Sportsman was "guardian angel"; Formidable Tuckahoe a neighborhood friend; Thanks for Tuckahoe tribute 


Sportsman was "guardian angel"
As a proud member of Ducks Unlimited and an avid duck hunter, I read with interest the article on the Curles Neck Duck Club Metro, May 9. As sportsmen, we should respect the law and not engage in illegal hunting. However, while reading the article, I remembered a tragedy that happened to my family several years ago.

A fire destroyed my family's home and everything we owned.

Thankfully, everyone survived the fire. There was, however, "guardian angel" out there who greatly assisted my family. He came in the form of Richard "Dick" Watkins. Mr. Watkins provided a home for my family to live in until we rebuilt the one we lost. Mr. Watkins even bought toy cars for my younger brothers as they had lost every toy they owned. As a father of three girls now, I realize the pain, anguish and fear that my parents must have experienced with the loss of their home and the need to put a roof over their children.

I also realize that all of us make mistakes in life, but how we treat others is the true testament of our character. Mr. Watkins will always stand tall in my book.
— Stokes McCune

Formidable Tuckahoe a neighborhood friend
My adolescent years are full of memories about The Tuckahoe Cover story, May 16. I grew up on Rio Vista Lane, along with my two sisters and older brother, in the shadow of The Tuckahoe. To those who pass by this vast structure going to and from work daily and wonder what lurks behind its thick, fortresslike walls, I had an advantage.

Along with my cousins who lived across the street from us, we secretly explored its halls, would ride the old elevators to sneak up to the roof, race around the deep concrete trench that surrounds the building, as well as engage in many other childhood adventures.

I cannot recall a time when we were driven off the premises. I remember elderly residents who offered cookies and humored a small child. I remember the man who left the building on foot each day, crossing Cary Street to the median at the convergence of Cary, Three Chopt and River roads, turn back to the building and enthusiastically blow a kiss to his wife as she watched him from their window. I remember frequently looking in the window of one of the deserted basement apartments, gazing upon a large, old jukebox that had been left behind; wishing it could be mine. I remember the huge oak tree between our house and The Tuckahoe that one wintry night decided to fall over in the direction of our house. It spared the house but crushed my parents' cars.

I remember when one of my friends climbed out on the back porch roof of my parent's house in order to drop firecrackers down the downspouts, only to have an attentive and observant resident phone my grandparents to let them know what was going on. I remember when my parents built a pool in their backyard, providing a summer's worth of entertainment for those residents fortunate to live within the gaze of the backhoes. I remember when, years later, my grandparents chose to live out their remaining years there. It seemed appropriate to me for them to be there. It was almost as if a piece of this place belonged to us anyway.

I know its seasons, its scent, its tiled floors, its louvered doors, its weathered and worn steps on either side of the lobby, its brick and mortar. And somehow I think it knows me, too. I may not know its secrets. But that is of no matter. It is always there for me. In old pictures and home movies. In the background, there it is. Watching. Constant. Ageless. Its face never changing. It is no surprise that the people who call it home love it.

When the sad day comes when my parents decide to move away, I know that the last time I step away from their front door I will look to my left and whisper to myself a fond farewell to my old friend. I hope that day doesn't come for many years.
— Robert F. Watkinson

Thanks for Tuckahoe tribute
Congratulations on the nicely done article on The Tuckahoe!

I was one of the first "youngsters" to move there in the early 1980s when it was made into a condominium. Way back then, it was evident that the building was the best-kept real estate secret in Richmond. I enjoy very fond memories of the neighbors and friends I was fortunate enough to be with there.

Yes, I had a number of "adopted" grandmothers but what great life stories and a genteelness they passed on to me.

My favorite story I still relate to friends is when I ordered a pizza and the delivery person was "announced" to come up to my unit. The young man was so in awe; he related he had believed most of his life that the building was a hospital and he was glad to know it wasn't!

Thanks for the tribute to those past and present for whom The Tuckahoe will always hold a special place.
— Tom Goodwin


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