Fairview Heights holds reunion
By Diane Steele
For The Salisbury Post
It’s funny how the end of a year, a life, a job, etc. will cause you to look back and think about the past. I find myself doing that a lot lately.
I had the privilege of being born and raised by my parents in a little community called Fairview Heights, located off Old Concord Road behind Walmart.
I remember the times we raised the majority of our food. We walked on streets that were unpaved, worshipped God at the Community Baptist Church. Every adult was your parent, and you better show the utmost respect to every one of them. We all knew each other by name. Adults carried the title of Mr. and Mrs. whomever. We played together. We went to school together. We were a family. We were taught to work for what we wanted and to obey the laws of the land. Our parents were proud people with a great moral standard.
As time has gone on we have grown up and moved on with our lives but that sense of family is still in us. When news spreads about one of the family going on to glory you will see us coming together. Each time we would say, We have got to get together at some other type of gathering. As usual, we failed to do what we said. It wasn’t until our generation began to feel the sting of death that we said, this is not the way we will see each other again.
On Sept. 17, a three-year-old dream of mine came true. Fairview Heights held their first community reunion. The weather wasn’t the best. It was cloudy, cold and even a little rain fell. You would have thought that would cause many to stay at home. We were all so excited, however, the weather didn’t matter.
There were people from Florida, South Carolina, Washington, DC, Indian Head, Md., Decatur, Ga. and Fort Wayne, Ind., as well as the locals from Salisbury, Hickory, Lexington, Cleveland, etc. It was wonderful! Some came early just to walk around the community making visual notes of changes. Others sat around during the meet-and-greet hour showing old pictures, introducing husbands, wives, children, grandchildren. There was a lot of hugging, kissing, tear-wiping and story telling that day. We even learned that Mr. William Leach and Mrs. Betty Hutchins were actually born in the home they grew up in in Fairview Heights.
At 4 p.m., the former and present members of the gospel choir sang a song. Rev. Arthur Heggins (Butchie when he was growing up in the community), now pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church Hawkinstown, led us in prayer. After our meal we paid tribute to those that are no longer with us. Balloons with their names on them were released. You would have thought everyone would be ready to go home, but that was not the case. David Walker pulled out his keyboard and my favorite part began. Fairview is a community that believes in God. We began to sing songs that our parents sang, as well as the songs we now sing in our various places of worship. Songs like “Who Built that Ark” (formerly led by Mr. Willie Peepy), “Redeem” (formerly led by Mr. E. D. Able), “I Go to the Rock,” “O Happy Day” (formerly led by Mrs. Mrs. Mary Smoot, now led by her daughter Zandra Bryant, who sounds just like her mother), “Lord You Keep on Blessing Me” (led by Deacon Kenny Able), “I’m Going Home on the Morning Train” (led by Minister D. Robinson). It was like being in the old wood floor, high steeple church. The singing went on until it was dark. I will remember that day in the Community Park forever. I pray it will not be the last time we all get together.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my chairman Kenny Able for helping with this event, Mr. Earl Blakeney for cooking on the grill, Mr. Alvin McCorkle for photos, and the Rev. Clarence Marlin, present pastor of Fairview Baptist Church, and Evangelist Kathy Marlin, plus all the other men and women who brought food to this event.
My only regret about this day is that I did not contact the Salisbury Post and the local news in time for them to come out and share in our joyous occasion. There is always next time.
Minister Diane Steele Robinson lives in Fairview Heights.