Friday, September 28, 2012

Blog 117: Like Father, Like Son

By Vernon M. Herron
Photography by William Youngblood

     It is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” If that be true, we give you both today, in the hope that positive news is better than a negative reality. Five boys give a positive view of their dads. 
     This is the third of a series on father/son relationships. It speaks volumes of the need for good parenting. This blog accentuates the positives and eliminates the negatives.

    Heroic…Impressive…I love my dad, Anthony McGhee, because he is more than my father but my best friend. He is constantly there for me with uplifting words, laughs, and tough love. I want to be just like him as a hard working, courageous man in all endeavors.

     I love my dad Tommy. I want to be just like him because he is a strong man. My dad takes care of the family and makes sure that we are safe. He is a fun person to be around and is always there when you need him. 
     My dad is a cool guy and I am sure he knows that. Whenever we go out together, it makes me feel good because I have a father who wants to hang out with me and to be there for me. It is a good feeling that I want to pass on to my children. This is why I love my father. 

     “I am blessed to have J. B. Gammon as my beloved father. We are friends. We have a good life together. He guides me as one traveling toward “the unknown.”
     He teaches me the difference between truth and error; he provides well for me; and we worship, plan and play together. I love my dad.”


My Father, My Mentor
My dad fulfilled his wishes and my dreams.  He is everything I could ask for in a father.
When I was a little boy in elementary school, the highlight of my day was when my father would take to me to school, stand in the hallway and watch me go into my classroom.   One day the principal walked out of her office and saw my father standing there and said 'Mr. Mikell, I can see Brandon is the apple of your eye.'    
      “I’ve always been able to depend on my dad.  If he said he was going to do something or be somewhere, he ALWAYS kept his word.   That was a great lesson I learned from him, to always be a man of my word. 
My dad taught me many things -  the value of having good character, being honorable, being kind and especially being respectful to ALL people/
     My dad, Kelvin Mikell, is not only my father, but my mentor.
I am thankful to my dad for showing me the path to a godly life and for cultivating in me a desire to know my Heavenly Father.  My life and my relationship with God are proof of the power of a father's love.

A Father's Love...

A father's love is unconditional.
It's stronger than anything man can make, a bond that's unbreakable.
A father's love is timeless, it endures forever. He needs not to speak it, his actions are filled with the words my heart can clearly hear.
A father's love is more valuable than money or bank can hold, it's priceless and could never be sold.
His eyes are my eyes. His heartbeat is my heartbeat. He is me and I am him. I am my father's love.

      What more needs to be said?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blog 116: My Beloved Father Whom I Know

By Joshua Blair Gammon

     While blog 115 spoke of a father “I Never Knew,” because of death, I write this blog 116 to describe my beloved father whom I know quite well. Our relationship, his guidance, leadership, teachings, examples, longevity and love affirm that “I am blessed” to have J. B. Gammon as my beloved father. We are friends. We have a good life together. He guides me as one traveling toward “the unknown;” he teaches me the difference between truth and error; he provides well for me; and we worship, plan and play together.

     This has been a life’s long journey. I am 16 years old, born in Tennessee; am a Junior at Mallard Creek High School where I’ve been a part of the Student Government since my sophomore year and the Chorus since my freshman year. Since my father teaches that “one is becoming everyday what one will be,” I always try to help others.

     I’m a life scouter in the Boy Scouts movement, going up for my Eagle Scout rank. For my Eagle Scout project, I provided books for CMS’s title I elementary schools. I did a book drive at my church, The Friendship Missionary Baptist Church where we collected over 2,000 books! I’ve been in Boy Scouts for over 9 years and I’ve collected over 25 merit badges.

     My father has always told me that I could be anything I wanted to be if I work hard and have faith in God. He also taught me the meaning of leadership and being responsible for my own action.

     By the way, if any beau with an alternative motive wants to meet me, you must take your turn in line, because I plan on going to college and majoring in Journalism. After I graduate, I want to work for The Charlotte Observer or the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and work myself up to the position Editor-in-Chief.

     When Josiah Gilbert Holland prayed and wrote, “God Give Us Men,” God answered that prayer through my beloved dad whom I love, respect and cherish.

God Give Us Men
God give us men. The time demands strong minds,
Great hearts, true faith, and willing hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who stand before the demagogue and
Damn his treacherous flatteries without winking;
Tall men, sun crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking.
For while the rabble, with their thumb worm creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds;
Mingle in selfish strife, lo, freedom weeps, 
Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blog 115: My Father Whom I Never Knew

By Vernon M. Herron
     The Biblical definition of marriage is a union between a male and a female. The traditional family consists of a father, a mother and offspring(s). I have written many times about my mother but today I write about my father, Samuel Joe Herron, Sr., who died at the age of Forty-seven and one year after my birth. Consequently, I never knew my father through a father-son relation, his character, nor his mental make-up. I did get a glimpse of him through family stories, an outstanding family griot (family historian), census records and a treasured picture which you now see.
     Through this blog, I will present my father whom I never knew, but like-wise, we will see and note genealogical techniques illustrated as a demonstration to show how we move from “the unknown to the known.”
     There are two ways to study family history. You may study in an ascent fashion or in a descent fashion. Family history starts with one-self and progresses upward to an ancestor. Genealogy is the study of the origin of family which descends from an ancestor.   
     In 1950, my father’s brother John Herron, a scholarly family griot (French- pronounced- gree-o), meticulously, methodically and orally gave this writer the outline of the Herron family in a descent fashion. It covered several generations. I will mention five of them.
     Here is a diagram of Uncle John’s revelation as recorded in my family history book.

     Here is how Uncle John’s revelation is recorded in my family history book.

 The Numbering System
     The backbone of genealogical information is its number system. There are three numbers which may be associated with an individual: the identification number, the generation number and the birth order number. Each individual discussed is assigned an individual Arabic number. Then, each head of family is given a generation number which appears in superscript following the first name. Finally, each child is listed under a head of household and is given a small Roman numeral indicating his or her birth order in that family.
     While I realize that many families may not be as fortunate as I in having an informed griot, there are the options of a City Directory and the census records. Try the census first, beginning with the last published year and work backward in ascent fashion.
     Now, let me tell you a bit more of what I learned about my father from the above mentioned sources. 
     First, he was the grandson of Richard and Minerva Herron who constituted the first known structured African American Herron family in the Piedmont of North Carolina in 1870.   
      Secondly, he was an entrepreneur, having at one time operated a cafĂ©, a barber shop, and a pressing shop. Even though I found no will leaving capitol, he died leaving my mother with small children to rear alone. Father Samuel was active in the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at the Brevard Street location, having served on the Usher Board. He is buried in the old Galilee Baptist Church’s cemetery on Nations Ford Road in Charlotte, NC.
     Family stories, a well organized family griot, census records and other memorabilia gave me a glimpse of my father whom I never knew,    but I am grateful for the glimpse I saw.