This tribute to Red Carr is mostly from my memories while growing up in Toomsboro and from conversations with Red and his wife Geraldine in the last several years. I hope that some of you will share your memories of Red which will add to my mine – especially those who have had the privilege of being around him over the years. You can do that here or at the Fans of Toomsboro site.
Winford (Red) Carr is one of true elders of Toomsboro and he’s my longtime friend and cousin (Weaver family). Being a few younger than Red, I don’t recall much about him until he joined the Marine Corps during WWII. Red fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the war to liberate the South-Pacific Islands from Japanese control. Red’s heroism on the Island of Guam in October, 1944 earned him a commendation for bravery. You can learn more about that action from the article and photo published in Macon Telegraph on October 9, 1944 – which are displayed directly below. I remember when Red retuned from the war as a young, friendly, fun-loving fellow, how the younger boys (myself included) liked to hear him talk about some of the places he’d been while in the Marine Corps.
Red got a job at Uncle John Lord’s saw and planer mill at the end of Church street as a lumber checker and grader. It was there that he met and courted Geraldine Brown, whom he married. During the first years of the marriage the couple lived in the last house on the left at end of Church Street, which was within sight of where I lived at the time. Red had a little dog (Bitzy was his name I believe) and whether Red was out walking or driving his green Ford coupe, Bitzy was always with him. After Uncle John’s mill closed, Red went on to become a successful professional hard-wood lumber grader. One thing Red and I had in common was the love of professional baseball. Red had met some of the Brooker Dodger players while in the Marine Corps and he was an avid Dodger fan. I was a New York Yankee, and we carried on a lively good-natured rivalry.
Red was a natural athlete and loved all manner of sports. He was left-handed and played first base for Toomsboro’s sandlot baseball team. He was quick and had a sharp eye, which made him the ideal lead-off player for the team – and often ended up on first base through a walk, a bunt or by hustling up the first-base line. Red’s quickness and sharp eyes also served him well in basketball where he was scrappy on defense and had a good jump shot. One year when I played on the school basketball team, Red filled in as coach for a while, and I remember he was a strong believer in good disciple and teaching the fundamentals of the game. On Sunday afternoons, it was not uncommon to see Red at the Toomsboro gym playing with other boys and men or just shooting some baskets.
Red’s father was a Primitive Baptist minister, but Red and his wife have been members of The Toomsboro Baptist Church for more than 60 years, and I believe they are still regular attendees. I saw photo a few years ago in which Red, the oldest member of the church was handing a torch to the youngest member. The act was a ritual which symbolized the passing of the church’s leadership from the oldest to the newest generation of members – which means the church is likely to continue as a congregation after the current generation of members has passed.
I had only minimum contact with Red and Geraldine for many years after I left Toomsboro to join the army in 1952. From what I gather, Red has always been a fine, upstanding and respected fellow – and a role model for young men in the community. During the last several years, almost every time I have been in middle-Georgia, I have dropped by and visited with Red and Geraldine, and I find Red to be the same easy-going person to talk to as I remember him when I was a teenager. As long as there are citizens in Toomsboro like Red to pass on the moral values which he learned from his elders, there will be others who follow to pass those values on to generations which follow. Red and Geraldine are both retired and live near the outskirts of town on South Main Street. I hope to see them on my trip down that way later this month.