My father, Milton Kendrick Sr., died a relatively young man, but he always said, “Get an education. They can’t take that away.” He lived long enough to see his oldest son, Gilbert, get married, graduate from college, become a minister and father a son, Gilbert Jr. That was the only grandchild he would ever be able to see and to hold. In my immediate family there were four children—three sons and one daughter. Three went to college and two finished; Gilbert from Lane college, Jewell from Fisk and Hop from the University of Social Realities (smile).
There were a total of 10 grandchildren: Gilbert Jr., Andrea, Kevin, Jean, Milton 3rd, Toni, Kim, Jerri, Jolinda, Robert Jr. All 10 attended college and nine graduated.
Daddy has nine great-grandchildren: Kenvetta, Jena,,Julian, Tarnarae, Louis, Taylor Rae, Jordan, Justine, Anthony. Four have graduated from college, two are sophomores, one is gainfully employed, one is in the 10th grade and the ninth is graduating on May 13 from Hampton University.
This column is not just about my parents, but for the untold numbers of parents that inspired their children, grandchildren and people that they were concerned about. The overwhelming majority of our parents did not have degrees from recognized colleges, but they had advanced degrees in wisdom, mother wit and plain everyday common sense.
As I write this week’s column it brings to mind that four years ago I wrote a column to my grandson who was a freshman attending Hampton University and it was a reminder of why he was going to college and what was expected from him. Four years went awfully fast and were rewarding, because on May 13, our grandson and daddy’s great-grandson graduates with honors.
Yes Daddy, thank God we listen.
Please remember Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)