The Power of Gertrude

When Gertrude Carraway traveled from her three-story home on Broad Street in New Bern to Tryon Palace on Eden Street, she marched. Her arms fanned out, carrying her forward at a faster pace than many speed walkers. Her heels clicked the pavement with purpose. She stood tall, shoulders back. She stared straight ahead. Her hat stayed pinned to her curls. Her dress never moved. Her pearls never swayed. And when she encountered someone she knew on the street, she said hello. And kept moving. When Carraway was on a mission — and Carraway was always on a mission — she chose her words carefully, briskly. She did not gossip.

Carraway was born in 1896. She lived and died in the same bed. Carraway was not a wife. She was not a mother. She was not a homemaker.

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(Our State Magazine, 3/2017)