Remember When: Remembering Al Overholt, another friend lost over Christmas

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 4, 2019

Lost another friend over Christmas . . .

Al Overholt laid the brick foundation and steps when I enlarged our house, and we became friends. Then his son opened the Southern Manners restaurant in Columbus, and I found Al busing tables for him during the first week or two.

Al assured me with that big grin that he was just helping out temporarily!

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We always enjoy seeing wife Lydia and daughter Julie in the restaurant as well as many other members of the Overholt clan. They are a happy bunch, always smiling. The resounding success of Southern Manners is no surprise to us who know them.

It is also no surprise that they shut the place down to celebrate the marriages of the extended family members. The Overholts exemplify the saying that “the family that prays together, stays together.”

I am thankful that we were given another anniversary together, as we celebrated our 64th with our son, Thomas, and friends in Asheville. We see a goodly number of lovely ladies here at White Oak Hills who are living out their days minus their husbands. We cherish the memories of those husbands, as they were our friends, too.

I stopped by PRO the other morning to saunter on their treadmill and play with some iron. This was my last official visit because White Oak also has exercise equipment and it is right here.

I will miss the staff and patrons at PRO because I consider interacting with them to be part of my therapy. I have been asked, “Are you gonna work out, or just talk to people?” 

I answered “That is what I DO!”

Here is an example of what Fran does: when she read in the Tryon Daily Bulletin online that a woman had lost everything when her house burned, she immediately called the Meeting Place as directed and left our phone number. The woman soon called, and I met her at our house (Fran was making bread and could not leave).

I told the woman that she could have anything she wanted, offering some things that she might not have seen. She and her mother filled her car with pots and pans, dinnerware, coffee maker, blender, etc., left from our estate sale. 

The lady will be back with a pickup truck one day next week to get some furniture items. “Free to a good home” thus took on a new meaning for us.

One of my Air Force friends, with whom I am still in touch, commented on my rainbow analogy to our life thus: “Very sobering but factual last paragraph, nicely crafted. Amen and Amen.”

I replied to his email, “Well, Bob, the rainbow of my life is more flat than the Gateway Arch, so I am just gliding down a gentle slope. I never reached the heights that many of my colleagues did, but I have enjoyed the ride nevertheless. I especially enjoyed the great folks I got to meet along the way . . . I have thought of writing a book about them, a chapter for each one, but now I realize that will not happen. I am still too busy meeting new people who are as interesting as the ones I remember!”

As we start a New Year in very different digs, we guard against too many comparisons to our former life, preferring instead to see the obvious advantages in the choice we have made. However, our ox tends to get in the ditch often as the adjustments continue, so we have to help each other get him back on the road again.

Happy New Year, y’all!