The sound of laughter rings out from Vay Cole’s Westwood apartment on a recent September weekend. Margie Gallop is in for a visit from her home at the Outer Banks. Leo Clodfelter, of Troy, is there in the neat living room as well. The Miller girls don’t have much chance these days to be together, usually just once a year. But when they are together, it’s a time for reminiscing and sharing stories from a combined 280 years of living.
Vay is the eldest of the sisters at 96; Leo, the middle sister, is 93 and Margie, at 91, is still “the baby,” still teased by Leo and Vay about getting away with things the older children didn’t.
The sisters, along with two brothers, Reggie and John Miller, both now deceased, started out in the Yadkin River community of Newsom, in Davidson County. Their father, Jack, worked at a lumber mill. When the mill burned in 1929, Jack was offered a job at the Wallace and Smitherman Mill and they moved to Montgomery County in 1930. Their mother, Bertie, came from the village of Moratock, near the current site of Carolina Forest, so there were connections to Montgomery County.
The Miller girls were ages 9, 11 and 14 when the family moved to Troy, living first in what was called Staley Town, a neighborhood off Eldorado Street where Mr. Staley owned a lot of rental houses. Later, they moved to North Troy, to a house that once stood on Ophir Avenue, near the current Troy Wesleyan Church.
“We liked Troy a lot better than the country,” says Leo. “There weren’t any stores in the country, and to us, moving to Troy was almost like moving to a big city.”
To read the full story, subscribe to Montgomery Herald. Subscribe online or by calling 910-576-6051.