Letter: Closure for an article 50 years ago

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 10, 2022

I would like to provide follow-up information to a personal article and story published in The Salisbury Post some 50-plus years ago and written by Jason Lesley.

As indicated in his article, Mr. Lesley, while walking through Chestnut Hill Cemetery during the Christmas season, noticed a small tombstone for an infant that had only lived two days. In addition to the name of the infant, Gary Edwin McGee, were listed the parents’ names, BW and Laura McGee.

In searching through the phone directory, he was unable to locate the names of the parents. The reason for this was that they had moved to Charlotte due to employment. However, the relocation in no way separated them from the memory of this son nor the care for the infant’s grave during the next 50 years. For holidays and special occasions, they would either come to Salisbury to place small arrangements on the gravesite or see that a relative would place one on it. When the monument became loose, Dad reset it with more concrete.

As they grew elderly and unable to travel, that’s when I began to take over. I am Jim McGee, 78 years old, and was born four years prior to Gary. Needless to say, whenever he died, I did not understand all that happened, but I do remember seeing my brother in the open casket, dressed in a little yellow outfit. Evidently, I was also at the grave site sometime shortly after the burial. I only recently discovered this as I was going through some picture albums of my mother. I located a photo that shows me standing near the flowered cover grave, wearing ear muffs and near an adult. This wasn’t my mother but probably my aunt.

I live in Charlotte, married with grown children and grandchildren. I continue maintaining and keeping check on Gary’s grave. Thank goodness, Carol Hair, my 84-year-old aunt who lives in Salisbury, personally designs small arrangements for the grave. With the support of Linda Davis, Chestnut Hill Cemetery manager, and her staff, the little brother I never knew and now in heaven with parents is not forgotten.

Hopefully this provides closure to Mr. Jason Lesley’s article in the Salisbury Post many Christmases ago.

— Jim McGee