What is your favorite memory of Uncle Eldred?
I’ve thought all day on your question about my favorite memory of your uncle Eldred, and there are so many I’ve not been able to settle on just one. I don’t know whether you know this or not, but his nickname for as long as I could remember was “Leddo,” which was an extrapolation of Uncle Bubba’s way of pronouncing Eldred. MaMaw said he would say “Weddo,” and they thought that was cute, but the boys changed it to Leddo as they got older.
With all Eldred’s excellent achievements in his life, and having known many of the men whom he trained to preach who reverently referred to him as Brother Stevens, it always surprised them to hear me refer to him as Eldred, or even more if I said something about Leddo!
One such person was a young man that Eldred referred to in the last sentence I heard him utter as he was about to drive away from our house, exactly one week before his tragic death on February 20, 1979. He said, “Nier, I can’t wait for you to meet a young man from Arkansas who’s in school at Preston Road…he loves to play the guitar and sing just like you!”
That young man’s name was Randy Green and, as you know, our friendship evolved into the formation of The Sounds of Glory Quartet. To this day, Randy still refers to Eldred as Brother Stevens. I’ve wondered many times over the years if Eldred has any consciousness in Heaven about how many lives have been touched through my getting to meet that young man a week after Leddo spoke those words!