In the fall of 1926, my father enrolled at Howard Medical School in Washington, D.C. Howard and Meharry Medical School in Nashville, Tennessee, were the only two black medical schools in the country. He and his best friend, Raymond Anderson, became classmates, again, rooming together their second and third years at Howard.
In the summer before their fourth/last year, Raymond married my father's step-sister, Mary Pierre. So the bonds of the friendship, that my father and Raymond shared, were strengthened further.
That same summer, my father visited his godfather's brother-in-law, a Dr. Pughsley, who was a dentist in Hartford, Connecticut. Pughsley told my father that when he finished his internship, he should come to Hartford to set up his medical practice. Pughsley assured him he would help him get started. My father gratefully accepted.
Pughsley was not the only one to offer my father help in setting up his prospective practice. My father's father had worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as a waiter for 23 years and, in the summer of 1929, seemed to be financially secure. He had offered to provide financial help to his son/namesake, when my father finished his training and began his medical practice.
Everything seemed to be falling in place.
Out of a class of 60, my father graduated number four. He had taken a giant step toward his goal of professional excellence and had demonstrated his resilience.
Somewhere in heaven, listening to the celestial riffs of Gabriel's horn, Grandma King was smiling.