My father was SO involved with activities that my mom often was overshadowed. My father’s first cousin Ruth sent me this photo of members of the Couples Club.
In the front row is Billie Anderson (I remember from the choir), Trudy Green (mom), and Eleanor Powell. In the back is Walter Smith, Midgett Parker (pillar of the church), and a guy neither Ruth nor I can identify. Cousin Ruth wrote, “This pic was taken from a 1970 / 1971 Trinity AME Zion yearbook.” She’s been “buried working on church history stuff.”
When I searched for Couples Club in Newspapers.com, I found a lot of churches and synagogues had them in that period. They were social groups but would also provide some services to the community. I wasn’t paying that much attention to their activities at my church. After graduating from high school in January 1971, I got a job at IBM in March and was working an average of 56 hours per week.
So I forgot Mom’s nice ‘fro. I’ve said this before, but she was a proud black woman. She might have had to work harder at it actually because she was so light-skinned. My mom and I talked a lot over the years about an array of topics. But I don’t remember us talking about that.
Balancing the checkbook
We did occasionally discussed being overshadowed by dad, the singer/artist/florist/activist. She didn’t, in my estimation, seek the limelight. But she had an ego too and enjoyed being appreciated like almost everyone else.
I have no idea, but if I were to take a guess, I imagine she was probably the treasurer of the Couples Club. She was very good with numbers, first as a bookkeeper at McLeans department store in Binghamton, NY. Later, she was a teller at First Union Bank in Charlotte, NC.
Whereas my father was terrible, awful with money. More specifically, dreadful at keeping track of expenditures. He’d buy items for their various flea market projects in Charlotte but fail to give the receipts to mom or their frustrated accountant Cecil.
Once, in the presence of the whole family, in January 1997, she really lit into him over money issues. It was quite uncharacteristic of her and wasn’t the topic we had been discussing. But she was correct on the facts.
Trudy Green would have been 93 today.