My Friend, Wesley

The Guideposts executive editor tells us about one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen from World War II.

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Let me tell you about my friend Wesley Henderson.

Today’s Inauguration Day and Wesley is down there in Washington as a special guest.

But first let me tell you how I met Wesley. Every Sunday morning when our choir rehearses, this distinguished looking gentleman would show up early, take off his overcoat and hang it on the back of a pew and listen to us. We got talking one morning before the service and he made some comments about the choir. “You seem to know a lot about music,” I said.

“My mother was a piano teacher and she made sure we all learned to read music,” he said. “I hated it at the time, but back in the fifties I realized I could make some money singing. I got jobs singing back-up for a lot of jazz musicians and they hired me because I could read music.” They must have hired Wesley because he sang well too.

On Sunday mornings I enjoyed talking to Wesley about music. That’s what I knew about him. He’d been a professional musician, singing in New York studios. He even sang back-up for some rock bands.

Then a couple of Sundays ago our pastor announced that Wesley Henderson would be special guest at the Inauguration because he was one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen from World War II. I was amazed, partly because I had no idea he was that old (88). Partly because he is such a modest man.

He’s got more to tell about his Tuskegee experience.

Come along and meet the NYC staff!

In the meanwhile I’m mighty glad he’s got a front row seat for the Inauguration. It’s an honor he deserves. And when he comes back, our church is going to honor him. It’s about time, I’d say.   

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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