Both born during the peak of the great land boom in South Florida, the friendship and camaraderie of “Beau” and “Honey Bunch” have spanned for decades. This friendship has given the two of them countless cherished memories.
Beau and Bunch both reminisce of the many Sundays they spent playing on the steps of St. John Methodist Church while Mrs. Emma McCoy, Honey Bunche’s grandmother, finished her church duties. When I asked, “Do you remember how you met?” The two nonagenarians uniformly responded, “At St. John Methodist Church when it was on NW 5th Ave.”
Beau and Honey Bunch recalled their shared childhood and kindled memories about some of our community’s pioneers. Sylvia Aldridge, Eliza Robinson, Lizzie Hill, Emma McCoy, The Cousins, Annie Mae Williams, The Charltons, Lewis Benton, Dorothy Overstreet, Mose McCoy, The Johnsons (George), The Adderleys (Charles), Isaiah and Annie Williams, Clarence Livingston, Bud Walters, Mrs. Mathis are all names that caused both Honey Bunch and Beau to become ecstatic and to momentarily escape to “the good old days”.
Beau tenderly recalled memories of his beloved Adele Lovett. Although they were not biological siblings, their relationship was that of two closely bonded brother and sister.
Growing up in the city of Fort Lauderdale, they both attended the only school for African Americans, The Old Colored School, later named Dillard. Clarence Walker was their principal.
Their classes were in the building that is now “The Old Dillard Museum”. Honey Bunch left to attend Industrial High School in West Palm Beach where she graduated and “Beau” left to join the United States Navy. However, three years later, he returned and graduated from Dillard High in the Class of 1944.
As young adults pursuing a higher education, Honey Bunch attended Tuskegee Institute, presently Tuskegee University. Beau attended Tuskegee Institute for a few months and later matriculated at FAMC, presently FAMU.
While living and working in Washington, D.C., Honey Bunch married Julius Wright. The young family moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1955 with their two young children Julian and Roslyn. Their family grew with the birth of David, Norman, and William (Billy). In 1953, Beau returned to Fort Lauderdale. Beau’s family grew with the birth of Bryan Keith and Belinda (Kelly). Frequent get-togethers cemented the continuation of another generation of lifelong
friendships. The annual “Day-After Christmas Gathering” at Honey Bunch’s became a treasured holiday expectation between the two families.
Careers, marriages, the love of family, and fond memories of their Fort Lauderdale roots have caused their friendship to be an everlasting one. From a generation of segregation to a generation of integration and inclusion, this friendship is “an everlasting love”!