My father, Milton Kendrick Sr., at the youthful age of 58 died in the year of 1953. Daddy had at the most a fourth-grade education, but he handled the three R’s: reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic. He had a vision and faith in God, so he quit his WPA job during the depression years, acquired a truck and went in business for himself. The trucking business lasted through two generations until 1987. There were some people who nicknamed him preacher because he generally preached a sermon during most conversations. His two most frequent were doing for self and his absolutely favorite was “go to school.”
In our immediate family there were four of us: three boys and one girl. My oldest brother Gilbert and my sister, who was the youngest, both graduated from college. Dad died before my sister graduated from college and only had the privilege of knowing one of his grandchildren, Kenny, my oldest brother’s first child.
Our family of four was extremely fortunate that we not only heard our daddy’s message “GO TO SCHOOL,” but also were able to translate it into reality for the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
There were at least 11 grandchildren, 10 went to college and nine graduated.
There are nine great-grandchildren, five have graduated from college, the sixth is a senior at Hampton University and the seventh is a freshman at Michigan State, eighth a freshman at Northeastern and the ninth is in high school.
My father was the greatest man I ever knew and I can hear him saying to all the grandchildren: Gilbert Jr., Andrea, Kevin, Alton, Jeannie, Milton III, Toni, Kim, Jerri, Jolinda and Bobby and also to the great-grandchildren Kenyetta, Anthony, Jeana, Julian, Tamarac, Louis, Taylor rae and Jordan; “You are somebody, no better but just as good. Allow no obstacle to become permanent and go to school, because they can’t take that (education) away.”
Please remember Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)