Letter – Photo triggers great memories

Published 6:37 pm Monday, November 21, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Last week my husband’s sister forwarded us a copy of your Nov. 2 issue. I was completely amazed to see the large photo on the editorial page of Martin Lloyd of Isle of Wight, England, and me taken back in October 1985! What a surprise!

It brought back so many delightful memories that I just had to write to you. Incidentally, later that very month, on Oct. 20 , our daughter Helen was born, hence my “fullness” in the picture.

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The memories that one picture evoked are endless, remembrances of our nearly 20 years in Smithfield, of strolling our new baby over the bumpy sidewalks on Church Street, stopping frequently in the old library in the Chapman House just down the block, of my 10 years, first as volunteer, then as curator of the Isle of Wight Museum, of our days volunteering at the Smithfield Little Theatre and in the Junior Woman’s Club. And, of course, of all of the many, many wonderful people we came to know throughout Smithfield and the entire county.

I remember particularly their generosity in sharing their family pieces and personal family histories with me at the museum. Then I remember too the library house tours, the Christmas progressive dinners, the Shakespeare Class, the raft races on the Fourth of July, the bicentennial year 1976, Isle of Wight’s 350th celebration and the exchanges with its namesake in England, the archaeological digs, and simply walking around, visiting and shopping in the old town every day — plus, again, the neat personalities of all of the ”characters,” both young and old, we came to know so well through the years. How interesting and fascinating it all was — and great fun too!

Since that time, many new lives have begun and, sadly, many have ended, and many life-altering events for everyone have occurred. Michael and I now find ourselves alive and well up in the Shenandoah Valley in Lexington, living near our completely grown up and married daughter and her family.

Looking back now over the years and all of the different places we have lived before and since then, no one place collectively has had more of an impact on me and remained nearer and dearer to my heart than Smithfield, Virginia.


Nelle Pitman