New Book Release Coming Soon!
A Legacy to Remember:
“Recollections of a Common Man”
Edited by Pamela K. Orgeron, M.A., Ed.S., BCCC, ACLC, Author
A Legacy to Remember: “Recollections of a Common Man” is the story of a man who rose above all odds stacked against him. The Great Depression, divorced parents, living in poverty, World War II, the death of a child, divorce etc.—commonly known occurrences many individuals in American History have faced. Many people would have been bitter having lived through such tragedies. But not my late cousin Duard Vinson Gillum! He not only survived but he thrived through his faith in God to become a wonderful “family man” with a successful career in the aeronautics industry, even working on the Apollo Moon Landing Project and the Space Shuttle Project. This biography follows Tiny’s autobiography Recollections of a Common Man (Xlibris, 2011) self-published before his death with a final chapter and additional photos documenting Mr. Gillum’s life.
Reared in Ashland, KY during the Great Depression, Mr. Gillum’s extended family of 11 occupied a three room shack located next to the city dump. After the Depression his family experienced the Great Flood of 1937 where many locales along the Ohio River, including Ashland, faced much devastation. When WWII started he had only completed a ninth grade education before joining the Navy, lying about his age.
During WWII, Mr. Gillum served in the U.S. Navy aboard the ship USS LSM #36 as a quartermaster. His fleet stationed in the Pacific faced enemy fire, as well as Mother Nature’s wrath, that included a large-scale typhoon in the China Sea. Mr. Gillum survived the war without any war-related injuries, which he credits to God’s protection.
Following his honorable discharge from the Navy after WWII ended, with only his ninth grade education, Mr. Gillum became a well accomplished career man in the aeronautics field while also volunteering in his community as a baseball coach for 18 years that also included coaching his son.
After retiring from both work and baseball, he and his wife Ruth enjoyed traveling around the country together before Ruth developed Alzheimer’s disease. At Ruth’s diagnosis, Tiny cared for her until her passing.
Mr. Gillum passed in 2011 shortly after the publication of his autobiography. In his autobiography he requested one of his descendants write the final chapter of his life story. As the only professional author in Mr. Gillum’s extended family, Mrs. Orgeron carries out his request through A Legacy to Remember.
Referring to Mr. Gillum as a mere survivor is an understatement, to say the least. He thrived in the midst of adversity to overcome much tragedy while maintaining an optimistic attitude that reflected to others around him. No doubt Mr. Gillum touched a lot of lives. He also left a lot of life lessons that many individuals in today’s society will glean from reading A Legacy to Remember: Recollections of a Common Man.