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JANUARY 23 – JANUARY 29, 2020
COMMUNITY NEWS
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Plenty of birthday love and laughs for Henry ‘Smitty’ Smith
Memories over the past eight decades have marked a time for celebrating Henry “Smitty” Smith’s 80th birthday.
A big birthday bash took stock of the memories for the Greens- boro, North Carolina, native, whose Dec. 28 birthday was cel- ebrated on the same day at Palm Coast Community Center.
The room stood out with black and gold-trimmed chair covers, matching tableware and favors, for 130 guests. Three matching birthday cakes were in the mix. It was elaborate and a line- up of tastes from KC’s Cooking Company.
Gladys Knight’s vocal artic- ulation of “Wind Beneath My Wings” was sung by Smitty’s goddaughter, vocalist and twin Alexis Williams.
Deejay Chester McNorton “got down’’ with the music, and Smitty and wife Thea started the dancing with another sen- sation of Gladys Knight, “The Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me.”
All of that is credited to Thea’s
wonderful planning.
Heartfelt tributes
What’s more, the program en- tailed a welcome, roast and trib- utes, blessing of the occasion, and remarks.
“This
is the occasion that we’ve been waiting for 80 years, and I think it was worth waiting,” said Smitty’s cousin, emcee Wal- ter Harris.
“There are impressive things that happened in 1939,” said Smitty’s son, Keith Butler, “but none compared to the gift that God has given us in Henry Smith.”
Nneka Butler, Smitty’s daugh- ter-in-law, said, “(We) hope that God grants you (Smitty) many years of His grace and mercy… We welcome you (the guests) to the birthday celebration.”
It’s been an incredible journey for a guy, who wears 80 years
PALM COAST COMMUNITY NEWS
JEROLINE D. MCCARTHY
well – formerly a good baseball player – who’s deeply rooted in family, church, and his wife.
The honoree is chairman of the board of directors of Chap- ter 2 of the New York City Tran- sit Retirees of Florida, a retired train operator, who gives uncon- ditional love, kindness, and hu- mor, putting himself in harm’s way, and is purposeful, helpful, and understanding. He is a mar- velous man with talents.
Plenty of humor
The tributes were conveyed by Smitty’s other goddaughter, twin Alana Williams, grandchil- dren Khyla and Malik Butler, cousin Walter Harris, in-law the Rev. Tyrone Monro, friend Glad- ys Washington, co-worker Dot- tie Townsend, and neighbor the Rev. Reggie Bynum.
Thea recalled when she and Smitty were dating, and at a par- ty. “The first thing he said to me was, I’m not looking for mar- riage; I’m just passing through.” The couple has since been
married for 43 years.
“You have to really live two doors down from Smitty,” the Rev. Reggie Bynum responded.
Rev. Bynum said, “I was lying in my bed at 6 in the morning, and the sun hadn’t come up yet, and all of a sudden, I jumped out of bed, and I started to put on my clothes.
“And, my wife said, “‘Where
are you going?”’
I said, “I got to get up before
Smitty starts to mow the lawn.
“‘She said, He’s not going to mow the lawn at 6 o’clock in the morning.”’
At that point, Rev. Bynum be-
The emcee for the 80th birthday party was Walter Harris.
PHOTOS BY JEROLINE D. MCCARTHY/DAYTONA TIMES
Henry “Smitty’’ Smith let his wife, Thea, do her thing. So, here they are at his 80th birthday party.
Tributes were conveyed by Henry Smith’s goddaughter Alana Williams, left, granddaughter Khyla Butler, and others.
gan making mowing sounds.
“And, I asked him, ‘Smitty, I know that the grass does not grow that much overnight.
“‘He said, Reggie, when I was younger, I used to mow the lawn every, single weekend… and it would be good, and it would last a whole week. But after I got old- er, I got smarter, and now, I just take a section of the lawn each day.’”
“And, we know when the sun comes up, and it is time to walk the dog,” the minister recount- ed, “Smitty is the first one out do- ing his lawn. It’s true, he does it every day, but he doesn’t do the same section…He has the green- est, most lavish, prettiest lawn for miles and miles in Palm Coast.”
‘I am blessed’
Speaking of what he was feel- ing, Smitty doted on a few stan- zas of a hymn, “and giving God thanks for keeping me. I know I am blessed,” he added.
“And, I want to thank Thea.” At that point, he related that last January, Thea began speak- ing of throwing his 80th birthday party. And soon, she was book- ing the facility and doing little things.
And when he asked her, “Look. What about this (party)?” “And after her second time of saying, “Don’t worry,”…I just let her do I just let her do her thing. And, so here we are!
“And, I want you to give Thea a
hand,” he said.
With that, he kissed her, and they went dancing into the “sun- set’’ to Gladys Knight’s “The Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me.”
•••
As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved.
Celebrations
Birthday wishes
to Raven Sword, Esq., Jan. 23; Sheldon Shamarr Henderson, Jan. 24; Shaaf McGlown, Jan. 26; young Roman Sword, Jan. 27; and the Rev. G. Vincent Lewis, Jan. 29.
Happy anniversary to B.J. and
Marva Jones, Jan. 25.
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FOR BLACK STUDENTS.
Water quality update set for Feb. 8
SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
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Learn about local water quality proj-
ects, the reasonable assurance plan and resiliency during a free workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 8, in the Edgewater City Council Chambers, 104 N. Riverside Drive.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The workshop is sponsored by the
Riverside Conservancy.
Daytona State College to host Feb. 5 job fair
Businesses from a variety of industries will be ready for job-seekers Wednesday, February 5, when Daytona State College hosts its spring job fair on the DeLand Campus, located at 1155 County Road 4139.
The free event is open to current stu- dents, alumni, and all members of the community. The job fair will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Building 6C.
“These job fairs are designed to give stu-
dents a chance to connect with employ- ers and explore career opportunities while practicing their professional networking skills,” said LaTonya Polk, manager of Day- tona State’s Career Services Department.
Representatives from more than 30
businesses are scheduled to attend includ- ing Boston Whaler, Greystone Health Man- agement, Seminole County Government, Gary Yeomans Honda, Florida Health Care Plans, Volusia County Schools, Aldi, Rem- edy Intelligent Staffing, Spherion Staffing, Chick-fil-A, Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch- es, and Orange County Racing & Card Club.
Participating companies are subject to
change.
Resumé help
Current Daytona State students and
alumni are welcome to visit the Col- lege’s Career Services Department prior to the job fair for assistance with resumé and cover letter writing, interview preparation and other free services. Career Services is located in the L. Gale Lemerand Student Center, Room 224, on the Daytona Beach Campus.
Florida’s Chief Resiliency Officer Dr. Julia Nesheiwat will provide opening re- marks. A panel discussion will feature Volusia County Councilwoman and In- dian River Lagoon Council Chair Deb Denys.
Other panelists will include repre-
sentatives from the cities of Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach and Oak Hill; the Department of Environmental Protec- tion; and the St. Johns River Water Man- agement District. Two or more County Council members are expected to attend.
Reservations are required; contact
Ashlyn Russell at arussell@volusia.org.
Those attending the job fair should
dress professionally, bring copies of their resumé, and be prepared to speak directly to hiring managers and recruiters.
For more details, contact Daytona State
College Career Services at 386-506-3073 or CareerServices@DaytonaState.edu.
Free breastfeeding classes available
The Volusia County Health Department
is hosting no-cost breastfeeding and ba- sic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes for new and expectant mothers. Classes cover the basics of breastfeed-
ing, basic CPR and information on choking prevention and are scheduled at health de- partment locations from:
•  6 to 8 p.m., Feb. 4, 775 Harley Strick-
land Blvd., Orange City
•  6 to 8 p.m., Feb. 12, 717 W. Canal St.,
New Smyrna Beach.
•  6 to 8 p.m., Feb. 20, 1845 Holsonback
Drive, Daytona Beach
Each class is a one-time session. Reser-
vations are suggested but not required.
Lactation consultants from the depart-
ment’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program offer resources and assis- tance to breastfeeding mothers. WIC also offers breastfeeding peer counseling pro- grams.
Trained peer counselors are chosen from the same socio/economic/ethnic groups as WIC clients and have success- fully breastfed their own babies.  Breast- feeding peer counselors provide mother- to-mother basic breastfeeding education and support to pregnant and breastfeeding moms.
For information or to register for a breastfeeding class, call 866-942-3663.
Visit us online at daytonatimes.com East Central Florida’s
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