Today, I am thinking about R. Kendrick Hester who was buried Sunday. Services were held at Zion Hill Baptist Church north of Bladenboro, my home church as a youngster.
He has been a life long leader and supporter of the church and along the way he provided me the opportunity to be employed, part-time one summer, ‘putting in tobacco.”
Kendrick served in the military, and was the longtime manager of the Bladen County ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service) office.
What many do not know is that without his assistance many years ago the local Agricultural Center may have never been a reality.
I was a Bladen County Commissioner, in the late 70s and early 80s. At that time the ASCS office was located on the top floor of the courthouse. Farmers were required to work with the agency, not sure of the details, but do know that many were frustrated before they ever arrived at the office. No place to park, especially when court was in session, they had to climb 2 sets of stairs or go to opposite end of courthouse to use the only elevator and they were not excited about going to the office anyway, but it was a federal requirement, may be the same today, not sure.
When talk began about building an Ag Center, Kendrick committed to contacting all Federal Ag agencies to seek a long time financial commitment from each, at that time very few were paying rent for their space. He was successful, and today, all are housed away from the courthouse, where there is ample parking, and no stairs … not sure if the federal agencies continue to pay for the space they occupy or not. But, without that commitment, there would most likely not be a Powell-Melvin Agricultural Center.
Oh, and the last time we spoke, a few weeks ago he told me again, at 90 plus years of age, he was still a daily reader of ‘Thoughts While Shaving’ on BladenOnline.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. Khalil Gibran
Life and death. At some point we’re gonna leave this world. Do I know when? Absolutely not. Terrell Owens
Nothing is a matter of life and death except life and death. Angela Carter
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