This photo, taken about 1932, is the second earliest known photo of my father, Carl B. Sheppard, and his next two youngest brothers, Vernon, and Thomas (Buddy). I do not know where this photo was taken.
My dad was born into poverty in the textile mill villages of Gastonia, North Carolina. For a period of time, he and his mother and siblings had to live in the mountains of NC with his paternal grandparents. He was a WWII veteran of the Pacific Theatre. He worked all his life in cotton.
Vernon, in the middle, made a career of the Army, and Buddy became a Southern Baptist preacher.
You can see that Buddy was barefoot in this picture, and it reminds me of the story my dad told me remembering his first pair of shoes.
My younger brother was the spitting image of my dad at the same age. If the three of us brothers appear together in public, folks can tell we are kin. All of us have features of my dad.
I look at this picture with a little sadness for the hardness of my dad's life, but I am proud that he rose above his childhood circumstances. I cherish the memory of my father, and type this with a few tears. May he rest in peace.
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