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Dear Editor and the people of Marlinton:
About a month ago, I found out about the passing of Terry Richardson.
My mother – Helen Fuller, maiden name of Helen Sharp – grew up in Marlinton. My grandmother, Gladys Sharp, lived on Tenth Avenue in the house that, years later, Terry Richardson bought and where he raised his family.
My best memories as a kid in the 1960s and early 70s were of that tiny section of Marlinton, from Knapps Creek to the Smith’s hill across the street from my Grandma’s house.
It was huge for a young boy back then.
My mother and Terry’s mom, Sue Richardson, were very close friends during their school years, and my grandfather, Harry Sharp, was friends with Terry’s granddad, too.
So, I guess in some ways our families were connected.
I met Terry in August 1987 when I went back to Marlinton on vacation.
My Grandmother Sharp passed away in 1974, and I had not been back in the town since then.
For me, going on that vacation was the rebirth of my youth. My happiest times were those summers I was down there visiting my grandmother and her neighbors.
Terry invited me to see the house, and I found him to be a very interesting guy. He told me how he worked at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire back in the early 1980s. He was highly educated, to say the least – well above my pay grade. But, he was a guy who was down to earth and knew the two of us had some sort of family history.
For the record, that vacation was a case of everything falling into place for me. I bought a camp up in Brownsburg, which I still own today and intend to retire there in about a year and a half.
Those of you who are old enough can remember the TV series Roots back in the 1970s when Alex Haley went to his ancestral village back in Africa.
Well, for me at the age of age 27 back in 1987, it was the same experience for me. I totally reconnected with family roots. I met a lady named Ethel Stewart who worked for my grandparents and whom my mother told me to look up among other people in town. I became friends with Ethel, and she knew of all my antics in Foxboro, Massachusetts, from what my grandmother told her.
I consider it a privilege to have had a family from the town of Marlinton.
I will miss Terry in C.J. Richardson’s. That store is one of a kind.
I was glad to have known him. He was a very good guy.
God bless,
Tommy Fuller
Brockton, Massachusetts

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