Looking through my grandmothers photo album and I found this picture of a man we called Mr Henry and my sister eating Sunday dinner around 1973
When I think of Sunday dinners I think of Mr Henry (later discovered his real name was William). Every Sunday, my grandmother spent her day off cooking a Sunday dinner. Although it was normally just my grandparents, my sister and I, a full spread graced the stove every Sunday. Collards, cornbread, Mac, chicken (baked or fried) or maybe a pork roast along with some type of cake or pie for dessert
Every few Sunday’s my grandparents friend’s car would pull into our driveway and Mr. Henry’s long legs would emerge. We had a small house and his jovial laugh and projecting voice would signal his arrival. After he performed his duties as usher in his church in Bridgeport, CT he would make the 30min trip down I95 to take a place at our table in New Canaan.
I don’t think he ever announced that he was coming but it was a matter of fact that my grandmother would be cooking and there was always more than enough food.
Mr Henry passed a few months back at 102 years old and this is a video done by a local new station showing his impact on so many others. All these years later I got a better idea who the man that used to show up for Sunday dinners actually was and his impact continues
Note: My grandmother told me Mr. Henry was born in Fayetteville, NC. I discovered that there was a Henry Evan’s born in 1760 who was a popular black preacher and was credited with being “the father of the Methodist Church, white and black, in Fayetteville. He was the son of free Negroes from Virginia, a shoemaker by trade. My grandparents friend Mr. Henry shined shoes at a bank in Bridgeport CT for +40 years. I wonder if there is any connection between the two.