John D. Bridgers M.D.
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Chapter 12 - David Whichard marries Virginia Suther

Meanwhile, back in the era of family weddings ....

About a year after "Crick' was married his brother David took the step.

There was much less ado within the family on this occasion.

He married Virginia Suther, a local school teacher and the ceremony took place elsewhere, presumably in nearby Goldsboro at the home of her sister and brother-in-law, Bert and Evelyn Griffin.

In my memory the curtain arose abruptly on this scene.

Suddenly Virginia was living with David in his old upstairs bed room, and I was no longer free to wander up there as before.

What I remember vividly is that I was six years old and just getting over whooping cough.

I was no longer actually ill, but still subject to paroxysms of coughing which usually ended with me throwing up.

I stayed in the yard most of the time, not wanting my new aunt to see me in such a state.

This also probably made for less housecleaning for the folks.

I know very little about the antecedents of Virginia Suther.

She was born in Cabarrus County and was one of four.

In addition to her sister Evelyn she had a brother, John, and a younger sister, Anna.

They apparently lost their parents while all were still young and were raised in a church home for orphaned children in Goldsboro.

Virginia had an "Uncle Charlie" who she saw from time-to-time, and who I remember seeing once or twice, but I know not where he lived or whether he was a brother of her mother or father.

She went to college at E.C.T.T.S., which brought her to Greenville and had her first and only teaching position in the local school.


I believe she roomed with a with a Forbes family whose daughter Ernestine had gone through school with David.

It's likely this played some part in their courtship.

In any event the family was again blessed by another fortunate addition.

Virginia was a sharp and friendly person and seemed as fond of us as we of her.

As I grew into young adulthood I viewed Virginia as a very good friend, a sentiment which seemed shared by all her nieces-in-law.

Within several years after our grandfather's death David helped his mother have built two bungalows, very similar to that of my parents placed on the other lots down the street.

They were put up for rental properties as an adjunct to Grandmother's income, and they served this end for several years.

David and Virginia rented the one on the far corner, at Ninth and Cotanche  and there they started their family.

David Jordan Whichard II was born in 1927 and John Suther Whichard in 1928.

Young David was named for his grandfather and Jack for his mother's brother.

This brought the second generation to its final level.

We were generally shuffled as a deck of cards between the three households, with birthdays spanning eight years.

David Jordan Whichard II would serve well as a signature, but promised problems in verbally sorting him from his father.

So from the beginning he was labeled "Little David" by the family, and in the best southern tradition this became "Li'l David," more of a tongue wiggle than a precision articulation.

And, of course, his father became "Big David."


This estate obtained until "Little David" grew up to be a six-footer while "Big David" was still only five-five.

Over time they became Dave and "Big Dave," certainly to Dave's greater satisfaction.

As Dave and Jack grew up their friends picked this up and "Big Dave" became a fitting name for one who was becoming a legend.

It was so discrepant that it seemed appropriate.

However from the standpoint of character and heart he was "Big Dave," indeed.

In this Virginia was ever a true partner, and Dave and Jack are cut from the same cloth.

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