Greensboro? What’s that, you say? That wasn’t a stop listed on the back of those awesome tee shirts. And how do I even get one of those tee shirts? First, you get one by filling out a survey and showing up to an event. On that front, many of you are planning on attending a couple of events in the next few days. If you’re reading this do yourselves and us a favor. Fill out that survey right now! Don’t delay. In particular, the event in Richmond with special guest Ray O’Herron (father of the lovely Laura Ebelhar, ’95 whom I met in Louisville) and the event in Front Royal are expected to be heavily attended. We will likely not have wifi access at these events and you will not be able to fill out a survey on site. When you check in we will hand out shirts but only to those who have done their duty.
But let’s get back to Greensboro.
This beautiful and charming town in central North Carolina is home to some peculiar history and some lovely scenery and homes. Greensboro is known as the “City of Tournaments” owing to the city having hosted the Greater Guilford County Chapter of the Friends of St. Greg’s Alumni Games. The Tweed Poetry and Juggling/Unicycling events are held at the Municipal Auditorium while the Irish Drinking Songs Competition is hosted at the Civic Center. That may in fact be all lies.
But walk with me back in time if you will. At the close of the War between the States Jeff Davis and his cabinet were forced to flee Richmond which had served as CSA capital until being demolished by Union forces. The men fled to Greensboro where they met for the last time as a body and made plans to escape to Europe to avoid capture. Greensboro thus has the distinction of being the last de facto capital of the Confederacy. Flash forward to the 1960’s. The Civil Rights movement was taking form throughout the South. Here in Greensboro at the local Woolworth five and ten, four black college students boldly sat at the whites-only lunch counter and asked if the green on their money was not the same as everyone else’s. Refusing to move, the sit-in became a symbol of the fight for dignity. Today that Woolworth is a museum and the counter (save for a small section on display in DC) still stands as a testament to their courage. But that’s not why we came here this time.
Days 5 & 6/Recharge
A few years ago one of my nieces and her husband moved to Greensboro. They have a beautiful life in a very nice home with a large black dog named Leo. We had been to visit right after they moved in. They showed us around town and our visit was wonderful. We had long hoped to get back but our travel never returned us to this place. On this trip, however, we had extra incentive to find a way through town. In March Danielle and Mike welcomed their first baby – a boy – into the world. They were as surprised as anyone since they didn’t think they could have children. Well, family is just about the most important thing to us and little babies are definitely the cutest things ever so it’s a no-brainer. We were going to Greensboro!
We left our last stop on Wednesday morning and drove three hours. And after we reached my niece’s home we… did… NOTHING.
And it was glorious.
We did nothing, of course, except to bond with the new little guy. And he is adorable. He has that new baby smell (the good kind) and he makes adorable new baby noises. I always wanted more children. That’s me being greedy. So whenever we have the chance to play with little tiny babies my wife and I relish in the moment. I even got the chance to see whether I still had “the touch”. Karla always called me “the baby whisperer” because I could get an unsettled child to fall asleep in my arms in minutes. Guess what? I’ve still got it. What a happy afternoon.
We swam in the pool. The girls made dinner. We watched a movie and we rested.
The next day we did more of the same. Except this time the kids and I along with my niece and my great-nephew visited the Greensboro Science Museum. For anyone contemplating a drive through this town I would highly recommend stopping here, especially if you have little ones in tow. The museum is half traditional science museum and half outdoor zoo/aquarium. Just like all good museums this place had a gift shop and this gift shop lead to a tense moment with my daughter. Mommy had said the kids could only purchase “educational” gifts if any at all. My baby girl engaged in mental acrobatics trying to justify purchasing a mermaid costume. “But Daddy! I could learn all about mermaids.” Not about to be the mean guy I simply said “No, sweetheart, but how about this astronaut food?”
She cried the whole way home.
We swam some more and went out to dinner. Tomorrow we head back onto the open road. We’ll be driving through a rural route to Burgaw, NC and a tour stop at the Dean household. Pat and Trish (Folsom) Dean, class of ’98, were so excited to hear of this tour that they asked us to find some time to squeeze them in, and we are happy to oblige.
We hope you’ll join us. We REALLY hope you’ll fill out the survey. Finally, we hope you find time to rest and visit with family and enjoy all the moments God gives you. On our way out of town we plan to stop at the Church of St. Benedict, North Carolina’s oldest Catholic church, to pray for all alumni. Please pray for us.