By: Bill Kirby Jr.
Mama always had nuggets of sage wisdom along her life’s way, and with age you’ll find yourself reflecting on those prophetic gems.
Her pretty blues would be firm.
“It’s a long road,” Mama would say, “that never turns.”
And so it has been, this long and winding roadway decorated with so many wondrous names and faces and personalities along each and every byway, and all of those names and faces and personalities with a story to tell, and with reflection of their own.
You smiled with them in their triumphs.
You agonized with them in their downfalls and days of despair.
You wept with some of them, too.
“Write and tell the story,” you can feel Mama’s words. “Write, but write from your heart.”
From here at this cherrywood secretary is where you watched Mama write on her notecards to old Moore County friends of her youth, and of course, to the preacher to let him know about this or that or how someone was doing somewhere. And, inevitably, there always was something she would forget to say, and up the notecard margin Mama, bless her heart, would write a last thought, and usually about homecoming at the little, white church up Lobelia and Vass way.
Every one of us has a story.
And that, some of us believe, is why God made storytellers and journalists.
“It’s a long road,” Mama often would say, “that never turns.”
But every road, sooner or later, does turn for all of us … and we never know what’s around the bend or the many names and faces and personalities yet to meet and their stories yet to be told.
You are those names, faces and personalities.
You are those stories to be told, and such fascinating and delightful stories to now be told from this tall building overlooking Breezewood Avenue, just a skip, a hop and a block from my boyhood home that is forever home.
Oh, yesteryear’s sweet nectar of youth and innocence along Breezewood, once our playground and where the Little brothers lived with the long backyard that was our rough-and-tumble flag-football field and Lee Little had the fastest go-kart in town; where Gary and Greg Miller had a horse named Dan and we marveled at the clickety-clop hoofs along the red-clay road; where neighborhood kids like Stevie Darling, Ricky Outlaw, Ronnie Mitchell and Mike and Larry Windsor pedaled their bicycles with no hands just to show off now and then; where we played Cowboys and Outlaws in the pine-tree thicket on the corner.
Where we were breathless in 1958 when The Lone Ranger and Tonto came for a stay at the old Thompson’s Motel & Cottages just across the street; where once in May of 1959 Oral Roberts pitched his massive evangelical canvas tent along Raeford Road, and we saw him heal and pray and, well course, pass the plate.
And not to forget the old Putt-Putt Golf Course across the way, where Don Clayton was larger than life and taught us that “a man stands as tall as the mountain he chooses to climb” and that a championship season was just a dream away.
This is Breezewood – with gentle memories past and now a place for stories anew.
For Bill, just a different perch.
But the same perspective overlooking a community … and a city with a view for the best of tomorrows to come.