I awoke early this morning to rain spattering against the window and groaned. I had an important appointment at 10:30 — outside, with a special guest — and rain was not in the plan.
We out here doing the Lord’s work though, and He said, “Just show up — and I’ll do the rest.”
I arrived in the little parking lot at Vick Cemetery, and a few minutes later Mrs. Henrietta Hines McIntosh, age 96, pulled her car in beside me. Mrs. McIntosh’s father was buried in Vick in 1935 alongside his brothers and sisters and four babies who did not survive infancy. Her father’s grave was on “the hill” near the road and had been marked with a gravestone. Nearly every Sunday, her mother had led her and her siblings on foot from Elba Street to the cemetery to visit the graves of their loved ones.
The rain, which had been spitting a bit, stopped and held off for the next hour or so.
A little after 10:30, an SUV turned off the road into the lot, and a reporter and cameraman from Raleigh’s powerhouse WRAL-TV stepped out. I miked up to speak about the history of Vick Cemetery and what I hope for its future, but the real MVP today was Henrietta McIntosh. She spoke of the beauty of Vick Cemetery and the pain of its desecration. There were flowers, she said, and pretty shrubs and beautiful headstones. Her loved ones were there. And now — she turned her hands up and gestured behind her.
I am deeply grateful to Mrs. McIntosh for sharing her story and giving us a glimpse of what we have lost at Vick. The piece will air next week; I’ll let you know when.
My thanks to Ms. McIntosh’s children Charles McIntosh and Patricia Wimberley and to Jen Kehrer and Josh Darville of Scarborough House Resort, which sent a crew out this morning to clean up Odd Fellows Cemetery in time for tomorrow’s Reconsecration at Vick.