Today marks one month since my beloved father passed from labor to reward. We remain heartbroken, but are grateful for the time we had with him, for the impact he made in the world, and for your continual expressions of care and concern.
In June of this year, the Henderson family lost an extra-special cousin to COVID-19. Today would have been Reginald J. Henderson Sr.‘s 76th birthday. By happenstance, I ran across his high school yearbook online today and found his senior portrait.
We miss you, Cousin Reggie!
The Tiger (1962), G.W. Carver High School, Mount Olive, N.C., digitized at DigitalNC.
The last photograph I took of Mother Dear, on 6 June 2000, her 90th birthday. She passed away seven months later on 15 January 2001.
Rest in peace, Hattie Mae Henderson Ricks.
My cousin Brent Aldridge Oldham, an esteemed pediatrician in Seattle, Washington, passed away on 22 December 2015. Born in Washington DC in 1950, he was the son of the late M. Brent and Virginia Aldridge Oldham. His grandfather Zebedee Aldridge was my great-grandfather James T. Aldrich‘s brother.
His family has created a fine tribute to his life and memory.
I came into my deep interest in history late in my undergraduate career, and I never took a class in the history department at the University of North Carolina. I did have an encounter with Dr. Powell, though.
I had just encountered Walker Colvert on microfilm for the first time. The 1900 federal census of Iredell County, North Carolina, listed the 74 year-old former slave as Virginia-born, and I wondered how I might ever determine where he might have come from. Afloat in naivete, I called Dr. Powell’s office and asked for an appointment. I wanted to understand migration patterns into North Carolina’s western Piedmont, and I thought “who better to ask?” Dr. Powell was welcoming and patient and betrayed no sign that he did not entertain curious English majors everyday. I came away from my brief visit with a strong suggested-reading list and even a personal tip that he knew of Colverts from the Staunton, Virginia, area. Three years later, I was enrolled in the graduate program in American History at Columbia University.
Joseph Franklin Barfield, son of Walter and Katie Kornegay Barfield, died 12 April 2014 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Cousin Joseph was born in 1933 near Mount Olive, Wayne County, North Carolina, and served honorably in the United States Army. He is survived by his wife and loving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as a sister and brother.
Joseph F. Barfield and Alton H. Barfield, who passed almost exactly one year before his older brother.
Top photo courtesy of Richard J. Barfield; bottom photo courtesy of Jerilyn James Lee, with thanks to Alicia Barfield.