Around Jonathan Street

May 09, 2008|By MADGE MILES / 301-791-7647

'Mr. Walt' was known for helping others

As many of you know, Walter Washington Sr., 89, passed away April 21. It touched my heart to hear about this man as everyone I spoke with had only good things to say about him.

The residents I spoke with said he was always doing something nice for someone in need in the neighborhood.

I received a copy of a letter which was signed, "Your Neighbors, Godfrey and (City Councilwoman) Alesia Parson-McBean, that put it this way - 'Like a good neighbor, Mr. Walt, (you) were always there.'

And that pretty much sums up Mr. Walt's life and legacy.

I was told by one of his sons that when they were cleaning out Mr. Walt's house a gentleman walked up and told him that when he had no place to stay, Mr. Walt welcomed him into his house to take a shower and get something to eat. Mr. Walt didn't know the man - but that was Mr. Walt - helping someone in need.


And everyone recalled how he always transported people to their doctor's appointments, grocery store, church - wherever they needed to go.

And what about the cakes? Everyone remembered the cakes Mr. Walt used to make. His cakes looked like wedding cakes and he would make them for birthdays and special occasions. One of his cakes was auctioned for $50. Yes, he made red velvet, coconut and his favorite - lemon cake.

When talking with a few of his sons, each one shared a different memory, but they all agreed that their father was a "caring and loving" man.

And they all mentioned that their father never complained - he was just always giving and never expected anything in return. They also agreed that their father was "like a father" to all of their friends and the neighborhood kids whom he treated like his children. When you came into the house, you were not only fed, but you would also have something to take home with you.

And because Mr. Walt was such a loving man and cared for his community, his sons opened the door of his house and allowed the community to come and take a few mementos, as well as giving items to The Salvation Army. The family requested that in lieu of flowers that donations be given to Memorial Recreation Center. That's the kind of legacy Mr. Walt left with his family - to give back and his sons wanted to continue in his footsteps.

Good night, Mr. Walt, sweet rest.

True Grit Banquet

An invitation is being sent to the public to attend the 27th presentation of the True Grit awards dinner on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Fountain Head Country Club.

This year the banquet will have its first female keynote speaker and what a great choice!

Cathy Parson, a 1979 graduate of North Hagerstown High School, was a star basketball player for the Hubs and later West Virginia University.

She was featured in this column during Women's Month last year.

You can buy your ticket, $23 per person, which includes dinner, by calling the Hagerstown YMCA at 301-739-3990.

Frank Erck, True Grit committee chairman, says the committee thanks the sponsors who contribute more than $17,000 in scholarships, dinner and speaker subsidies.

Be sure to purchase your tickets before Friday.

"This will be a great opportunity to meet and greet old friends, see the brand new country club, have a very good meal, hear an excellent keynote speaker and be inspired and motivated by the stories of 'True Grit' these youngsters represent," Erck said.

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