Today is my father’s 86th birthday, and I’m grateful to be able to spend it with him. He was a storied high school basketball coach in North Carolina and played the game in high school, college, and the Air Force. Here, as a center on Saint Augustine’s College’s team, he takes a jumper over future Globetrotter Curley Neal.
There she is. That’s one of those dresses that Mama made for her to come to Hampton. She came to Hampton a summer. She stayed more than six weeks. Must have stayed around eight or ten. But anyway, she came here, and the things that she learned! Oh, you would not believe. All kind of things – artwork she could do. Making baskets. Oh, I don’t know what all. That’s a blue taffeta dress with a white collar. And you know we had a supervisor [Mary Charlton Holliday] who came to Statesville, and she particularly liked Golar, and she was a Hampton graduate, and she wanted Golar to go to Hampton so she could learn all this stuff. All this artwork and everything. And when she got ready, when Golar got ready to go, Mama had bought – this is a navy taffeta dress with a white collar. And Mama had made all these dresses for her. She had – this was a dressy dress. And she had a pink dress, and she just, Mama just made her so many pretty things, you know. And the, two or three nights before she was to go, to leave to go to Hampton, she broke down and cried. Mama said, “What’s wrong?” Said, “We’re gonna be, we’re gonna have your things ready. You’re gonna be ready to go.” And she said, “That’s not why I’m crying.” She said, “I’m crying because Papa and Grandmama went to the bank and took out all of your money.” Mama had paid into her Christmas savings account, and the bank just gave the money to Grandma and Papa, and that’s how they got her things together. And she told Mama. Ooooo.
Golar Augusta Colvert was born in 1897 in Statesville, Iredell County, to Lon W. Colvert and his first wife, Josephine Dalton Colvert. She was about 9 years old when her widowed father married Carrie McNeely, and she grew close to her stepmother and adoring young half-siblings. When she was about 15, she enrolled at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh NC, where school catalogs show that she was a classmate of the Delany Sisters’ younger brothers.
Annual Catalog of Saint Augustine’s School, 1913-1914.
In 1919, Golar married William Bradshaw, son of Guy and Josephine Bradshaw. Their son William Colvert Bradshaw was born in 1921 and daughter Frances Josephine in 1924. The little girl did not live to see two years. William worked in a furniture factory and Golar taught elementary school, and the family lived in a large frame house with a wrap-around porch on Washington Street in Statesville’s Wallacetown section.
In the summer of 1931, for reasons that are not at all clear, Golar traveled to Washington DC to undergo surgery.
Yeahhhh. Went to Washington. Had this operation and, ah, we got a letter from her. Like, this afternoon, saying that she was all right, that they were gon take her stitches out, and she was coming home. And she died that night.
Statesville Landmark, 23 July 1931.
Statesville Landmark, 27 July 1931.
Interview of Margaret C. Allen by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.