Posts Tagged singers

My Friend, Joyce Harris Murray

“I give thanks for every remembrance of you.”

Joyce graced my life for more than 60 years. We were classmates at Furman University. We did not run in the same circles. Joyce was a beauty queen and I was not.

When I arrived in Charleston and First Baptist Church, Joyce and Bennett were already here. The four of us Bennett, Joyce, Liz and I became friends. Joyce and Liz shared the same birthday.

Joyce was a beautiful person inside and outside. Her hair was her crown and glory. She had the same beauty shop appointment for more than 50 years.

On my birthday after Bennett died I received a crazy birthday card from Bennett. The return address was Bennett Murray, Heaven. Joyce said she found it in Bennett’s things and knew it was meant for me.

My most cherished memories of Joyce are as Carol’s condition became worse, I started attending choir practice with Joyce, Gene Plyler, and Carol. We would go to Chick-fil-a afterwards for dinner. Joyce and Carol got the children’s meal which contained a small toy. The two women traded their toys for an ice cream cone. Something neither of them should have.

Joyce loved sausage biscuits and would stop at Hardee’s on the way to church to get one. One day when looking for something in that huge purse she had, there was a sausage biscuit hard as a rock. After my Aunt Alice, Joyce made the best ambrosia.

Other than her family, Joyce had three loves: First Baptist Church, the Furman singers and flowers. Joyce never had to tell anyone that she was a Christian. It oozed out of every pore.

Joyce and I differed on many topics and she never failed to chastise me. When I was writing a column for the Post and Courier, Joyce was an avid reader and an avid  critic.  but Joyce was the first to tell me that my efforts at Say Something Nice was my mission.

How do you say goodbye to an old and dear friend? You don’t.

Joyce Murray will be in my memory forever until I see her again. What a day of rejoicing that will be!

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Thankful Thursday – Martha and Richard Ulmer

            On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that Martha and Richard Ulmer bring to my life. Either could easily take an entire book to adequately write about him or her. I met Martha at Mars Hill College and encountered Richard at Furman. Richard was my doctor for the entire time he was in practice. In fact, I was his guinea pig until he threw me over to traipse around the country with the VA. Both were members of the Furman singers and later the Charleston Symphony Choir. They also graced the choirs at First Baptist Church of Charleston and Provident Baptist on Daniel Island. Their talent is extraordinaire.  Martha was the guiding force behind a really fun 50th anniversary class reunion at Mars Hill. Martha can make it from my house in Charleston to Mars Hill with her dogs in the station wagon before I can finish my first sausage biscuit. The distance is shortened by her stories of adventure.  Both Martha and Richard have colossal humor streaks. They fill the atmosphere with a sense of well being and reassurance that all is right with the world.  My health has declined a bit since Richard ceased to scold me on a routine basis.  Their commitment to their children, grandchildren, and to their faith is exemplary. When I think of people that it is an absolute delight to be around, I think of Martha and Richard Ulmer. They are great medicine.

            Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the importance of someone to our life and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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