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An Open Letter & Open Report / Memories / Stephen & His Family At Gamble Plantation
December 17, 2019
Memories / Stephen & His Family At Gamble Plantation
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
You would ask of me, and the Honorable Attorney, David McCallister, "What our favorite part of our day at Gamble Mansion was?"
There were so many for me. However, there was the time I spent with Stephen, his baby brother, their dad and, later on. with Stephen's mother.
There I was strutting around the plantation grounds with the Southern Cross in hand when I heard, "Sir, Sir, can I take a picture with you?" A young man pushing a wheelchair with a young man in it who was making what sounded like grunting sounds, and who appeared to be either paraplegic or autistic, was my first impression.
I wasted no time going straight to the young man in the wheelchair, giving him a big hug to his utter surprise, and that of the young man who asked me to pose with him for a picture. I would learn that the gentleman with the camera was the boy's dad. He took the picture, and both he and his dad thanked me.
Barely had I gone about 20 yards when I heard this commotion coming from the wheelchair, and I noticed Stephen waving his hands profusely and pointing to me. The younger brother shouted again, "Sir, could you take another picture with my brother? He really likes you and your flag, and wants a picture too. Could you take it on the sidewalk? It will be easier for Stephen to walk up to the house."
To my utter surprise, Stephen unwound himself from that wheelchair and, with help from his brother, walked up that sidewalk some 30 feet to where I stood waiting, amazed at what I was witnessing. I was flabbergasted by Stephen's walk.
Stephen's dad asked me how long I would be at the plantation. He had called his wife, and told her about the reaction of joy that Stephen had displayed with me. The dad told me that she had stopped what she was doing (cooking, I believe ... they lived nearby), and was on her way to the plantation, and wanted to take a picture as well with the man with the flag who had brought joy to her men on this day.
About ten minutes later, I stood with mom and her boys with the Southern Cross in hand, taking in love from Stephen (with the bright blue shirt on) and his family. Dad would send me the attached picture. It was a great day at Gamble Plantation, and this was my fondest of a great deal of memories that I would have on this day.
HK Edgerton with Stephen and his brother at Gamble Mansion, Ellenton Florida - Dec. 8, 2019
I thank the ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for having me at Gamble on this day. And, once again, I want to thank the many wonderful people who sent condolences to me and my family for our loss. God bless you!
Chairman, Board of Advisors Emeritus, Southern Legal Resource Center
Member, Save Southern Heritage Florida
Member, Order of the Confederate Legion, Judah P. Benjamin Camp 2210, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, Bradford Rose, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1638
Honorary Life Member, Forest Orphan Camp 1744, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, North Carolina, Tennessee & Georgia, Orders of the Confederate Rose
Recipient, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Medal
President, Southern Heritage 411