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Remembering Carroll Brady, Cher Ami and Della

By Garland O. Goodwin

Remember When column

 

Lost another “friend for life” after I had sent in my column. I have to write more about Carroll Brady than a paragraph hastily grafted onto the end of a column already well on its way to publication.

Carroll and Vance McCown were about my younger brother Bill’s age. I told them at Bill’s funeral service that I was “not through playing with Bill yet!” Vance was our attorney while he lived, and Carroll was our insurance person—I told him when he retired that three generations of his family had served three generations of mine.

Carroll had advised me to seek a health insurance provider that would be large enough to stay in business, as two of his companies had stopped writing it. Later our son married Judy Stroud, so we switched to State Farm. I think (hope) Stephen understands.

When Brady Insurance expanded to include Main Street Financial, Carroll was fortunate to have his brother Holland design the alterations to the whole first floor of the building.

After my second by-pass surgery, Carroll and I alternated driving to Hendersonville for cardiac rehab. I really enjoyed those trips, during which we shared many stories. Carroll was already having dialysis, and was happy that he could go to nearby Landrum for that. I thought he was mighty cheerful for one with so many ailments.

My take-away from knowing Carroll for about eight decades is that he was definitely a people person, apparently genuinely interested in whatever they might say and of a happy disposition. Definitely one of God’s chosen people, sent to live among us for a season as a worthy example for the rest of us to emulate.

We are fortunate that White Oak has no VIRUS cases, and I am confident that friends Aaron Greene and Bruce Ollis will exercise the same good judgement in managing our County school system programs. By the way, I am happy for friend Jordan Ollis’s selection as head coach of a school in California. Chip off the ol’ block, right?

How many of you learned about a carrier pigeon in WWI named Cher Ami? There is now a book about her: “Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey,” a novel by Kathleen Rooney. We read about her in the 4th grade at Tryon School. Carrier pigeons carried vital messages between battle field commanders in those days.

Cher Ami was awarded the Croix de Guerre for saving the lives of an American Battalion. Seriously wounded by enemy gunfire, he was shipped back to the US to live out his days. Cher Ami is on display in the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, discovered by the taxidermist to be female.

Read with interest the article about the Stony Knoll Library/Museum. I remember founder Della Jackson bringing in her weekly column about the goings on in Stony Knoll to the Tryon Daily Bulletin office when I was working there as a young boy. The vandalism at the Library sickens me, as it does wherever it is committed. I have read with satisfaction about enlightened judges who sentenced the culprits to clean up the mess they made.

When I was President of the Polk County Historical Association, I asked Della’s daughter Evelyn Petty to give us a program about her Mom. I learned when she finally did it some two or three years later, that she’d had a stroke and had to learn to talk all over again.

The last time I saw Evelyn, she came to our estate sale when we moved to White Oak. We had a nice visit as she loaded up the car, still very much a “take charge” person.