the first chairman of the new daycare licensing board so that I

15:20 That was all an evolution of my very active efforts with the daycare Association and with the agency there in Greensboro.

15:33 Have a question for you, cuz I'm sitting here and I'm looking at both of you and you mentioned that you met in college. So how exactly did you be like tell me Carl first tell me about the first time you saw her.

15:50 I will tell you actually.

15:54 Friends

15:56 That's what how we met his his his friend Ed wink and my friend who ended up being Mary wink.

16:06 Introduced us to each other.

16:09 I can still remember meeting her in the what do they call the soda shop of the dolly? I actually whatever it was. They had another name for it back. Then it was pretty dinky little place but was good place for Gathering but I was down visiting before I went overseas visiting a friend of mine who was in college. This was a a boy that I had known when he was a camper.

16:42 In a church camp with me and I was a counselor there at the camp and then

16:52 They introduced me to Julie and I correspond it with her while I was overseas and then came back being sure that I was not ready to get married in four months later. We were engaged so something happened.

17:10 I want to know who did you buy her a phosphate at the at the centers at the soda shop on campus?

17:22 They must have had a drink machine or something there, but I don't remember that it relates to that was that I'm Carl at the time that you aware came home from Germany before being discharged from the military. How did you get home?

17:46 Did you fly?

17:48 No, I came home. I had gone to Europe by boat and I came home by both got home and we were on the high seas over Christmas day. So it was kind of Drury and Lonesome and there were a lot of sick DIYs on the boat and that always adds to everybody's excitement because you got a bunch of sick people around you laying in the stairwells and so sick that they dumped couldn't stand up and all I can say is I'm so grateful that I had no trouble with seasickness coming or going. That's one of the reasons why I was so

18:32 Surprised when years later and we went on our first cruise and I came home and when I got home I got couldn't stop the boat rocking couldn't stop rocking and got sick enough that I ended up going to the doctor in order to get help getting myself stabilized again. So it was I didn't get sick, back when I was a younger man, but when I was an older man and got on it just went on a few day cruise.

19:02 I got the rocket and couldn't stop. I'm curious. You said the truth that you spent a Christmas Day on that on that on that shift. Remember exactly 9 day eight or nine days that we were on shipboard coming coming and going and you put one of those days was Christmas day. Yes, what did they serve for dinner? I have no recollection was that I was a person who always liked food even Army food so that this was this was something that I hear so many people complain about but I bet you to see Stickman remember what I was sure they don't remember a thing about the trip some of them were so spaced out that they they were glassy-eyed and and and just I've never seen people get so sick.

19:56 Very sad. Okay. Well the other things I wanted to ask you about this something that we've discussed a little bit. All right, but something that I want to be sure that we talked about a little bit more.

20:12 I was thinking to myself about the question. I asked Julie and she said that she wasn't sure about those proud moments except for one that we've already discussed which relates to the integration of schools and busing in North Carolina, but I distinctly recall as as a youngster being around my mother.

20:38 When she worked so hard in the various organizations that her children got her involved in whether it be the parent teacher Association at school or the Greensboro Youth Soccer Association or the Greensboro, excuse me, swimming community swim league and all the time and effort.

21:04 That she dedicated to those organizations and Endeavors that her children got her involved in and I just wonder if she were to reflect back. What would be what would be a moment that she would remember fondly from those times?

21:24 I remember I remember working with the swimming for quite a few years and enjoying every summer with it was lots of fun. But I have another moment that I have good memories about is our 50th wedding anniversary party and a nice party about your children put on for me with all the lots of friends and family there and how much it meant to me to have that.

21:52 You you you bringing that up actually reminds me of another event that I recall fondly and I believe that you and curl recall fondly as well, which was your parents 50th wedding anniversary. It was an event that had the back to that. I remember and always will and makes me think to myself. That's so now how long have the two of you been married now 54 years.

22:16 54 okay, very good. And so what are the plans for the 75th wedding anniversary take a 1 year did time. I think that's an excellent idea. Julie isn't really working anymore and still works. He's he's retired but not retired. I'm wondering Julie of all your many activities. What which one is your favorite you what you do so many different things on a daily and a weekly basis. I'm wondering which one is the one you enjoy the most.

23:03 Oh, I guess I enjoy playing cards about as much as anything and which of which are you play like a different games? You don't win very often. But that's all right with you if you liked it. Anyway opinion ship. I'm seeing all these lovely people I somehow imagine that you were going to give a different answer. I thought you were going to tell me that your favorite thing to do was to cook at 2.

23:32 I enjoy doing things from cooking for my grandchildren. We had a nice and so that this week went Maddie wanted had her two teeth pulled and she had to have some macaroni and cheese and she came to my house that she couldn't find it at I had to get it out real quick and go take it to her. So you are you are that you're the queen of macaroni and cheese with that in mind. I'm thinking to that although Carl still works some he he he does lots of other things too, and I'm wondering what is the one thing that girl is doing now that he enjoys the most

24:09 Is it working? I think it is still working. That's strange that

24:18 I say that but that's still true was that I've always enjoyed working and as I used to say at the at United day care services, it was almost like everything else. I'd ever done was training for that job because it required so many different things and I had used everything I've ever done all the way back to digging ditches and the job that I had at United daycare. So it was there was always excitement there. And as I say, I've enjoyed my working get a lot of satisfaction out of doing things and being with people and interacting with people when problem solving is I guess something that I find very rewarding

25:13 Tell him what is your favorite memory of your parents Mother's when you are a childhood memory or now just what it is. I think one of my favorite memories is um,

25:27 That wind

25:30 When when I was a teenager when I was when I was still in high school and college Julie's mother was the last of my grandparents alive and she and her husband had worked very hard, especially her husband to 2 to put the money aside to have money available to any and all of their grandchildren if they were interested in going to college and I wanted to go to college and they and they made the money available to pay for me to go to school and that I worked very hard and continue to have a relationship with my grandmother that

26:11 She and I didn't get to see each other as often as I might have liked but I would go down to visit with her every 3 or 4 weeks and she loved grilled cheese sandwiches. And so I would make go down and make a grilled cheese sandwiches and have lunch with her and we would sit and talk and visit for a couple of hours and then I would go home again and I did that throughout college and graduate from college in 1986 and my grandmother was there to share that moment with me and that's one of the Fondest Memories I have because my parents and my mother's mother were there to share it with me. I still have additional things that have occurred since then.

27:03 One of those things is I waited a very long time to get married and have a child and the only thing that I'd say is is a regret is that I'm the crap that grandmother is not here still to to share those things with us as well. But I have gone and taken my taking my wife and now I haven't had done it yet, but it's my intention and not too distant future to take my to take my daughter as well to visit the the side of my grandmother and grandfather's burial so she can know the

27:43 The joy that I feel from the relationship that I have with my grandmother.

27:49 I think one other thing that all of us that would at least Carlin Julianne Diane and my younger brother and my father sister Sheridan, which is one of the things we really liked was we all went to Europe together. So what we talked about that just a little bit Julie won't you tell us about how we managed to find a way to go to Europe on the cheap?

28:11 I didn't know we went on the cheek while we had a place to stay in Europe while we were there other brother and his wife were in.

28:25 Holland he was a teacher at Indiana University and he did research he would do research different countries and he was in Holland doing research and his family went with him and he had a daughter and a son who will then went into the school. So daughter went to the school as a little boy and a little my nephew is a bit too young and we went over and they had to stay with them. It was very interesting because they were in a very small place but we stayed with them and then we would drive out to different places in Holland to visit and we were with while we were there. We went to Germany and we also went to England.

29:09 Okay, and so go ahead. I'm sorry. So we enjoyed it. We had a Volkswagen you should have seen us and a lot of nice memories. You know, what is your what are your fond memories of our trip to Europe?

29:33 Well, we had the really interesting experience of flying over to England and then trying to call back to let everybody know because we have misread. We we got enticed into this trip understanding that we can go over and spend the day and then fly on back on the special fare we had but then after we got over there we found out that we had misread the information and that we were going to have to stay overnight and do something before we can do something else before we go back in order to get this good deal that we had thought we had had on the tickets.

30:16 Then we tried to call back only to find get no answers call back to my brother-in-law and his wife to let him know what was going on because we weren't going to be coming home and nobody would answer the phone. So finally the next day when we got back thinking something was frantically terribly wrong with them that they weren't answering the phone. We got there and Andrew is we ask we told them what had happened in the fact that nobody's answering the phone and they looked at their son and said,

30:52 Who unplugged the phone? And he said I did.

30:57 That was a very frustrating experience for all of us, but it was once we knew they were okay and we were okay then they knew we were okay then everybody was well again, but a long time ago. Well, I guess that makes the next question. I want to know about about the trip to Europe.

31:16 Do you remember which meal you enjoyed the most when we were there?

31:26 I'm not remembering it ever so many I can remember things that I can remember on fact that I ate something I shouldn't have eaten and upset stomach was planning to bring me nothing. But hurry because everything else was so interesting and different than usual and so much room for improvement, but it was a it was a good chat time. We had a good time while I was very interesting that they don't really drink iced tea in England and the fact that we had to talk them into giving us ice and they thought we were crazy to put ice in their teeth are in so long, but they finally adapted we had some other experiences there with people from other.

32:26 Creature around and interacting with them and learning about their their things and they their habits and so on. So we had a lot of fun with a trip that was quite a tripping having Irene along with this and having her what she added was just very nice to she wish her a good sport about a lot of things. I was curious if you remember the other thing is that is Julie. What what do you remember most about our trip to Europe or do you not remember as well as I do?

33:02 How many times did we how many times were we thoroughly searched in airports?

33:12 You don't remember you making a face like you don't remember. You don't remember your brother and his wife asking for us to take popcorn. What asked us to bring some stuff to come over there today couldn't get over there. And we took them bottles of unpopped popcorn and what and what happened as a result of me. We had we went over to Europe right after that big explosion at Chernobyl. That's what we went. And it was a lot of security are going on a secure. You don't remember the other event that had occurred planes to bomb Libya.

33:58 Remember that part that's why the airports in Europe were all on a high-security it where they ain't we got searched in Greensboro when we were departing because I had a jar of popcorn which I thought was a bomb.

34:11 We got searched in London because I was carrying a coat over my shoulder and they thought I had a gun underneath my under the coat and let's see. We also got searched on departure in Brussels because I had beer steins packed into my luggage and I thought those were bombs. Also, what else do we need? What else do you remember? Did you didn't wear your your bags really light when we traveled home or where they release you know that we had too many things we were hearing back.

34:46 And you don't remember what I asked you to care for me know what did you ask me? Well, I remember because I know that when I finally got home that there were marks on my shoulders from trying to carry the bags with beer in them. You don't remember catering beer. Yeah, I guess I bet and also do you remember that something else out? I will never forget is the plastic chairs at the Newark International Airport?

35:11 When we got those we slept and we got to Newark. We have you been we haven't I think we went over 24 hours without any sleep. So we were sort of Donkey by the time we were Newark. Yes, we were and you say you remember those it with Carl said something about sleeping in the plastic chairs in Newark. I don't think I could sleep much but I was just trying to remember some of those those find moments the the routine searches and strange foods and this range highway signs and they missed if you didn't know German you can find the wide-open highways in Germany, though.

35:55 When I get home though, they're called it's called the Autobahn Autobahn unlimited speed limits.

36:04 Yes, I recall driving and having a car appear out of nowhere and be very angry with me because I was in the fast lane passing a truck only two only for him to appear and be very angry and then disappear as quickly as he had appeared again. Okay what since then the two of you have been on a lot of other trips and I have unfortunately not been able to go with you by you have been to Alaska. Isn't that right? Yes, and where else in you've been to Panama?

36:37 Yeah, you want the Panama where else have you been in Alaska was a very favorite trip. That's where we

36:48 We traveled again with Irene with my sister and with my sister-in-law and one of my nieces and another friend of the family and went to Alaska and just had a the best cruise and trip that we've ever had. It was positively perfect. And we saw so many wonderful beautiful sites and things and had such good experience and there's just the one that we we think we'd like to repeat of all the cruises we've been on weave like to go back to Alaska again and go on the land trip to Wii if it's if it's half as good as the previous trip we had it would be great trip cuz it was just the other trip was just so super. What was the one part of that trip to Alaska?

37:48 Memorable

37:51 How about you you want you want to make sure that we we went on a we were couldn't believe what the fellas on the boats were saying to us about the fact that they would give us our money back if we didn't see whales and I've heard so many sad stories about people who went on whale watching trips and never sold weight with these guys made quite a thing of doing it and we soon found out why because we saw so many whales it was almost unbelievable and I can still remember the thrill of seeing a whole group of whales a whole pot of white whales

38:38 Clustering around evidently. What was the school was small fish and corralling them and then coming up through the small fish and actually eating mouthfuls of the small fish and this with these were six or eight large whales doing this and we were here on this boat just a hundred yards or so away from where they were we were right on top of them and was just a very exciting but it we saw so much

39:12 Beautiful Wildlife up. So close. We even saw a grizzly bear and a cub on the side of a fjord up there. That was just a really exciting experience all kinds of Wildlife and said it was just a very very excited.

39:45 Norwegian the glacier in the fjords in the off the ship was actually calving pieces off of a down into the water there and all the seals around it was exciting is very well. So, what's the what's the what's the next trip, Alaska?

40:07 Hey, if we go on if we could get the chance to go to Alaska is maybe and thank to there's a possibility that we may have an opportunity to go Jacks year, but we still exploring that. I didn't mind. I'd like to wish you bon voyage and and it's been nice talking with you today.

40:28 Even though we have actually run out of time. I want to give you one up an opportunity for anything. You want to say to John or your grandchildren or anything you want to say?

40:41 What do you want to say?

40:43 I didn't mention anybody but Maddie, but we have other stuff. I would like to say hello to all of them.

40:54 And Savannah

40:57 And Madison who have already mentioned in Hayden and and Christopher.

41:05 Little Miss Allison who is three

41:10 And she is very busy little girl and we love them all and it's very nice that I've had the opportunity to give my parents that last grandchild because I think at times they wondered if they would ever if I would ever give them a time, but I finally did.

41:27 A big surprise, but it was