Gary Hensley

Profile Updated: January 10, 2014
Gary Hensley
Residing In: Huntington, WV USA
Occupation: retired from plastic plant after 42 yrs.
Children: KatyKat, Oct. '94 -- April, '09.
Hakeem, Oct. '94 -- July, '11.
FLOPSY, Feb. '13
Yes! Attending Reunion

By 1966 I was working in the lab at Novamont. I stayed 42 yrs and worked for U.S.Steel, Mitsubishi, and Sunoco since the plant kept changing hands. I worked with Gloria Chafin for several years, and later, Sally Holley.
In the 90's I wrote two books for my family about my childhood on 27th St. and at Lincoln Elementary. I had three "fans" but two of them died, so there's been no great demand for the third book.
To me it seems natural to recall long sequences and precise dialog 50 or 60 yrs. later. I suppose that's why it bothered me when so many of the former classmates I encountered over the years didn't remember me at all. I'm over that now. (When I met Sue Davidson in the mid-70's, she was sure I was too young to have gone to school with her. That was sweet.)
Nobody ever heard me say I wanted a cat. A dog is a man's pet. Besides, I couldn't offer the stability a pet would need: I worked 7 days, 7 evenings, 7 midnights, and sometimes worked double shifts. That's no environment for a critter. Nevertheless, in 1994 I had two 10-wk-old kittens thrust upon me. They were on probation for awhile, but they stayed and I became "Daddy."
In 2009 I lost my beautiful, brilliant little KatyKat to cancer. Seven pounds of fur and attitude, she outsmarted me every day and entertained me constantly. Hakeem is so sweet and simple, it's like
having a live teddybear. He's 16, well behaved, and extraordinarily handsome.
Retirement has not been productive. Decades of shift work took a toll: I went from feeling bad, to
feeling really bad, to having a heart attack in 2010.
I am hoping to get straightened out and get something done this year.
I lost Hakeem a few weeks ago to various ailments. He was 94 in human years, so we might say "old age." Parenthood was rewarding but I don't think I will do it again.
I am giving parenthood another "go." This little guy, Flopsy, just showed up last summer, and won me over in a few months. He is nearly perfect and I am much better prepared now than I was nineteen years ago.

School Story:

Thanks to some magic words from Miss Hodge
I went from a 2.0 average for the 10th grade to a 4.0 average for the 12th grade. I thought I had done a good job as a senior--until forty years later, when I got a transcript of my records.
Some anonymous teacher had taken her poison pen to an evaluation of my character, habits, personality. "Cannot work with others"
was the killer.
The evidence points to Ms. Underwood, Librarian, Advisor for the annual staff. She had adopted my proposal for the theme, including the birthday cake (posing with the cake, cutting the cake, Susan feeding Richard some cake.) I thought she was pleased to have someone who wanted to work, rather than play and socialize.
Seems I was wrong.
One day she sent me on an errand which took maybe ten minutes. When I got back they were all eating the famous cake. I just missed out on an opportunity to "work with others" on that pastry.
Such was life in high school: some people got cake, some didn't.

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Dec 14, 2023 at 4:33 AM
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Gary Hensley has left an In Memory comment for William Morris.
Jun 27, 2017 at 8:33 PM

     Little Bill, as he was known at home, ran through the house, jumped onto a throw rug, and rode it like a surfboard across the waxed floor.  And nobody told that wild child to "cool it."

     At other boys' homes I was shown bayonets, an Imperial flag, and a German Luger, but the Morris home had the greatest attraction of all: A parrot, the first I had ever seen.

     Bill's grandma was cooking supper and the dog was in the kitchen, mooching.

     "What should we do with him, Polly?" she asked.

     "Throw him out!  Throw him out!" was Polly's reply.

     Hey!  The dog was behaving better than Little Bill.

     Bill and I were friends from the first grade right to the end; I saw him the year before he died.  Connie had brought him to St. Mary's for treatment and I was in there for testing.  We just saw each other in passing and didn't get to talk.  I really regret that.

     As boy and man, Bill Morris was one fine fellow.


Gary Hensley has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jun 27, 2017 at 8:33 PM

     Linda wrote me several years ago, after reading my profile on this site.  She said that I should be writing toward publication, and she was speaking as someone with years in the teaching field.

     I was flattered.

     I responded that my plan was to have something ready for submission (by my niece) after my death because I couldn't stand any more major failures in this lifetime.

     Pancreatic cancer intruded and gave me a thorough beat-down.  I missed Linda's birthday-Christmas greeting in 2015 while I was recuperating from surgery.  I really regret that and the fact that we had no communication after my illness.

     I did greatly appreciate her interest and input and her generosity, and I take her passing as a personal loss.

Gary Hensley has a birthday today.
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Jan 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM