Village Times March 2022


Independence Village of Olde Raleigh Resident Newsletter



02 JoAnne Siebold
03 Elizabeth Wilson
07 Mark Lochbaum
11 Linda Flowers
13 Carol Price
15 Rick Stallings, Jr
16 Marisha Manning
27 Kim Hiers
30 Bonnie Price
31 Margie Lewin


Cellphone Insanity
by Phyllis Wooley

I have had a cell phone for several years, and I must admit, I love it. I take it wherever I go. Of course, it’s primary purpose is to make and receive calls. However, I can’t say that I use that feature as much as one might think. My grown children are still hunting down the person who taught me how to text. Now, I know that the text feature is for short notes and responses, but most of the time I have more to say than just one sentence. Many times after I have written three paragraphs with complete words and sentences, the responses I get are “yes”, “nope”, “huh”, “k”, or “ttyl”. What in the world does “k” mean? Of course that would initiate a phone call to one of my three sons or some young person for an explanation.
        As time would tell, after hundreds of phone calls and the same number of explanations, I began to understand more and more about my phone. I could use it like a computer. I could get on the Internet, Facebook, play games, listen to music, record, set reminders, manage my bank account, send and receive emails, and order just about anything I wanted to be delivered to my front door. There’s even a free application for my cat to be able to play with my phone.

       Then the paranoia started settling in. What if I lost my phone, what if I forgot it and left it home? What if I forgot to charge it? I would text my family or friends to tell them something that couldn’t wait, you know, like what I had for lunch, and if I didn’t get a timely response, say in 30 seconds, I just knew they had been in an accident or something dreadful had happened.
        I am retired. I seemed to have forgotten about going to work, driving in heavy traffic, sitting in meetings and actually doing a day’s work. I guess I forgot that you’re not supposed to have your personal phone out at work. Nor should you even have it out while you are driving! None of that appeared to matter to this crazy mom and friend!
Then it happened! I moved into Independent Living. I started playing baseball, Bocci ball, bingo, Pokeno. One of my sons would call me and I wouldn’t answer, or if I did answer, I would say, “I’ll call you back! I am eating lunch.” Or, “I’ll be back in my room after 7. Can you call me back, then?”
       Oh my goodness! I was becoming someone I would have complained about. My phone would interrupt a game, hide my face across the dinner table, and worst of all, cause me to appear disinterested in my family or friends, and what they had to say.

Cellphone Insanity, cont’d
by Phyllis Woolery

So I am working the Ten Steps of Cell Phone Addiction that I have developed for myself:

1. Admit I am powerless over a cellphone.
2. Remember that my life was extremely busy before cellphones and I had live conversations with human beings and was always in touch with family and friends.
3. Remind myself it’s OK to miss a phone call. They can leave a message.
4. Put my phone away when I am sharing a meal with someone.
5. Turn my phone off when I am at church, in the doctor’s office, in a business meeting, in a community game, at work, or in a job interview.
6. Limit my time playing games, being on Facebook, or surfing the web.
7. Remember how rude I am when I am on the phone and others feel uncomfortable because I give them a dirty look or shush them as they continue the conversation when I am on the phone.
8. I will try to remember to turn my phone off when appropriate.
9. I will try to remember to turn my phone back on when in the privacy of my own home.
10. When all of the above steps fail, I will have the strength to throw the damn thing over a bridge and get a land line.

      There was a time when life was much simpler. Even in the worst of times, we believed that things would get better. Life can be tough! We need one another’s company. You can’t hear a smile. Hugs must be felt. No text, comment on Facebook, or email can compare to the sound of your child or loved one’s voice. Untie the strings to your phone and be free again 

by Richard Smalto

The siege of Malta in the sixteen century was the most celebrated event in Europe. Voltaire said “nothing is better known than the siege of Malta.” Malta is an island in the Mediterranean that in the sixteenth century became a naval station for the Knights of St. John. It was used as a fortification and Christian bulwark against Islam to defeat the Turkish army of the Ottoman empire in 1565.

Dated from that century, on that island the Christians also built one of the world’s greatest cathedrals. In that cathedral under the marble floor in the nave of the church are the tombstones of the knights that fell in the battles fought to withstand and repel the foreign invaders. The tombs contain the crests, coat of arms and epitaphs of some of Europe’s greatest knights.

Although the tombs are impressive It is the painting in the church that took my breath away. Commissioned by the knights of that order in 1608 as an altarpiece, this large oil painting is still on display in the Oratory of the great cathedral. One of the world’s ten greatest works of art, “The Decapitation of St John the Baptist” still ranks among the most influential paintings in the history of art.

When I stood before this magnum opus, which because of its size did not seem far away, the circle of light illuminating the beheading of John the Baptist absolutely stunned me. This was the first time and the last time I remember being astonished by a work of art. Signed with the blood of the Baptist, although Caravaggio completed almost one hundred works of art this is the only painting that carries his name on it.

Oberlin Cemetery
by Pat Simpson

It was a cold gray day in November as my two passengers and I departed for a trip down memory lane; a nostalgic tour of Oberlin Village by former residents Brenda Peebles and “Sonny” Haywood. They both have relatives buried in Oberlin cemetery, now an historic landmark.
  Oberlin Village, one of the original thirteen freed African-American communities in North Carolina, is about five miles southeast of Independence Village. Former slave James E. Harris, established it in 1866 and named it for his alma mater, Oberlin College in Ohio (whose leaders
were abolitionists).
  The cemetery, a former slave graveyard located at 1014 Oberlin Road, is hidden from view and accessible only from the back of the InterAct parking lot (site of the old wooden school). Mostly without headstones or markers, the many depressions in the earth represent the forgotten people of a forgotten place.
  It is believed that at least 600 graves occupy the cemetery; however, only approximately 145 scattered headstones currently exist. Most graves are not marked.
  “The scouts built that,” said Sonny, referring to the wooden entrance to the cemetery. Indeed, as part of an Eagle Scout service project in 2013 two Boy Scouts: Justin Do of Troop 346 and Michael Olson of Troop 310 built a brick path with steps and made wooden benches and a brochure rack.
  We stopped at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Oberlin Drive for smoothies all around as Sonny reflected: “My father was Leonidas Haywood, Sr., who was the principal of the now bygone Oberlin School. During the 1950s. Dad was my favorite 8th grade teacher. He was so smart. He respected us and taught us as if we were undergrad students. My mother was Cornelia
Haywood, who taught elementary students at Garner Consolidated School.”
  He pointed across the street and went on: “See that church over there? That’s Wilson Temple United Methodist Church. It was founded in 1865 and it’s considered as an historically black church. How do I know? I’ve been a member my whole life and I still am! My father served as organist for 17 years and my mother served as Superintendent of the Study Program. “Since I was only five,” says Sonny, “I’ve always wanted to be a concert pianist. I taught myself to play on the family’s Wurlitzer piano. Even today, I’m known best for playing the piano. At one point in the 1980s, the church chose me as ‘man of the year’.”

Oberlin Cemetery
by Pat Simpson

  It was Brenda’s turn as she began her own smoothie tutorial: “Well, I can’t play the piano but my father could sure build houses. I was born on February 20, 1950 and my dad was Millard Peebles. He was a bricklayer and built all the houses on Calloway Drive from 1958 until I graduated from high school in 1968. My mother was Allie Muse and she was from Virginia. She met my father at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.
  “Most of my family are buried in Mount Hope Cemetery at Baptist Grove Church,” added Brenda, “but some of my folks are here, including my great-grandparents and 51 first cousins of my daddy’s. But there’s four generations of my family still living in the area, including my grandmother and my mother.”
“When Sonny and I saw how the cemetery is so walled in by condos today, I was shocked.”
   Sonny grunted in the affirmative.
   It was almost as if the cemetery didn’t matter; that the fact it remained at all must have been the results of somebody or some group of somebodies who cared.”
   Perhaps it was through efforts of “The Friends of Oberlin Village” and one of its founding members, Dr. M. Ruth Little, who spearheaded the approval of Oberlin Cemetery as an historic
   From WRAL News, February 19, 2013: “The City Council voted Tuesday to designate Oberlin Cemetery in Raleigh as a historic landmark.
“The cemetery, at 1014 Oberlin Road, is historically and culturally significant as an early black cemetery in Raleigh. It was established in 1873 but may have originated as an earlier slave grave yard. The cemetery also is one of the most significant surviving historic landmarks in Oberlin Village, the largest freedmen’s village in Wake County during the Reconstruction Era.
   “About 600 graves are believed to be in Oberlin Cemetery, but only 145 monuments, including one zinc monument and one wood grave marker, are visible. Artistically, the monuments represent the work of professional stonecutters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”
When Brenda and Sonny and I finally returned from our trip down memory lane, I think they were very happy to have visited so many memories of their pasts. I felt like I’d learned some of Raleigh’s lesser-known history – and that I had made a couple of new friends. (For more info go to

Quotes from our funny friends – by Margie Lewin
In ancient times cats worshipped as gods,
– they have not forgotten this.
A dog is the only thing on this Earth
– that loves you more than he loves himself.

Keep it Real
by Carol Armstrong

  For many years there has been a concept called “Positive Thinking.” We are to think and express only “positive” thoughts and ideas, and not any “negative” ones. I believe I have never met anyone who can actually do that.
  When I had cancer years ago, I saw a book that said in order to survive cancer you must never think any negative thoughts ever again. I’m living proof of that statement being absolutely false!
  A few years ago I read a book that said pessimism and optimism are not black and white, either/or, but can be in degrees and be complimentary. There are extremes of both.
  An extreme optimist will often focus solely on the success of Plan A, and not want to even acknowledge the possibility of needing a plan B or C. An extreme pessimist tends to focus on all the possible ways that plan A will not work, but has few or no suggestions for what would work. If plan A fails, the optimist can be devastated. The pessimist can live in a perpetual state of gloom and doom, and “I told you so”. The book talks about “Defensive Pessimism” as the ability to create Plan B and even Plan C and B as  options if plan A does not work.
  Working together, an open-minded optimist and a defensive pessimist can focus on moving forward with Plan A while providing options, corrections, and contingencies if plan A does not work as expected. Often, I was able to identify possible problems with projects in my job, and suggest corrections before things got really bad. Some of my co-workers would tell me “Don’t be such a pessimist!” That is like telling me to only inhale when I breathe.
  I don’t look at myself as being negative or positive, pessimist or optimist, but as being “real”.

by Frank Howes

I was born when my grandfather was 59 years old. My memories of him therefore, go back primarily to the time he was 64 to 85. In other words, I remember him at the age where we are now.

He was a hard worker. I remember once when I was about 17 and full of energy, I was pulling up sheep burrs along with him in his field. It was three in the afternoon, the hottest part of the day. I was sweating. When he saw this, he told me, “Go over there in the shade son, I’ll do this.” Of course I didn’t, I kept pulling weeds along with him. The point is, he wasn’t reluctant to sweat.

They were calloused, Granddaddy’s hand. So much so, that when we hunted crickets in his watermelons in order to go fishing, and he saw Black Widow spiders he’d say to my brother and me, “Wait a minute son,” and he’d mash them with his thumb. My hands are not as useful as his. He could put a shaving edge on a kitchen

knife with a file. I still don’t know how he did that. He loved to fish at Mr. Corbet’s ponds. He took us, my brother and me, regularly. He could usually catch the biggest bream. He fertilized his fields with gu-ana (not guano). He didn’t like products made in Ja’-pan. He never used a rolling chair, and he never seemed to get in a hurry. He often said, “I’ll get to it directly,” which might mean in the next five minutes, or it might mean sometime in the next five days.

Come to think of it, I did see him in a hurry once. He was knocking down a wasp nest in his smoke house. He wanted to get some of the wasp grubs to use as fish bait. The nest was a large one. He knocked it down with a fishing pole. When he did, of course the angry wasps came after him. He ran, and he hurdled a 20” doorsill at the entrance to the smoke house. He must have about 69 when he did this. If I tried to do the same, I would fall. I would break a bone. I would be laid up for a long time.

My Grandfather and Grandmother lived on their farm until my grandmother developed glaucoma and lost her sight. When she went to a rest home, my grandfather stayed on the farm and lived alone. He did this until he was about 85.

In 1981, the year my son was born, he passed away. My father tells me that he played with a neighbor’s twoyear-old the day before he passed away. He loved children, and children loved him. That night he passed away quietly in his sleep.

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