A TRIBUTE TO SAM WATKINS

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT TWO O’CLOCK, MCGREGOR HALL PAID TRIBUTE TO ITS PRIME VISIONARY, SAMUEL MERRIWEATHER WATKINS, JR.

THE LATE SAM WATKINS WAS A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND PERRY MEMORIAL LIBRARY BEING IN ITS PRESENT LOCATION ALONG WITH THE PERFORMANCE AREA AND CONNECTING SPACE KNOWN AS MCGREGOR HALL. THE HENDERSON POLICE STATION TOO FOR THAT MATTER.

IN ADDITION TO A FULL 13-MEMBER ORCHESTRA, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MARK HOPPER, A LOCAL SOLOIST, JONATHAN O’GEARY, AND THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “REMEMBRANCE,” A SONG COMPOSED BY HENDERSON’S OWN DR. PHILIP M. YOUNG, REMARKS OF HONOR AND REMEMBRANCE WERE PROVIDED BY LONG-TIME FRIENDS DONALD SEIFERT AND THE HONORABLE JAMES W. (JIM) CRAWFORD, JR., BOTH OF WHOM ARE ALSO PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY. ALSO OFFERING REMARKS OF GRATITUDE AND TRIBUTE WERE DR. YOUNG AND JOHN WESTER.

THE PICTURE SHOWS THE MOMENT THE PERFORMANCE OF “REMEMBRANCE” BEGAN.

AND WHILE THE FOCUS OF THE MUSICAL PERFORMANCE AND THOUGHTS OFFERED WERE ZEROED IN ON THE VISION, LEADERSHIP AND DETERMINATION OF SAM WATKINS, THE WORDS, THE MUSIC AND THE ENTIRE GATHERING ALSO HONORED SAM’S TWIN BROTHER GEORGE WATKINS AND THE WATKINS FAMILY. FOR WHERE ONE WATKINS BROTHER WORKED AND SERVED, SO DID THE OTHER.

TO HEAR IT ALL, THE AFTERNOON WAS A CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY AND GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.

SO WHETHER IT WAS THE WORDS OF WESTER, SEIFERT, YOUNG OR CRAWFORD, OR THE INSPIRING COMPOSING, PERFORMING OR JUST BEING IN AWE OF THE SPACE, A NUMBER OF SPECIAL THOUGHTS, PHRASES AND NOTES REVERBERATED THROUGH MCGREGOR HALL ON A SUNNY SUNDAY AFTERNOON ABOUT THE MAN, THE BROTHERS AND THE CHORUS OF SUPPORTERS WHO GOT MCGREGOR HALL TO WHERE IT IS, NOT ONLY A PROVISION FOR LEARNING AND THE ARTS BUT ALSO A REVITALIZATION OF THE VIBRANT BLOCKS OF HENDERSON THAT WERE, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN NO MORE IF NOT FOR THEIR HARD WORK.

AS THE ONES WHO SPOKE SUNDAY OF SAM WATKINS SAID IT: “THANK YOU.” “WELL DONE.” “HE WAS MY BUDDY.”

IT WAS AN AFTERNOON OF AMERICAN MUSIC, A TRIBUTE TO SAM WATKINS, AND IT WAS SO MUCH MORE.

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About John C. Rose

John is a graduate of Northern Vance High School & UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism. He has been a radio personality since 1989.

John is the Marketing Consultant, News, Sports, & Town Talk Broadcaster, Technician, & Treasurer for WIZS Radio.

He is the current On-site Radio Engineer for Duke Basketball and Football and has been their scoreboard announcer in the past as well.

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