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About Heritage Gray

The time was fast approaching when the end would come to my daily employment at the Kelly -Springfield Tire Company.  Like most retiring individuals, I really didn't know what to expect in the retirement life.
Some of my first thoughts turned to a subject for which I have the most respect, but to which little time had been spent.  There is now and always will be a burning desire to obtain knowledge about the Confederate States of America and for the war for Southern Independence.  While doing small studies on different subjects, I decided to spend the majority of my time on one event or place at a time.  The studies would be concentrated in and around my life-long residence in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  The object of my first studies was the United States Arsenal located on Haymount in Fayetteville.
My studies and fact-finding consumed almost two years and led me to storehouses of knowledge and to the homes of some of the most helpful people it has been my privilege to know and call friends.  Now that all this work had been completed, what was I going to do now?
My oldest son Len, at this time, lived in the beautiful city of York, South Carolina, where he was the Public Works Director for York County.  The good people of York have a "Summer Fest" each year.  The main streets in the city were blocked off and thousands of people would shop in booths set up by vendors from near and far.
Among the vendors I met at the fest was a couple by the name of Larry and Pamela Arnold who reside in Lexington, South Carolina.  The Arnolds had a particular print that really caught my eye, but which at first I did not purchase.  I introduced myself to the Arnolds and quickly found our beliefs and thoughts are very much akin.  Our conversation continued and the Arnolds were invited to bring their paintings to Fayetteville and exhibit their wares at the Crafts Fair which is held each year under the direction of Quincy and Betty Scarborough.  The Arnolds came to Fayetteville that November and continue to do so each year.  During the second year of our friendship I approached Larry about painting the Fayetteville Arsenal.  We reached an agreement and the arsenal painting became a reality.
One of my close friends, Dr. Robert Earl Downing was one of the first to see the Arsenal painting and he began to talk about prints and making them available to the general public.  I knew nothing about this operation and depended solely on Dr. Downing for his direction.  This was actually when the business began and we are still at it today and five paintings later.  Let me say that without the direction of Dr. Downing and his wonderful knowledge about the the war of "Northern Aggression" none of this would have occurred.
Quincy and Betty Scarborough continue to give me assistance when it is needed for producing an accurate painting.  It is just a joy to sit around and discuss history with these two wonderful people.
Now, last but not least, a person who has been my guide and teacher throughout this business is my youngest daughter, Kathy Hodge, who has taught this "Old Dog" new things about computers and always has excellent taste about how things should be done.
Lenox Bramble




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