LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tales of my brother, Richard DeLorme

Almost 75 years ago, my brother, Richard, was born to Cecil DeLorme and Angela “Angie” DeLorme of Dovesville on March 12, 1947. He had one brother, Charles “Boobie” DeLorme. My life changed on that day because I had a brother.
We both grew up in Dovesville surrounded by grandparents, uncles, aunts, eventually two sisters (Scooter and Skeeter) and lots of friends. We had some Yankee relatives who would influence us, too. Black Creek Baptist Church would play a significant part in our lives as well as all the folks I have mentioned.
Richard’s growing-up years were full of playful days in Dovesville; cowboys and Indians, war games with tobacco sticks as our guns, pickup football and baseball games, many times with improvised balls.
We would go cane pole fishing and hunting with our BB guns, which for Richard would be a lifelong love of hunting, fishing and boating. Richard could run fast and part of the reason for his speed was his determination to catch me as young boys; eventually he did and the legend of Richard running was born.
Richard’s mentor in junior high and high school was a young coach named Les Everett who inspired him to do his best in sports. Coach Everett believed in Richard and that inspired him to do well at football, track and baseball. He was a state champion in track, an outstanding football player in high school and college and he loved baseball.
When Richard wanted something, he could do anything he wanted to do. Mamma wanted us to take music and dance lessons. Richard did and because of it he became a good dancer and had a lifelong love of dancing.
One thing I always admired about Richard, he could walk into a room full of strangers and in a very short time he would be carrying on a conversation with one or several people like they had known each other for years.
In his early 20s, Mom and Dad kicked him out of the house and he asked to come live with me in Rome, Ga., where I was going to college. He came down and immediately got a job driving heavy construction equipment and within several months had more friends than I did after two years in college. I was envious because my friends kept telling me how much fun he was. Richard was fun to be around and most of his friends can tell you stories I have never heard.
Even today, when I get together with some of my old college buddies, they ask about Richard and usually tell me a story or two. Richard finally returned to the Darlington area, met his first wife, Barbara, and had two children, Mickie and Richard. I think marriage was hard for Richard and he eventually divorced.
He met Mary and married Mary and she lived with him until he died on Jan. 24. As Richard aged he grew closer to his children and his friends because I think he had a better understanding of how important his children, wife, relatives and close friends were to him. We talked more and enjoyed our time together and we both realized that these times were special for us as brothers.
I’ll tell you one more Richard tale before I finish this tribute to my brother. Several years ago in the Myrtle Beach area Richard and I were having supper at a local steak house.
That morning, we had breakfast at Waffle House and Richard had grabbed the check. As the waitress finished up with us, I noticed some guy at the bar kept turning around and looking at us. He was dressed in brown so obviously he worked for Big Brown (UPS), Richard’s employer for over 30 years.
As we were getting up to leave he came over and asked if he was Richard DeLorme. After some polite conversation and introduction he looked at me and said, “Your brother is a legend in the S.C. UPS community,” and he told Richard, who had retired 10 years earlier, they are still telling Richard DeLorme stories of things that happened at UPS.
I never knew any of the stories because I wasn’t part of UPS, but knowing my brother I wasn’t surprised! The waitress showed up to collect the check for dinner and Richard looked at me and smiled, “I paid for breakfast; it’s your turn!” That was my brother Richard.

Chuck “Boobie” DeLorme,
Lebanon, Ill.

Author: Stephan Drew

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