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Tracy City, Tennessee


When Daddy, Sam Bowen, first met and fell in love with Mama, Mildred Nunley, he was working with a carnival sideshow - supposedly eating glass, razor blades, etc. and also wrestling (I've been told his ring name was "Bulldog Bowen) The spiel was - "Pin this man and win..!!".

It was a time when jobs were scarce and a person would do just about anything to earn a living. Mama told me about the many times she had to doctor his wounds, especially his ears, resulting from injuries in the ring.

At some point during this early period, Dad joined the Tracy City branch of the CCC (Civilian Conservaion Corp) - a group established by the government in an effort to create jobs.

During these hard times, Daddy also lived as a hobo, riding the rails from town to town, all across the country, knocking on doors asking for odd jobs, and even handouts just for food. He would tell tales of his hobo days for hours. One of my favorites was:

    "I used to pick up a brick, then go knock on a door and ask the lady of the house if she could spare some butter. I'd tell her that I was so hungry I was going to eat that brick, but it sure would go down better with some butter on it! The lady would then usually feel sorry for me and make me a sandwich or something."

    One day, I knocked on a door with my brick in hand. A small boy came to the door with his mother. I gave her my brick spiel. Feeling sorry for me, she offered to make me a sandwich, when... Her little boy tugged at her dress and said 'Mama, don't make him a sandwich...give him some butter....I want to see him eat that brick!"

Daddy ultimately ended up in Utah working in a uranium mine.

With Dad established in a job - able to support a family, Mama rode the train from Tennessee to Utah to be with him. Although not Morman by faith, they were married in the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.


May 9
Tracy City, Tennessee
Gloria Faye Bowen was born

I was born to Mildred Susie Nunley at home with the assistance of my maternal grandmother Beulah Nunley (Mama Beulah) and a midwife. It has been told that I was weighed with a hand held scale normally used for weighing produce.

A story I was told:

    Not having indoor plumbing, when Mama was potty training me she sat me on a slop jar. After I did my business, in the process of getting me up and pulling my panties up, she accidently flipped me, head first into the slop jar! I guess I could rightfully be called a "poop-head"!


Episcopal Church, Tracy City, Tennessee
I was baptised by Father Adam as a young child

1939 - 1941

Being as young as I was, I'm really not exactly sure when we lived where during this period. I do know we lived in Pueblo, Colorado, Uravan, Colorado, Redvale, Colorado, and someplace in Utah.

Mama and Daddy met, and became quite close to Alton and Birdie Earp (Uncle Alton and Aunt Birdie). They wanted us to come live on their ranch with Dad working as a ranch hand. At that time, Dad declined their offer.


It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
What is essential is invisible to the eye.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,
The Little Prince

"Our Flower Garden"