One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for April 4, 2015. My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal. Earlier this week I attended the visitation of Carol Newton who was the mother to my next door neighbor Bonnie Biggs. I wrote about Bonnie in an earlier post this year. https://coach4aday.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/a-friend-of-a-friend-bonnie-biggs-and-cathy-stanley-january-2/ As I was leaving the funeral home I ran into a friend Horace Stacy and his wife Joan who absolutely have been pillars in the Lumberton, NC community. Horace was born in Lumberton, NC and went to college at UNC Chapel Hill. He is 85 years young and his career was that of an attorney but that profession can hardly define him. He has been a man who has done much for our community and when I get a chance to around him I marvel at the way he epitomizes congeniality, class, empathy, and last but not the least a great intellect.
I first met Horace and Joan Stacy when their son Mark was inducted into the ranks of Eagle Scouts back in the 1980’s and I got asked to attend his ceremony in Wilmington, NC. I was happy to see Horace this week because on Sunday afternoon I was in the company of another couple Bob and Betty Fisher that hold Horace Stacy in high esteem. The Fishers and I were guests of Dr. Bob Andrews at his home to sample some craft beer. I will write about Bob Andrews in in another post. At his home in between swallows of some good imperial IPA’s we talked about iconic leaders in Lumberton. The names made me feel good when I heard them mentioned because I knew most of them. A partial list of who we discussed on Sunday included Earl Antone, Carr Gibson, Fred Palmer, Dickson McLean, Joe Oxendine, Joe Sandlin, John Barker, Bob Caton, and of course Horace Stacy.
Bob Fisher reminded me of some of Horace’s leadership accomplishments which had him serving as president of Friends of Robeson County Public Library and has been a library trustee since 1998, Bob told me he was honored in 2010 as the public library trustee of the year in the state. From 1997 to 2002 Stacy chaired a committee to renovate the library in Lumberton and the Townsend Building across Chestnut Street. Osterneck Auditorium was moved from the library into the Townsend Building and the vacated library space was turned into the Horace E. Stacy Jr. Children’s Library. In 2004, Gov. Mike Easley appointed Stacy to be a member of the N.C. State Library Commission of North Carolina. He chaired the commission for two years. The State Library serves North Carolina libraries, is the main depository for North Carolina state publications and provides state government agencies with access to information resources vital to public decision-making and economic development.
Another friend Eric Dent has previously told me in 2005, that Horace was instrumental in the founding of the Robeson County Community Foundation, which raises money and awards grants to nonprofit organizations under the auspices of the N.C. Community Foundation. Eric also pointed out that Horace has served on the state and local board. In 2011, the state Community Foundation recognized Stacy for his service.
Wendell Staton the former City of Lumberton Recreation Director often told me stories about Horace Stacy. He bragged on the influence that Horace has and that he was the founder and member of the Friends of Recreation and Parks Foundation. That non-profit was very instrumental in the creation of Lumberton’s newest park N.E Park.
Congressman Mike McIntyre during his last term in congress in December 2014 offered a tribute to Horace Stacy that is included in the Congressional Record.
Horace Stacy has many friends but Bob Fisher is one who truly appreciates his quiet dignity.
The retirement gift to Lumberton, NC
Bob Fisher came to Lumberton, NC from Jacksonville, FL to become the director of the County Library. He made a gigantic impact on the Public Library of Robeson County and our community but he will tell you he had help.
One big shout out would go to his friend Horace Stacy.
When Bob retired six years ago the accolades came in fast and furious. He has received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the North Carolina Library Directors Association, and was the grand marshal of the Christmas parade. Even after retirement Bob Fisher is also a fixture at every Rumba on the Lumber 5K which is held each March in downtown Lumberton. I always comment he is the best dressed participant wearing long slacks and a button down oxford shirt as he completes the three mile course. Sometimes he even wins an award in his age group.
The big retirement prize Lumberton got when Bob retired was that he stayed in Lumberton with his wife Betty. He is still involved in the community and most importantly he attempts to balances out all the ACC loyalty to North Carolina universities by being a die-hard Florida State fan.
I can see why Bob and Horace are friends they keep giving back when other retirees are rocking back.