Maggie slept over. I love when the Grands come. Yesterday, with breakfast over, we just sat and talked. Sometimes the conversation turns towards Jud. It’s good to remember, to share the stories. So yesterday, I told her two stories about her grandfather and Lynn, not a woman, a city nearby. An old poem/taunt reminds of her infamous past. “Lynn, Lynn the city of sin. You never come out, the way you came in.” Lynn is one of our oldest cities, industrialized early and a spawning ground for vice long ago.
As you can imagine, Lynn is a very diverse city and the home to many immigrants. As an aside, Jud grew up in a similar place in Fall River, Massachusetts. Jud’s duties were many during his years of service at Gordon. But one he never wanted to shirk was the annual MLK breakfast in Lynn.
It wasn’t about the food, but the recognition. And not of him, but the roles Gordon students played back then in this city. After asking Jud to stand, they thanked him for Valerie(beloved staff) and students who volunteered to make a difference, especially in their schools.
To Jud it demonstrated to a wider community our beliefs. Faith at work in a tough place. Sleeves rolled up to love God by loving our neighbors as ourselves. While our student teachers left a mark in the classroom, others volunteered to teach English to immigrants, tutor students and clean up playgrounds unfit for children.
Then there was the time Jud and I were invited to attend the unveiling of a mural done by Gordon art students for one of the city’s elementary schools. While Jud was surrounded by teachers and Lynn officials, I was lured away by a small child, probably a 3rd grader. She took my hand and pulled me up close to the hall mural, filled with scenes and faces. After pausing in front of a portrait of a child with big brown eyes and dark skin, she pointed, then turned to me and said, “That’s me.”
And so it was.
Then added with head high and a smile to match the mural,
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