‘A Boy From Down East’ spent youth in AuroraPublished 6:31pm Friday, February 21, 2014
By JONATHAN ROWE
Washington Daily News
The Beaufort County style of living has long been confined to the individuals residing here — until now.
“A Boy From Down East” by Larry B. Gray made its debut this week, shedding light on his experiences as a young boy in the small, rural town of Aurora during the 1950s and 1960s.
“That’s where I spent most of my youth,” said Gray.
In the book, Gray gives his account of working on his grandparents’ tobacco farm, along with a number of personal stories from his childhood, including homecoming, church life and dating in a small, rural town.
“My grandfather would sit me on a tobacco sled and I was given reins to a mule,” Gray said. “I worked with him, hand in hand, from the time I could crawl.”
According to Gray, the book was started several years ago in the form of an autobiographical blog. Over the years, Gray wrote what he knew about — himself — and the blog transformed into a self-published book.
Gray attended Aurora High School.
“We were in that same building for 12 years,” Gray added.
After marrying his high school sweetheart in 1972, Gray moved to Lakeland, Fla., spending his adult years working in the citrus industry and raising three children. According to Gray, his grandfather asked why he moved so far away from home. Gray had found out how far south tobacco grew and moved 100 miles farther.
“He (Gray’s grandfather) laughed when I said it, but I noticed a tear come from his eye,” Gray reminisced.
Gray currently resides in Bartow, Fla., with his wife, three children and two grandchildren.
Gray is planning to visit his family in eastern North Carolina, and he will attend his high school class reunion scheduled for June in Aurora.