June 10, 2021


Randy always seemed to be a bundle of energy.  He, Patrick, Joseph and several other friends from church lived together at what they called the “youth house” the year after high school.  Most of the guys scrounged around their parents’ homes for some old furniture or other household supplies.  Randy’s mom had other ideas!  

She brought high quality furniture, quilts and decorative items to set up Randy’s bedroom at the “youth house.”  He took some teasing from his housemates about his luxurious furnishings—and a favorite target was this decorative painted goose his mom brought.  Randy enjoyed his comfortable room and was a good sport about the teasing. Not sure how the goose felt about all the fuss!

When we were planning our trip to Nashville for Heather’s graduation from Vanderbilt, Randy said he would like to go along.  Bill and Jane were hosting a pre-graduation party at their Castlewood home and they agreed to this extra houseguest.

Driving from South Carolina to Nashville via Asheville is one of my favorite drives—especially the Asheville to Nashville section.  And that trip with Randy and Patrick was one of the best.  I still remember laughing until we cried at some of Randy’s stories. 

This photo shows Patrick and Randy at the front entrance to the Connelly home. We had a wonderful time at the party with so many of Heather’s friends and their families celebrating this important milestone. Graduation morning was sunny and bright.  Tootsie and Kim drove over from Athens to join us that morning—and sat outdoors on the Vanderbilt lawn with Patrick, Randy and me to cheer for Heather’s big day. 

Randy came back to Vanderbilt two years ago.  He’s now a Presbyterian pastor in Maryland and he and his wife Kate have a lovely, talented daughter Caroline.  He was taking Caroline on a tour of colleges and arranged to meet with Heather on the Vanderbilt campus.  She’s now a faculty member in Human and Organizational Development. Almost 30 years after Randy came to her graduation, she enjoyed talking with his daughter about her choices for her college education.  Caroline eventually chose the Honors College at University of Alabama.  But the link to Randy continues.  

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