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Remembering My Cousin Gene



Gene Lashley and David Greaves en route to the Chematogan Camp on the unceded territory of Walpole Island, First Nation, in Ontario Canada where Gene’s cousin and David’s brother Charles Morris, has been fishing for over 40 years.

Gene Lashley and I grew up in the same house and he was more an older brother than a cousin. Someone I looked up to and wanted to emulate. Older than cousin Marie and myself, he was the first to move from the little table to the big table at Thanksgiving. Gene was the one whom Nana called upon to put the big star over the front door at Christmas. When I grew into it, I remember the rush of taking his place on the ladder and attaching the star to the wrought iron while Nana supervised.

Gene was a track star at Boys High School, known simply as “The High” because there was no other high school track team like it. Gene got a college scholarship to Virginia State University, and that encouraged me to join the track team at Wingate where I got a full scholarship, half academic and half athletic, to Syracuse University. I remember my mother’s reaction when I called her on her job from the school office. You can imagine the shriek of joy.
Without Gene in my life, I would not have gotten that scholarship and would not be the person I am today. My cousin Gene was the coolest cat I’ve ever known. His “Hey, Cuz” on the phone is a voice I will keep with me for the rest of my life

  • David Mark Greaves
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