Home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the F-15E fighter jet, Butterball, down-home cookin' and a slew of Dollar Generals, Goldsboro, N.C. has more charm than a Baptist blessin' your heart. Despite the strong military influence, one trend that will always exist in this Southern town is family. From family farms to family reunions, Goldsboro knows what matters most.
Every other year, the Durham family holds their family reunion in Goldsboro. Descending from Great Grandma Durham, who had six children, and her sister, who had 12 children, over 120 people meet to celebrate thier family in Herman Park, the heart of downtown. Family from all across the South came to Goldsboro September 4 to catch up and relive old memories.
Shermeana Townes was the designated fish-fryer at the reunion. She breaded and dunked whole fish into two deep fryers to keep her family satisfied.
During the spring, summer and fall a popular site for locals to hang out is at All Stars Family Fun Center putt-putt course. Since 1976, All Stars has been a family business bringing wholesome entertainment and recreation to the area.
Earl Hughes, has worked at All Stars Putt Putt since it opened. His smiling face greets customers of all ages everyday, and occassionally he will hand out ring pops to the children. Known to Facebookers as "The Old Man at AllStars Putt Putt," his facebook page has almost 500 fans. Always speaking his mind, Hughes is very vocal about local schools and college football.
Before noon on September 4, members of Duck's Unlimited met to celebrate the opening of dove season with McCall's BBQ and sweet tea in a recently harvested corn field.
Dean Brady, of Princeton, laughs at a joke from his friend Charles Deans, of Smithfield, while the two get their shotguns and other equipment ready for the opening season. Friends and family of Goldsboro's chapter of Duck's Unlimited traveled to the cornfield for a day of hunting on farmer John Tyndall's land.
Sunday mornings may mean church, but in Goldsboro it also means a full breakfast, with your loved ones and sweet tea, of course.
Ruth and Larry Edmundson eat at Michelle's Restaraunt every Sunday morning. Larry has lived in Goldsboro for 62 years. "See that man up there with the hat on, he would've never sat up there in the old days," said Larry about an African American man sitting at the bar, while talking about the differences Goldsboro has experienced in his time. He also recalled when the shopping center that houses Michelle's was home to Woolworth's department store and how he used to ride his bike to the store.
A centerpiece of what used to be old Goldsboro, the water tower along North Center Street is a beacon of hope for a town that revolves around family. Despite the tough economic times and changes the town has encounterd, Goldsboro natives know how to look forward in life, with their families by their sides.