Melvin was born in Cleburne County in 1933 and went to grammar school at Heflin. But he dropped out his ninth grade year to start working for a relative at the Biloxi, Miss., Air Force base salvaging lumber from the barracks on the base.
He then landed in Flint, Mich., to work in an automobile factory called Ternstedt Division of General Motors. They made parts for Pontiac, Chevy, Buick and Cadillac.
A lucky thing also happened to Melvin in Flint. He met his future wife, Faye Clay. They were married in January 1956 in Angola, Indiana.
“Faye and I both worked there and we were laid off in 1957 and we came back to Alabama,” Melvin said. “I went to work for Lee Brothers Brass Foundry and worked there for eight years and we lived in Jacksonville.
“In the meantime I went to Anniston Adult Evening School and graduated. I them went to Jacksonville State. I went two semesters and got sick with the flu. I got behind and didn’t go back.”
Instead, Melvin went into the insurance business as an independent agent in 1966. He’s still involved now part-time.
The couple built their first house in White Plains in 1975 until they built a new one.
Happy birthday again to Melvin and many more returns.