Saturday, February 13, 2016

Black History Month Essays Part 2

My husband, Dennis Bobbitt and I, are natives of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.  Our military duty station at Fort Riley was 1987- 1994. We purchased our first home in 1988 and retired in Junction City.
Growing up,  Rocky Mount had a “small town feel.”  Everyone knew each other, neighbors looked out for one another, and traditionally, most people in the community had similar life styles and values. When you attended the local school, it wasn’t uncommon to have your school teacher as your youth or choir director at church.
When Dennis & I visit North Carolina on holidays and other various occasions, things have changed somewhat due to economy, but there is still that “small town feel” when we visit family, relatives, friends, and home town church. Things may look differently, but “our roots” are still there.
North Carolina is a reminder of the struggles and accomplishments of my ancestors and parents,              Rev James & Anna (Edwards) Joyner. The Joyner & Edwards “Family Tree Heritage,” traces back from 1832 to 1870 during slavery and the Civil War.
To me, Junction City has that same “small town feel” atmosphere, even though it’s a military- connected community. You are exposed to different diversities, cultures, prospectives, and opportunities. Being a transient community, the opportunity arose for me to establish The I.C.A.R.E. Center not-for-profit Organization in 2009. The organization connects youth & older adults to build positive relationships.                      My husband is well-known in the community, and is known for his love for the outdoors, sense of humor, and gardening.  Dennis was the English Speaking Minister at a Korean Church in the community for several years. Currently, he’s a minister at Second Missionary Baptist Church.
Both children, Tonya & Dennis, attended USD 475 Schools since the 4th & 5 grade.  They graduated from JCHS. Tonya graduated from K-State in 1996. Her career has taken her to various states. One in particular, is Orangeburg, South Carolina. She was Store Manager of Claffin University Book Store.  She was told by one of the college professions, “you’re not from here, are you”? The professor knew from the very beginning that she was different, by her educational background, technical knowledge, and adaptability.
Tonya contributes her career goals and accomplishments to her military experiences as a dependent, education in Junction City, and K-State University. She also contributes her spiritual development to her caring Youth & Sunday School Teachers at Second Missionary Baptist Church.
Her mentors were Mrs. Ruby Stevens, her Komomantyn Teacher at JCHS, and Dr. Larry Dixon, Principal at JCHS. Tonya enjoys visiting Junction City, because it allows her to relax from the busy city life. She’s always running into former classmates at Dillions or Walmart. Tonya is engaged, and resides in Kansas City, Kansas. She has her graduated degree as a Licensed Professional Counselor. 
My son, Dennis Jr. (DJ) was intrigued with ROTC from the 9th- 12 grade. He entered the US Navy in 1994 after graduating from JCHS at age 17. During his earlier military career, he would come home on leave and visit formal teachers at JCHS. His mentors were Deacon Augustus Evans and Deacon Ulysses Carter of Second Missionary Baptist Church. They were always “keeping him in check” when his dad was overseas for two years. They are no longer with us, but their memory lives on.  Dennis Jr has ventured in rental properties, and was the previous co-owner of “Deli by the Bay” in Washington State. He contributes his career choice and accomplishments to his military experiences as a dependent, formal teachers, ROTC Instructors, and church mentors.
Even though career & travels in the Navy have taken him to many places, Dennis still looks forward to visiting his roots in Junction City. He enjoys looking up some of his classmates who are still here, showing his daughters places where he hung out, going to church, and just relaxing. Dennis Jr. is currently an E-7 Chief Petty Officer, and looking forward to retirement from the military in the next two years. He has his degree in Business, and is working toward his Masters. Dennis resides in Virginia with his wife and three daughters.
Granddaughters, Alivia & Jasmine, have traveled to Junction City by themselves on several occasions. They’ve enjoyed spending time with grandparents, going to the carnivals, fishing, bowling, swimming, church, and other recreational areas in Junction City and Fort Riley. They particularly enjoy hearing,      “old stories” told by their granddaddy about himself, growing up down South during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s era. The youngest granddaughter Lani, is 2 years old, and will have extended visits to Junction City when she’s older.
Junction City was a great place to raise our children! It offered new experiences and opportunities for the entire family.

-Vickie Bobbitt-