The Wilson diaspora.

As I was about to board the elevator in my office building, the shirt pocket of the gentleman next to me caught my eye. In large letters on his gold name tag: SHERROD.

“I grew up in a place where there are lots of Sherrods,” I said suddenly. “Eastern North Carolina.”

He turned into face me fully. “I’m from eastern North Carolina, too,” he responded. “Wilson.”

I screamed a little. “What?!?! Get out of here. I’m from Wilson, too!”

He asked my surname, and when I answered, he said, “… Reggie Henderson?”

“That’s my dad!”

“Coach Hen, we called him.”

“That’s my dad!”

He told me he had been sorry to hear of my father’s passing and asked after my mother, then mentioned our next-door neighbor Herbert Woodard, who also recently passed. We talked about a few people we knew in common, and I asked if he’d graduated from Darden, “Yes,” he said, “class of 1970.”

“The last class!,” I exclaimed, and he nodded.

He didn’t know if he is related to my Viola Street cousins, but I claim John Sherrod anyway. Black Wide-Awake!


  1. Wowww how awesome was that. Meeting in and office building. I am from Class of 1970.

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