Story By John Strunk, LWMA Faculty, 1967 - 1974
Photo by Brian V. Brunner('64)
I arrived in Camp Hill in 1967 at the age of 22 to begin my teaching career at LWMA and occasionally experienced some culture shock. The very first time that I went to the laundrymat in Camp Hill to wash my clothes the patrons stared in disbelief that I was there. I had always done my own laundry at home and while at the university and thought nothing of going to the laundrymat to wash my clothes. The lady who worked there was so kind and came to me and offered to complete my laundry so that I would leave. She explained that men didn't come into the laundrymat to wash clothes. Initially I was very skeptical of leaving my clothes with a stranger, but she convinced me that it would be OK. When I returned, there were all my clothes dried and neatly folded in my basket. This story is a link to my first memory of T-Bone because as I was leaving the laundrymat that afternoon in shock that someone had just completed doing my washing, I first met T-Bone. As fate would have it, that became one of the most outstanding memories that I have of the town.
I was putting my laundry basket in my car when I heard a glorious baritone voice singing a beautiful hymn. I looked around for the source of the music and saw T-Bone coming down the sidewalk. His music was so enrapturing that I felt the hair on the back of my neck begin to stand. He approached waving his stick singing at the top of his voice with a grandeur that would have made a star of the Metropolitan Opera proud. I stood outside my car fascinated by this old black gentleman dressed in rags with the voice of an angel. When T-Bone reached where I was standing dressed in my LWMA uniform, he suddenly stopped singing, looked me squarely in the face, smiled and said "Southern boys," turned and continued down the sidewalk singing with an amazingly powerful voice. That was the first of many times that I heard his voice echoing through Camp Hill. I was amazed that no one else mentioned that T-Bone was quite a singer as well as a local character.
Mr. Fred Roberts
Born 1913 - Died 1985
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