Remembering Queen Elizabeth and some others

Published 8:00 am Friday, September 23, 2022

Since my Dad was English and my mother was Scot-Irish, I suppose that I am a Brit, born in Durham, North Carolina. My Mother thought Margaret Rose and I would be a good match; we’ll never know about that. I don’t even remember anything about Elizabeth becoming the Queen of England!

I really liked Princess Diana, and I also like Fergie and Kate. I have learned about the Royals by watching the evening news since we moved into White Oak. Especially since her death, I have found the coverage of the long life of Elizabeth interesting. 

I learned that she always wore colorful clothing so that she would stand out in a crowd. I always enjoyed her matching hats! I now admire that young woman who gave such a mature speech when the crown was suddenly thrust upon her. I am also impressed that she drove an ambulance, of which she also was a capable mechanic to keep it running, in WWII. And I am glad that some family members have taken in her famous Corgis . . .

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I have tuned for some of the Frohlich family, and met “Weezie” some time ago. One of their houses had a brass plaque by the front door proclaiming that it was built by my friend Red Ravan. He also built a house for one of my HS teachers, Anne Sevier.

I also tuned for the wife of a Tryon Lion, the late Mildred Bodie. I am glad that I became a piano technician, since it has enabled me to meet fine folks who share my love of piano music. I usually wake up with some music playing in my head, and it is sometimes a piano concerto!

When it is a song fragment, I can check out forgotten lyrics in my well-worn copy of “The American Song Book,” left over from my days at Tryon School. I also have a hymnal from the old Pacolet Baptist Church where I sat in the Amen Corner with my grandfather Rippy to “sing the shapes” — book has “shape notes” to help us find the notes . . . 

Good to see Pam McNeil awarded for her years of faithful accompaniment of the Community Chorus. Friend Richard Hall pulls the Steinway out of its box (that protects it from vandalism) for me. Art Brown and James Bryan arrange the chairs for the chorus while I tune. I also tune for Pam at Tryon’s United Methodist Church, at the Saluda School and Tryon’s Little Theater. Pam is comfortable playing in any musical genre, from sacred to show tunes, jazz to classical! 

Richard Alewine, a contemporary of my brother Bill, was a quiet, unassuming man. I was better acquainted with his wife Ruby, as she worked at a bank that I was in often. She also planned and executed the Lynn Reunions until she died.

I remember seeing Richard at the Lynn Reunions and at the Fabulous Fourth celebrations in Columbus. We always exchanged pleasantries, but I can’t remember having any lengthy conversations with him. We would likely have had some discussions about woodworking if I had known about that before reading his obituary!

Long time friend Bob Lair has now gone to his reward. Years ago he gave me a copy of a book by some of his fellow Colonels and Navy Captains who have retired in the area. I learned that like so many great men, they are all mischievous little boys at heart!

Both Judy and Bob have led very active lives. Fran and I visited them in their home on Possum Trot before their move to Tryon Estates. Bob’s Parkinson’s finally devastated his body, but not his mind nor his fine singing voice. He was still sharp when we enjoyed a breakfast with them.

I hope you enjoyed reading this smattering account of some of the wonderful people who have enriched my life.           

Garland would like to hear from you at 828-859-7041 or garlandgoodwin7@gmail.com.