I have only had one encounter with Mr. Godfrey, but it has stuck with me all these years. It was during the 1992 High School Basketball State Championship, played here at LSU. On my way back to my seat, I came across my former Middle school classmate & her dad.
As I approach them, I greeted her with a hug, and her dad with a hello. That year, I was “dating” a high school senior playing in the tournament. I proudly wore his ring he’d won the previous year…as I pointed out his #10 jersey. Now mind you, I was a few months from making 15 at the time.
At that news, my classmate shook her head in disbelief. I glanced at her father, and he continued to watch & discuss the game with us without a sign of uneasiness. You see, most of my friends parents started to act a bit differently towards me, once they knew about the Senior and I. They all assumed the worse (which was so unnecessary)…and wanted to do whatever they had to, to shield their daughters from whatever it was that had gotten into me. But not Mr. Godfrey. He was confident in his kids. He knew what he & his wife had instilled in them.
I appreciated the fact that he continued to see my as the little girl I was…and not as someone who was gunning to lead his daughter astray. I admired the relationship that he had with his daughter, and later his grandson. What I would have given to experience that parental love for just a day. I know without a doubt, others around the state of Louisiana have warm memories of Mr. Godfrey. From just what I’ve read thus far, a scripture comes to mind, Ecclesiastes 7:1.
I’m sure more write ups will follow, but in the Advocate’s news article confirming his passing, a few of his major accomplishments, were mentioned by his son. Becoming founding President of the 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge, were among those accomplishments. I also ran across this older, but touching story written by 225BatonRouge.com, where Mr. Godfrey’s love for community, was without question. I will keep the Godfrey family in my meditations during these difficult days ahead…and I wish them measures of comfort.