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Henry family’s trumpet legacy lives on

By Kay S. Pedrotti Notes from a 40-yearold Conn trumpet can be heard at LCCHS football games thanks to several generations of the Dr. George and Pamela Henry family. In fifth grade in 1973, their son Rolfe played trumpet in the high school band under a director who later became a community leader and noted musician, the late Mayor Dewaine Bell of Barnesville. In eighth grade in 2013, Rolfe’s daughter Margaret plays her dad’s trumpet with the marching band, directed by An’Cheyl Green. ‘If you think marching band isn’t a sport just come to one of our practices,’ Margaret says. It is not only learning how to march or knowing the pieces of music but enough pre-march exercises to ‘let you know you’re really working out,’ she adds. She is in the marching band a year early as a middle-schooler, just like Rolfe when he played. ’They needed people to march,’ he says. ‘I really enjoyed it. My parents rented the trumpet for a while, then purchased it. Now it has a few dents and dings ‘“ it’s been loaned out to various nieces and nephews over the years and our son Joseph has played it just for fun.’ He also played in a church ensemble during those years. Rolfe says, ‘I have great memories of Mr. Bell. He and the other Lamar County teachers then were a constant, a dependable source of strength and wisdom during a difficult time of cultural change.’ School integration was new and everyone was struggling to put education first, he said. ’Mr. Bell was a leader who loved his students,’ Rolfe adds. ‘He treated each one in regard to their character. His music was woven in and around everything he did. I remember how much I enjoyed the after-school jam sessions in the band room with Mr. Bell and his cousins and buddies. That was some great music. It was a privilege to know him all those years as he became a school principal and then mayor.’ Other teachers displayed Bell’s attitude too; he mentioned two who are still living here, Peggy O’Dell and Theodore Bush. Margaret has yet to experience those cold-night football games when, as her dad says, ‘You had to blow hot air into the trumpet just to make it play and not stick to your lips.’ He is thrilled with Margaret’s choice of his trumpet and looking forward to watching her march. Like many of George and Pamela’s children and grandchildren, Margaret is well-rounded, singing in chorus for the last four years and making excellent grades in her academic subjects. She ran on the home-school cross country track team last year. The family attends Dayspring Presbyterian Church in Forsyth where Margaret volunteers in a mother’s day out program for mothers of children with autism. When asked what she does for relaxation on her busy days, she had a rapid, simple answer: ‘I sleep!’

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