Remembering the many moms who influenced me

Published 5:40 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

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This week is Mothers’ Day 2023, I think that it is appropriate to thank the Mothers I have had in my life both today and this week. There are many who I could thank. This is a repeat of articles written since 2017 and I will repeat it next week on Mother’s Day with other names.

Looking out my window at the beautiful Pamlico River it is hard to think that our nation is going through such a trying time.  This has given me much time to reflect on some of the “Mothers “I had growing up.

There were many and sadly, as I have aged, many have passed away, including my own Mom.  There are four that I do not see enough but have thought about on a daily basis.  Nancy Hill, Dora Swanner (Singleton), Mrs. Mary Alice Chapin and my mother-in law- Mrs. Reba Smith.  All of these ladies have played an integral part of my life as a younger man and now as an older man.  These ladies knew Harold Jr. as a boy and Mrs. Reba as her son-in-law but still her impact has been appreciated.

Nancy and Dora, whom I have always called by their first, have known me longer probably than anyone.  Nancy lives beside me at the river now.  I can remember when her and her late husband Jimmy, lived on River Road and later in the Park before moving to the River permenantly. Nancy used to come over and sit on our front porch late in the evening and was my Mom’s best buddy.  It was a treat when Jimmy and Nancy came over as a couple. Her two daughters (Inda and Susan) and Rose Ann and I, grew up together and used to swim in the river all day, then sleep over like a family.  Dora was at one time married to J.C. Singleton and they lived together on the Tar River.  J.C. and my Dad were hunting buddies and Dora has probably known me longer than anyone and still calls me “Monkey”. Her sons CC (the late) and Wayne, were like brothers to us and our families did many things together. Their home on Tarheel Drive was one of the prettiest and best smelling homes on the river because of the wood paneling on the inside.

Mrs. Chapin, Coach Chapin’s wife, was “the wind beneath his wings” for not only him, but for all of us that played for Coach. A woman of few words, Mrs. Chapin did not say much but when she did, it influenced all those around her.  She is a special person that always referred to her husband as “Chapin”. To this day, her and her son Michael, attend church on a weekly basis and sit in the same pew. She is a sweetheart!

Mrs. Reba Smith is my mother –in-law and since the passing of her husband, Mr. Otha, she has been the “rock” of her family. Her wisdom is valuable to all the family. I have asked her advice and listened to her wise opinions about many things and certainly have been influenced by all that she says.  She is a wise lady that has raised three beautiful daughters and I am lucky to be married to one.  Even to this day, I appreciate her opinion and value her friendship.

There are many ladies who played such an integral role in influencing our lives and I hope that we are all appreciative for what they said. They never had to ask for permission, it was OK!  Your Mom may have been one of those valuable ladies and I thank you for sharing them with me.  They were special in my life and I hope mine was special to you!  They were the best and we were lucky to share them!  Thanks, Nancy, Dora, Mrs. Chapin and Mama Reba!

So, husbands, sons and daughters run out to get a card or flowers before it is too late. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you and will see you back here next week.

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.