Having grown up in West End where I attended the local Presbyterian church, the death last week of Richard North Lewis uncovered some "scratches on my psyche" in the form of memories of North and several other long-time members of the West End Presbyterian Church, which included my father, W.E. Jackson.
I wonder if North and Ann ever knew how much it meant to younger generations for them to be there for us when we came home from college and faraway places.
The same held for M.C. and Lillian McDonald, Allan and Cary McDonald, Roy and Ruth Carter, Cyde and Sally and Earl Auman, Billy and Lois Johnson, Hawley Poole, Bert McCrummen, Sarah Ruth Thompson, Treva and Tressie Auman, Dorothy Sullivan Black, Johnny Thompson, Brownlee Barnett, T.J. and Annie Fletcher, Colon Williams and several other families represented at North's funeral service: the Cheeks, the Eiforts, the Markhams, the Monroes, the Ritters, the Sutphins, the Von Canons. Not all were Presbyterians, let it be noted; several of the above were Methodists!
North and many of the elders would stand outside the church after the service warmly greeting the "prodigal" returnees and demonstrating genuine interest in what we were doing out in the world.
You knew they cared, and it gave you moral strength.
Their example belied Thomas Wolfe's title: "You can't go home again."
William E. Jackson Jr.
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