This, that, and other stuff

Published 8:52 am Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hope everyone had an enjoyable, and safe, Memorial Day weekend. For me, the traditional three-day holiday was three days of work.

I did stop long enough on Monday to pay my respects to those brave men and women who proudly served and died while protecting the freedoms we all enjoy today as Americans. Had it not been for their loyal service, I would be without the freedom to place my thoughts down on paper, have them published thanks to the freedom of the press and you would be without the freedom to read them, if you so choose.

That’s what I love about this country…the freedom we have to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I’ve read this before and I don’t mind passing it along….if you can read this, thank a teacher; if you can read this in English, thank the men and women who have worn the uniforms of our nation’s military.


It’s been said that a sign of growing old is the number of funerals a person attends in a year. For yours truly, I must be getting long in years as the month of May was marked by three deaths of people I knew in life.

It started with Billy Joyner a few weeks back. He was my mom’s first cousin (she was a Joyner by birth). Billy’s dad, Hugh, and my mom’s dad, Harvey, were brothers.

A lot of folks knew Billy, either through his longtime service to the Conway Fire Department or the Conway-Severn Rescue Squad. He also served on the Conway Town Council.

Billy was a fun-loving guy, always quick with a kind word or a good joke to share. He’ll be missed.

Then, as you read in this space last week, my former boss, Gilbert Vaughan, passed away. He may have been a tough boss, but I’ve never met a man who loved his community as much as Gilbert. His lifetime of community service needs to be forever remembered and used as an example for others to follow.

This past Saturday, I returned to my native Ashley’s Grove community…Pinetops, as it’s known to some….to attend the funeral of Barbara Revelle. “Miss Barbara” (as I liked to call her) was a sweet southern lady. She and my mom were best friends…so much to the point that during her service, Rev. David Ross shared some words Miss Barbara kept in a daily journal. He read that she was saddened by my mother’s death (in October of 2004) but knew that they would one day be together again.

That “day” arrived on Thursday of last week when Miss Barbara died at her home. I can imagine the smile on her and my mom’s face when they did reunite.

If there’s a shopping mall in Heaven, I bet’cha Barbara and Blanche have already discovered it. It’s also a safe bet that my dad and Barbara’s husband, Robert, have found a way to get out of going shopping.


And finally, before I forget, I need to congratulate all the high school graduates in the Roanoke-Chowan area.

The News-Herald/Index newsroom staff – all three of us – have been busy over the past few weeks snapping photos of the grads in Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties. Be sure you check out all those happy faces in our special Graduation Edition that will be published next week.

(Cal Bryant is the Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.)