Saturday, February 29, 2020

Warren Sparrow's Weakly Reader

The Weakly Reader
Volume VI, No. 1
Forest City, North Carolina 28043
29 February 2020
Welcome once again to The Weakly Reader. Life is good in the North Carolina
foothills. It has rained too much. Some folks got water in their basements and a few
roads took hits that made them impassable. We are blessed with good health and good
friends. We keep paddling, virtually unaffected by things we cannot control. We do not
have a basement, only a slab beneath our one-thousand-square-foot, one-story condo.
It is with humility and a joyful heart that I thank you for this opportunity to deliver
another edition of my favorite publication. Let us begin.
The original template for The Weakly Reader called for the inclusion of an “arts”
section. It did not take long for this requirement to be discarded. On this bright
Saturday morning, the last day of February of Leap Year 2020, please assist me in
fulfilling the promise I made eight years ago. Read the following 11 lines. Perhaps you
have read or heard them at another time and place. Whatever the case, the power of
these lines is undeniable. Shall we begin?
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast’ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our parents sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered;
We have come treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
Those words were written in 1900 by James Weldon Johnson as a birthday
tribute to Abraham Lincoln. His brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1905 set them to
music. They are the second verse of Lift Every Voice and Sing. More than likely you
can find all three verses in your church hymnal. I did.
* * * * *
The Weakly Reader
Warren Sparrow, Editor and Publisher
165 Fox Run Road
Forest City, NC 28043

Friday, February 28, 2020

"Get out your pencils and paper...."

Those dire words meant only one thing:    A POP QUIZ WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN!

I'm sitting in my office....which my wife calls "the basement"...dressed all the world like Hugh Hefner or Donald Trump...and I just noticed that I accidentally put on one black slipper and one brown one.

I didn't do it on purpose, but it reminds me of a man I read about who regularly wore one brown shoe and one black one....on purpose.

It was to remind himself of his boyhood poverty.

I'm thinking of carrying  a piece of white chalk in my remind me of the 12 years I spent under the constant threat of "pop quiz torture."

You never knew when one would pop out at you at the least expected moment and seriously affect your final grade …..and conceivably your future life!

Better yet, instead, I think I'll carry around a bottle of Arpege remind me of.....

Never mind.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Reporters Wanted

Sitting up here in my "office" (which my wife calls "he basement." ) thinking about ...and wondering what I might put on the CHS occurs to me that I am probably the least likely "qualified"" person to edit the CHS54 website out of all the CHS 54ers   I'm a couple of hundred or so miles from Charlotte….and am probably the last person to hear about "what's happening ."

However, with YOUR help.....we can make this site more interesting....and perhaps relevant.
So, this is my appeal for those of you who are interested to email me....

Just drop me a note at

with anything you would like for me to put up on the website. It's as simple as that!



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Gaither Blackwelder



Anderson, SC
Gaither Gibson Blackwelder, 84, passed away Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at the Rainey Hospice House.
Born in Charlotte, NC, he was the son of the late Frank M. Blackwelder, Sr. and Frances Morton Blackwelder. He was a graduate of Lenoir Rhyne College and received his master’s degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
He is survived by his wife, Linda B. Blackwelder; daughter, Susan Frances Blackwelder of Anderson; brother, F. Millard Blackwelder, Jr. of Charlotte, NC; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Donald Wayne Blackwelder of Toccoa, GA.
A memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Sunday, March 1 at 4 pm conducted by the Rev. J. Chris Fischer. The family will receive friends at the church following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Anderson Area YMCA, 201 East Reed R

Saturday, February 15, 2020


My cousin, Charles Mateer,  who died in 1961, was a class mate of ours.
You may not remember him because he was very soft spoken and quiet.

But smart as a whip!

He chose to make the Army a career...and became an excellent helicopter pilot.

Our mothers were as close as two sisters can be.  I remember once Charles" mother talking to my mother about "having trouble sleeping....because of nightmares."  She said they always "involved a man coming to her door with horrible news...."

My mother advised her to eat a large lunch and "go light" on supper.

Charles and I  grew up, of course, during WW2 and our games as children were almost always "soldiers."

Charles actually became one after college and I continued working in broadcasting.

Although he went to State and I attended Carolina, we remained in almost constant touch.
He chose a military career and, of course, I chose broadcasting.
In the early 60's we both found ourselves in Washington, DC.

We got together a few times up here, and each time found ourselves reminiscing about our days as children during WW2...and our constant games of playing soldier.

He asked me once if I remembered WHY we ever stopped "playing" soldier.
"Because," I said..."it suddenly dawned on me that soldiers can get killed.

That ruined the game for me."

We both laughed...…...and went our separate ways.

That's the last time I saw Charles.

Shortly afterwards, there was a knock on Charles' mother's door.......

Monday, February 10, 2020

Gaither Blackwelder

By Jerry Gaudet

Gaither's brother, Millard, shares with us that Gather suffer a bad stroke and was taken to the hospital in Anderson, SC where he suffered yet another stroke.  He is not expected to survive these medical events.

Contact Millard at 980/200-4567.

Supportive cards and letters can be sent to:
Mrs. Linda Blackwelder
118 Spanish Wells
Anderson SC 29621-4286

Sunday, February 09, 2020

The Coach told us that....

...we would remember these games for the rest of our lives!"

...and he was right!

Kind of.

 I remember throwing the ball...and Jack Campbell, or Cason McLean or somebody would catch it...etc....

And  that's about it.

But, after the game.......

...well, that's what I remember!

I can still smell her sweet shampooed hair and  hint of perfume as she told me how great I played...and how those "fumbles" and "interceptions" were not my fault....etc....

...and she was right.

Those  mean guys on the other team kept getting in my way and keeping me from being "the hero"  that I knew I could be...

Years passed and  she became somebody else's "old lady."

But those old memories are MINE alone!

Correction..........I'll bet she thinks about them too....once in while.


Saturday, February 08, 2020

They Say....

…"a man is getting old when he feels like he needs to wear a hat."

I found that to be exactly far as I was concerned.

But, sitting here in inside my "office...which my wife calls the basement....I feel the need to put on a hat, or at least a cap.  I suppose that means simply that I'm getting even older....which, of course, is true.
When we were growing up, men almost always wore hats outside....even in the summertime....they wore "straw" ones then.

I think our generation was the first to shun the wearing of hats....perhaps led by JFK....who almost never wore one. (JFK's driver told me once
that the President would ask to borrow his hat when he occasionally would  drop into a church..)
I'm not sure if the old style "hat" will ever come back into style...and I hope it doesn't.
Caps work just fine for me.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

The Next LDL

By Jerry Gsudet
The next "LDL" (Let's do lunch) is to be held on
Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 11:30 @ Jimmie's Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Sure hope you'll share the word!  Tell other classmates!  Invite them to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! 
Hope you get the idea that we'd really like to see you and sure hope you'll come!