Just days before his death he had the privilege of doing what he enjoyed doing best and one of those rights he fought for as both a veteran and a citizen: Speaking His mind!
The community is saddened by the recent passing of Billy Godfrey who passed away recently at the age of 96.
But the memories he shared, all the stories he told will be remembered by all for many years to come!
Godfrey honored his county and community by agreeding to be part of the 2014 McCord’s Crossroads Memorial Day celebration, first in the parade and later sharing a few words at the main event following the parade.
Godfrey shared how he taught school in this area for many years and enjoyed getting reacquainted with some of his students.
“I would like to say thanks to the people for the good job they did,” said Godfrey.
Godfrey shared how he joined the Navy in World War II and ended up in the Marines. During his experience, he unknowingly gave his captian a hotfoot!
“I was sitting there and heard somebody cussing, cussing up a storm!” said Godfrey.
“He cussed me for everything I was worth. We had give the capitan a hotfoot. I didn’t know nothing about a blame ship! I finally got to him and can still see him to day. He was sitting in a corner and had a fit.! He said ‘you look like an intelligentt young man’ and start beating again. It is the wonder he hadn’t court-martialed me. I pointed my finger at him. I said ‘all I have been through, I know nothing about this ship!’ He settled down. I got kidded a whole lot about giving the captain a hotfoot.”
“I am glad to be here,” said Godfrey. I am glad the Lord spared me so I could come to this program. Thank you and I love you!”
Odessa Rogers, president, McCord’s Crossroads Homemakers Club, thanked Godfrey and also introduced Pap Kerr, Cherokee County’s oldest veteran.
Rogers also introduced Cherokee County Representative to the Alabama Legislature Richard Lindsey and thanked him for his continued support of the club.
“If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t be where we are at,” said Rogers. “He has really helped us. He has really spoke for us, done a lot for the homemakers club.”
“Thank you Odessa,” said Lindsey. “It is great to be here with the veterans today. It is great to be here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Would you agree?”
“How would you like to be living in a country like Russia right now where every decision goes through one man or in our next door country Mexico where people are living in utter poverty and drug lords have virtually taken over the government?” said Lindsey.
“We don’t know how to appreciate the freedoms we have in this country until you look just around you and very close to how worse it is in so many other countries. So I want to honor and thank these veterans for their service to this country.”
Lindsey asked all veterans present to stand and be recognize.
“In regard to the homemakers club, it has been a real honor to work with these ladies,” said Lindsey. “They really work hard in their community and several years ago, there was a granite monument over here at the state line. That was put up in the 40s during the Folsom administration. Vandals had broken it and defaced it and this group of ladies raised the money and we got them a little bit of state money to go with it and they repaired that monument and it is standing today welcoming people to the state of Alabama. At one time, there was one of these at every entrance to the state of Alabama, but they were damaged and destroyed over the state. There are only a few left. Thiss is one of them and I am proud to say that these ladies helped protect that.”
“The second thing they are doing is trying to preserve the Hopewell Church and help make it a community center,” said Lindsey.
“And they are doing a great job doing that. It has a lot of work to be done and working with Sen. Dial we have been able to secure a grant from the soil and water district of $40,000 to help with renovation of the Hopewell Church.”
“That certainly won’t be enough to do the complete job,” said Lindsey.
“We will still have to chip in as a community, but events like this today will help us raise the money to complete that work. And I hope all of you will join in with your labor and your contributions to help make it a success.”
“We have lots of office holders here today and I won’t try to recognized all of them, but I appreciate their support and one other colelgaue, Sen. Means is here,” said Lindsey. “He is a candidate this time, Sen. Dial will be here later. But thanks again for your support and thank you homemakers club for the work you do for this community.”
Keith Baldwin with American Auctioneers also thanked politicians and office holders for coming out to the event.
“For you to come out and support us as a community means a lot to all of us,” said Baldwin. “It means a lot to this homekaers group, it means a lot to this community and for you to spend your Saturday afternoon here with us it is very important and we appreciate you more than you know.”
“McCords’ Crossroads Fire Department, what a wonderful job they do keeping us safe and we appreciate them as well,” said Baldwin.
“Last year we had a great event, this year it is out the roof and I can’t wait to see what next year looks like,” said Baldwin. “This would make a great fairground wouldn’t it?”
Baldwins-Committees-President-Odessa Rogers; Celebration Committee-They were shapr this year. Martha Jane Montgomery, committee chair; Judy Hopper, co-chair; gounrd and event layout, Sherry and Donnie Lambert; parad-Karen Bob and Sherry Lambert.
Baldwin recognized each of the McCords’ Crossroads’ Homemakers Club’s committees for their role in making the Memorial Day event a success, including Ann Murphy and Barbara Pendergrass, publicity; Pat Kisro and Judy Hopper, arts and crafts; Betty Wicker and Sarah Tierce, veterans’ welcome station; Lynn Petty and Martha Jane Montgomery, staging and decoration; Christy McDaniel and Christy Ware, games; Edna Jennings, Ruth Peek and Ellen Walker, food; Tammy Littlefield and Sherry Lambert.
“Thanks to Donnie Lambert Jr. for keeping the grounds mowed for us and we appreciate how good they look,” said Baldwin.
“On behalf ot he homemakers, we are delighted to have you here today,” said Martha Jane Montgomery with McCord’s Crossroads Homemakers’ Club.
“And we want you to enjoy all the activities that we have planned. We have games on the far end, the homemakers’ club has a booth and we want you to come by and see what we have. Fried pies are getting low. We are registreirng $1 and you can get your name to go in for a door prize that are going to be given away all the day long.”
“We are going to have a quilt auction and also will auction off a couple of cakes,” said Montgomery.
“Please go over to the veterans’ tent and visit these veterans and let them know how much you appreciate hteir service to this community.
“Also, DAR from Cherokee County is here and they want to register all the veterans from this county. They have put out one book. They don’t have them all so if you are a veteran, please put yourname on that list.”
“We want to tthank all our veterans here today and we want to thank you for your participation in this great event,” said Randy Jones who gave the invocation for the event.