Waking up this Sunday morning (Father's Day), I learned of the passing of three friends who had an impact on my life - Glenn Draper, Marshall Roberson and Betsy Anderson.
Glenn was a guest on my radio program many times. He and his musicians represented Chattanooga around the world. In the 50's, Glenn had a national weekly radio program on NBC. He recorded several dozen CD's with the singers. His forming the Singing Mocs at UTC is most interesting and his years of service as music director at First Presbyterian Church cannot be matched.
In forming the Singing Mocs, Glenn said he enticed students to join by offering them free Krystal hamburgers and Cokes. Many didn’t have time to eat so he’d feed them during class just to get them to sign up.
Brother Marshall as I knew him was the longtime pastor of the North Chattanooga Church of God. When Bro. Marshall was called to the church, he told me about walking the streets of what is now known as the North Shore and inviting residents to church. Several times when I would go to my grandparents home where the Publix is now, Bro. Marshall would be sitting on the front porch talking about the Lord with my grandpa and grandmother.
Governor Frank Clement, his very close friend, appointed him prison chaplain in the 60’s. In an interview, Bro. Marshall told me the hardest thing he ever had to do was the prayer before several executions at the state prison in Nashville. He said saying amen sent someone out into eternity.
Betsy Anderson was the late Lee Anderson's pride and joy. They took me to lunch several times at their favorite restaurant, the Mount Vernon. Betsy had a few stories about her husband, longtime editor of the Chattanooga News Free Press. During Mr. Anderson's sunset years, his Betsy was always by his side.
Remembering these friends reminds me how fragile life is. They made an impact on my life and many others.
In the words of my friend Ben Cagle, "Every day is a gift from the Lord."