by Randolph Voller

An African Proverb states that when an elder dies a library burns.

It certainly has felt that way. So many people I’ve known over the past thirty years since I moved here from Indiana have died.

Most recently, local legend and genuinely nice guy, Tommy Edwards, went to the great bluegrass band in the sky to entertain eternity with his whimsical quips and award-winning musical chops.

His passing saddened me on many levels, including the fact that all of the new people arriving in Chatham County and the Circle City will never get the pleasure of seeing Tommy play with the Bluegrass Experience or visit with Tommy at the store he and his wife Cindy own on Hillsboro Street in downtown Pittsboro.

This got me thinking about other local folks who newcomers will also never get to know:

Archie Cross motoring across town in his wheelchair with a smile on his face, a wave of his hand, and love emanating from his soul.

Wilbur Bryant sitting on the back of his old pickup truck waving while spinning tales and selling fruits and vegetables to all comers.

Margaret Pollard and Margie Ellison working for social equity and serving the public good.

Kindly Dr. Noah Wilson practicing dentistry at his office on Salisbury Street or Ed Holmes closing real estate deals at the old office in the Blair Hotel while sharing stories about his time in the NC General Assembly.

And Gene Oldham working the register every day at S&T’s Soda Shoppe on Hillsboro St. and sharing stories about UNC and UNC basketball coach Roy Williams quietly

visiting the Oldham family’s restaurant for a meal.

This list is incomplete, but their contributions were not.

Randolph Voller, Publisher