We received an automated message this week on our answering machine, purportedly from the Internal Revenue Service, from 360 807-5520, presumably western Washington state outside of metropolitan Seattle. The female voice claimed it was an urgent matter and the IRS is filing a lawsuit against us and that we need to call the number back ASAP. This is a scam; other people have received the same call in recent days.
Too infrequently, I went to visit Mrs. Hamlin in her later years.
Marcheta Hamlin, who was always Mrs. Hamlin to me, was one of the classiest people I’ve ever known. I don’t mean she was fancy, or put on airs; quite the opposite. She was proud, but not arrogant; dignified and gracious.
When I say she was like family, this wasn’t just a saying. Her parents, Rev. Alphonso Whitfield (d. 1999) and Constance (Walker) Whitfield (d. 2000), were my godparents. Her “nephson,” her sister Pat Jones’ son Walter (“Butch”), who lived right next door to the Hamlins, and from whom I inherited TWO jobs, was MY parents’ godson, and probably the closest thing I ever had to a brother.
Mrs. Hamlin was the organist at the church in which I grew up, Trinity A.M.E. Zion in Binghamton, NY, for decades. When I was 11 or 12, I took piano lessons from her for a little over a year. I just wasn’t very good at it, though I did practice. No regrets, since it was useful for singing. Continue reading “Marcheta Hamlin”