A Southern Gentleman’s Birthday


Lester Howard

James Lester Howard 

Today would have been the 98th birthday of James Lester Howard – my grandfather.  The son of Mattie Maddox and Connie Howard the story of his life is rich and long. I have previously written about Granddaddy here, here and here.

But beyond the facts and dates, did you know Granddaddy was:

  • The Caretaker –  Granddaddy was the oldest of four children.  He lost his mother at a young age and from that point on, became a caretaker.  He looked after his siblings  throughout their lives staying in close contact even in the adult years.  As a father he took care “his girls”.  As a grandfather and great grandfather he instilled a sense of family in the younger generations.  A favorite memory is the walk through his rose garden after dinner.  Another favorite memory is watching the interaction between Granddaddy and his great grandchildren during a fishing trip.
  • A Southern Gentleman – One of my cousins remembers Granddaddy as a true southern gentleman.  Yes, he most definitely was.
  • A Special One – When I meet the older generation of cousins for the first time, I typically introduce myself and add that I’m Lester’s granddaughter. (This helps them place me in the family tree.)  On one such occasion, I introduced myself to my grandfather’s first cousin.  Her face softened and with a smile she simply stated “He was a special one.”  That he was.


Did I mention he was indulgent when it came to the grandchildren?

 Happy Birthday, Granddaddy!

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