Thursday, May 14, 2009
Bo and Lou
The list of the adult folks who are still alive who helped form my life is getting smaller and smaller. Today I was in Columbus, GA on business and as I was leaving town my car had the urge to pull off the four lane highway and into the parking lot of an assisted living facility to visit one of those special folks.
My car just does that sometimes.
The stunningly beautiful Louise Waters began working for Ben Hinton, a Reynolds, GA businessman, when she was a teenager. Ben’s son, Woodfin (who was a couple of years older than Louise) was away at college at Georgia Tech being trained to be an Electrical Engineer when Louise became his dad’s bookkeeper.
Woodfin obviously thought his dad hired the right person. And Louise had to be certain she was working at the right place. Woodfin and Louise became man and wife as soon as he graduated from college. They built quite a life together in the little town of Reynolds. They had two children who are beneficiaries of the life they built. And now there are four grandchildren and four great grandchildren who also are reaping the benefits of the life they had together.
Interestingly, with a degree in Electrical Engineering from (dare this Georgia Bulldog say it) one of the most elite engineering schools in the country, Woodfin Hinton could have taken his new bride to an Atlanta or a Columbus or wherever he chose to do pretty much whatever he wanted.
Instead he chose to move back to Reynolds and take over the family business and sell fertilizer and insurance.
Simply stated, this couple chose a simple small town lifestyle over whatever the life of an Electrical Engineer might have offered.
Put me on the long list of the people who are very glad they did.
Woodfin and Louise, known to their friends as “Bo and Lou” were pillars of the community where I had the privilege to grow up. They were movers and shakers in our community and were leaders in their church. They loved the little town of Reynolds.
And they also loved each other.
When Bo died in 1999, a part of his “Lou” died with him. I would suspect one is not married to someone for almost 60 years without being affected that way.
A few years after his death, Louise moved to the assisted living facility in Columbus about an hour from Reynolds. Although it was the right thing to do, as you might imagine, it was not an easy move for her. But today when I visited her she was quick to tell me how content she is where she is living.
But I couldn’t help but notice how her eyes lit up when I walked in her room.
Although she has known me all my life and knew all my family, I don’t think her eyes lit up because it was me. I think they lit up because I am from Reynolds. My parents, my grandparents and my great grandparents were from Reynolds.
Maybe I reminded her of the wonderful life she had there.
If so, my visit today was the most productive 20 minutes I have spent in a long time.