It has been a long time since I attended a parade at Georgia Military College. When I was a student, I would go to most of them. Now that I have a full-time job across town, it is a bit more difficult to get them, especially since most are held in the afternoons. But, a few weeks ago, there was a parade which I would not miss.
The Mothers’ Day Parade is one I had never attended. There was never a reason for me to do so. But, this particular parade, they were also celebrating the retirement of a lady who has influenced my life a great deal. GMC is my alma mater, which literally means “nourishing mother.” While there, like many students who have gone before me and quite a few after, I gained a second mother.
Ms. Brenda Brown’s official title is Community Service Coordinator, but she did much more than that. She worked (during my years) in the student activities office, which given my involvement with student government, led to a lot of interaction. She was always quick to inspire and encourage, and like any good mother-figure, not afraid to deal out the correction when necessary (not that I ever needed it, of course…).
She had a tremendous impact over countless students over the years, as was evidenced by the people at the parade. Just about everyone I spoke to – at least those who didn’t work at the school – had driven into town (well over 800 miles) for her. Not for the parade, but for her. One couple, who now works at a living history museum, was there in full 1800s costume. When I asked why they were dressed like that, the answer was simple. “Ms. Brown asked us to do it. And when she asks for something, you don’t really tell her no.”
So, here are a few pictures from the parade. I also was able to get a video (from where I was standing, it’s more like audio only) of the Col. Fred Van Horn presenting her with her retirement saber.