Sep. 24—LAURINBURG — If there was anyone who could claim that he had ink in his blood, it was Clyde Alexander Trollinger, who was a longtime plant superintendent and former vice president of The Laurinburg Exchange.
Trollinger was born on Jan. 6, 1894, in Catawba County to Joseph and Ida Blanchard.
During his younger days, he tried out the printing end of newspapers with the Newton Enterprise, which was also in his birth county.
World War I put a hold on his career as he joined up with the National Guard Cavalry Troop A. After he left the military, he went back to working in the newspaper field with his first job being a linotype operator with the Wilmington Morning Star.
Later on, he continued in the same field by working in Baltimore, Washington and New York.
In 1921, Trollinger came to Laurinburg to work with O.L. Moore at The Laurinburg Exchange.
For most of his next 45 years, he served as plant manager and vice president.
"My mother told me he was very fast in sorting type," said Trollinger's grandson, Wayne R. Boyles III, "and she told me they had a dog named Boy-Boy. He would follow my grandfather to The Exchange and there was an area underneath the printing presses where he would sleep until time to go home."
In 1966 Trollinger retired when the newspaper changed from letterpress to photographic offset and moved to a new location. In Trollinger's obituary, it was said that, throughout his years with The Laurinburg Exchange, his influence was felt throughout the community as well as through his skill and experience as a master printer.
Also according to his obituary, Trollinger was a past master of the Laurinburg Masonic Lodge 305, A Rotarian and an American Legionnaire.
He was also an active leader in the First United Methodist Church, where he served for many years on the administration board, before he passed away, he was also a member of the church's Finance Commission.
"If we were there over a Sunday, we would go to my grandparent's church on Church Street. Mom told me he was helping with the communion serving one Sunday and the disposable cups didn't arrive, so they had to use the glass ones. Mom told me she asked my grandfather how they washed the glass cups so quickly to get them out for use in the service," chuckled Boyles. "My grandfather replied, 'Who said anything about washing them?'
"My wife Stephanie and I made the drive from Pinehurst to worship there a few months back and it was so special to be there and remember my grandfather and my mother who grew up in that church and where she married my father," added Boyles.
Memories of the past
Boyles described his grandfather as one of the kindest men you could ever hope to meet.
"He had a great sense of humor and loved all of us grandchildren," said Boyles. "One of the things he would do when we visited was he would give us a long cane pole to knock pecans down from the very large tree in the backyard. He had a large compost pit in the shape of a U made of cinder blocks that supplied his gardens.
"I remember one time he took us down to Hamlet to watch the long trains pass through," Boyles continued. "As a child, I had a fascination with trains, and it was a dream come true to do that. As an adult I still love trains and it probably started there."
Other than knocking down pecans for fun, Trollinger also liked to take his grandchildren fishing.
"He took me fishing as a child to a lake in Scotland County, I can recall it was near St. Andrews," said Boyles. "We caught a lot that day and Grandmother Florrie fixed them for our supper.
"In the dining room in my grandparents' home, he would sit at the end of the table closest to West Boulevard," Boyles added as he reminisced. "Christmas and Thanksgiving were so special with him, my grandmother and family."
Trollinger, according to his grandson was also known to be a gardener.
"He also liked stamp collecting and collecting almanacs," said Boyles. "He was an officer with the Sandhills Stamp Collectors Club, where he also served as a past president."
"How blessed by God I was to have such a grandfather who taught me so much about life and to always have a positive attitude," added Boyles.
JJ Melton can be reached at [email protected]
YOU CAN HELP ...
The Laurinburg Exchange is always looking for those who once lived here. If you know someone who lived and made an impact in Scotland County long ago, call JJ Melton at 910-506-3169 or send an email to [email protected]