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 June 7, 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.
Today is Sunday and my day usually begins with attending First Presbyterian Church in Lumberton, NC at 8:30 a.m. The church is located a few blocks from my house so it is a short walk. As a confession my walk today will be on a Myrtle Beach, SC golf course as I am off with some good friends playing at River Hills. The church’s moderator and a number of deacons are with me so I hope I along with Joe Osman, Ron Roach, Ken Ransom, and Joe Terranova will receive some type of dispensation from the Rev. David Ruth upon our return.
Today is also the first Sunday in June so our church during the summer merges two services into one. That combined service will be at 10:00 a.m. until the summer comes to a close. The 8:30 a.m. service includes a praise band and the other service at 11:00 a.m. is more traditional with a very good choir and organist. In the summer the 10:00 a.m. service alternates between the two styles of service.
The 8:30 a.m. praise band consists of a number of singers and musicians all of them special people. One member has a very unique path in becoming a performer that I just found to be fascinating. Larry Pittman is a friend and also the drummer in the praise band. How he got to become a drummer is pretty cool.
Larry is a licensed and trained substance abuse counselor. He is the former Director of the alcohol/drug rehabilitation center that was a part of Southeastern Health in Lumberton. He was there for almost twenty years until he left in 2011. During his tenure at Southeastern he directed the administrative, clinical, and medical functioning of their chemical dependency center offering residential, SACOT, SAIOP, and outpatient levels of care. Today he works for Eastpoint MCO in Lumberton, NC as a grievance/appeal specialist. Some of the highlights of Larry’s career include:
Starting the first Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program in Robeson County in 1994.
Procured an annually recurring CASP Grant of $750,000 in 2008
Opened inpatient recovery home in Robeson County in April, 2009
Opened SAIOP in Scotland County in Sept., 2009.
Larry has a family that has some separation between his adult two twin sons Justin and Joel who are both in their early 30’s and a talented daughter named Taylor who graduated yesterday from NC School of Science and Math.
(l-r) Joel, Taylor, and Justin Pittman
Larry and I share that common bond of having children that are 15 plus years apart from oldest to youngest. Our oldest son Geoff was great friends with his twins sons Joel and Justin. Larry has a great wife named Nancy that keeps him organized and grounded.
Larry up until three years was an avid golfer. He had to have back surgery that basically shut his golf game down. He had an epiphany in 2013 that God was telling him to go purchase a drum kit and learn to play the drums. This inspiration came driving a car while he was in his 60’s. Larry had never played a musical instrument before let alone the drums. In 2014 a good friend Carlton Mansfield a bass player in the “praise band” at church requested that he perform and the rest is history.
The Friend-LARRY PITTMAN-the drummer
The Friend of a Friend-CARTLON MANSFIELD-the bass player
The drummer and the bass player
Larry Pittman would not be a drummer today if he didn’t have some divine inspiration. Larry would not have every played publically as a drummer if it wasn’t for a friend who is rooted deep in spirituality. His friend’s name is Carlton Mansfield who is an attorney who also happens to an elder in the church and the “praise band’s” bass player.
Carlton is an attorney by profession but a man to who First Presbyterian Church is an important part of his life. Carlton is married to beautiful and talented Alicia Hardin Mansfield who is also a singer in the “praise band”.
Carlton has two daughters the oldest named Emma who is also a singer and will enroll at UNC Pembroke in the Ester B Maynor Honors College this fall.
Carlton with his daughters-Emma who will attend UNCP is on far right
Carlton is originally from the Piedmont Region of North Carolina, and came to Robeson County (NC) in 1996 after a brief time of practicing law in Chapel Hill, NC. His career began in Chapel Hill as a solo practitioner handling matters in a number of legal fields, from family law to complex civil litigation. When he moved to Robeson County he began working with the law firm of Chavis & Ransom for two years as a general practitioner, but gradually focused more and more on criminal law. In 1998, he opened his own law office specializing in criminal defense work. He continues that focus with a particular emphasis on capital defense litigation.
Carlton as an attorney has to know what questions to ask and when to ask them. In February of 2014 he knew the time was right to ask his friend Larry Pittman he wanted him to play the drums to an audience. Larry agreed and now our praise band at church has a drummer to go with the bass player.