The picture at the left is my grandfather, Early Terrell whom we all called Den Den. This was taken in 1902. He was a wonderful man and greatly influenced my father, James Emmett Terrell who was, without any doubt, the shaping influence in my life. I absolutely adored him. He was funny, honest, hardworking, loyal, sincere and loving. In my eyes he had no negative traits.
The Terrell clan settled in New Kent County in the early 1600s and never left the area of Virginia that their ancestors had settled almost 400 years ago until my father moved away. They were mostly landowners and farmers with my grandfather being the first to hold an outside job. He was an insurance salesman after the First World War who spent most of his time travelling. My father, Emmett, was also a salesman although he was highly motivated to make it to the top, which he did. When he died, almost 40 years ago, he had just been promoted to Executive Vice President of Sales for Mead Johnson & Company, now a division of Bristol Meyers. The Terrells of the 20th century are a nomadic bunch, not at all like their ancestors, who rarely left the farm – so to speak. Daddy had to drop out of college to help support his parents and sisters. He had always wanted to be a doctor, like his brother, but began working with a pharmaceutical company instead. This was in 1937 when he and Mom married. He started off making $37 dollars a week.
When he died he had worked his way up to Executive Vice President. He instilled this work ethic in our entire family.
What a cute little boy my father was. He was born in 1911 and was probably about two when this picture was taken. Quite a nature boy at that! My mother was certainly not the first woman in his life - that's for sure. Here Emmett is pictured below with one of his girlfriends. I am sorry that I cannot identify her. My, but what a dapper man! Below on the right is his college picture from William and Mary.
However it was Nannie Belle that stole his heart. Here is a very old and tattered photo that I found. They look so sweet together and get a load of that car. I'm sure he worked hard for that one or else it was borrowed.
And did I mention that Daddy was
a male model? Fedoras were his specialty.
Now just how much trouble do you imagine these Kappa Alpha frat boys were up to? Daddy is the far right on the bottom row - and he always said that he was WORKING!!!!
In true family tradition, Michael Emmett was also a Kappa Alpha at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
EMMETT - written two years after my father’s death - 1969
Someday I, too, shall pass
Not in the dying is my fear,
but in the fact that life
suddenly will just disappear.
I do not dread that which will come.
Not knowing what I have missed.
The loves I've had, have been all right.
What of the lips I haven't kissed?
Looking back over my years
I've spent some time in true delight
Enjoying each day as it comes
But what about tomorrow night?
The things I've said and left unspoken
will be forever gone.
What I meant to do and never did
will never be atoned.
I want to make the impossible,
a special immortality for me.
I need it desperately, as I have,
no other beliefs with which to be.
From my pen, of life and love
known deep within my heart
Not even I, have the slightest chance
to set the "me" apart.
For you and I,
we both do know
The time is coming
and you, too, must go.
Standing upon the ground
under which I then will lie
feeling much as I do now. Lord,
I'm not quite ready yet to die.