By Ashley Rader
Robert Lyon Sr.’s Army Air Corps training gave him the skills to cook “the best chicken and dumplings you ever put in your mouth.”
His service also provided the ingredients for a full menu of entertaining stories.
Lyons volunteered for the Army Air Corps, serving for three years during World War II.
Lyons was raised in the Chinquapin Grove area. His son, Bobby Lyons Jr., said his father started working early in his life – he went to work in a Civilian Conservation Corps camp when he was 15 or 16 years old.
“He lied about his age to do that,” Lyons said. “He helped build Rock Creek Park in Erwin. When he went in the military, I think he was too young to go in.”
The younger Lyons said his father didn’t find out his exact age until he was getting ready to retire. His birth certificate was destroyed in a courthouse fire and when the document was found, it showed he was born at a completely different time than he thought.
“He was actually a year older than he thought he was,” Lyons said. “His birthday was a different day, too.”