Home, school and community helped us grow up

Published 5:48 pm Monday, April 24, 2023

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Longtime friend and classmate Jane Alligood de Vos, paid me one of the finest compliments about my articles. She said, “Until I started reading your articles, I did not know how many people affected our lives.” That came from a childhood friend that grew up only houses from me. Let me try to answer her question in three paragraphs.

It started at home where our moms and dads were perfect role models.  Sacrifice and hard work were trademarks of my parents, like many others.  Our parents sacrificed and worked hard to give us the things we needed to be successful. From education to love (sometimes tough love), were the two qualities that existed in our home.  My dad worked three jobs and my mom worked alongside him at the dry cleaners and then came home and cleaned the house and cooked meals.

Another place we were fortunate to have was school.  Our teachers worked hard to help us prepare for the future.  Some of us took it more seriously than others and I was one that did not take it too seriously. Jane tried and was the smartest in our class.  Teachers knew that a phone call to our parents could get a student moving.  Not like today, where parents criticize the teacher and then pretend their child did no wrong.

The other area, Jane, that we can be thankful for, is the community. The phase, “It takes a village to raise a child “and Washington was the Village.  Parents saw to it that we behaved!!!  Like in school, one phone call to a parent or another was enough.  That is why, Jane, we were so lucky to grow up in Washington at the time we did.  I am sure there other reasons but these are the three I think are the most important.

Jane de Vos is retired and lives on Summit Avenue.  Jane has one daughter that lives out of state and Jane is a big reason why our class reunions are so successful and every five years.  She is as good with a computer as anyone and perfect with the English language.  She is a big help with our class page on Facebook and keeps it updated on a regular basis.

Betty Alligood Harrington is Jane’s identical twin sister, and I am proud to say that they grew up in my neighborhood.  Betty is married to Charles Harrington and they are retired and living in Chapel Hill, where they are avid Tarheel fans.  Betty is a retired teacher and principal at John Motley Morehead H.S.  So proud of Betty and Jane!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C!  The Original Washington!!

Harold Jr.