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Dr. Ed Blackburn

                                             EDWIN HOWARD BLACKBURN

9.6.36  –  3.20.24


In Nineteen Hundred & 36

on a clear and bright

September 9th morn


George and Callie


their first child –

Edwin Howard…

he was born.


In Devotion, that’s in

Surry County, N.C.

on the R.J. Reynolds Estate,

it was Baby Edwin’s destiny

also – it was his fate

promptly to be popped


an awaiting baby crate.


“It’s a boy.

He’s healthy and strong”

announced Dr. Shoate

(rhymes with boat & goat),

who had driven from Sparta

merely to deliver

Baby Edwin

that’s the truth – it ain’t no joke.



with Edwin’s first lusty,

baby cry

(perhaps it was a yell ?)

Mom and Dad both

rolled their eyes

& simultaneously let out

a giant, ginormous sigh.


In the beautiful

Surry County rolling hills

Baby Edwin thrived

as he was pampered

by a passel of kin

so very, very many folk

it kinda’ makes my

head spin & spin.


Grandma taught Edwin

(now called Ed)

from the Holy Book

how to read and write.

Additionally, he learned

what most folks believed

what is wrong & what is right.


Altho Ed tells me

Really – it was from

  the “Wheaties” box

where literately

I learned most everything –

& soon understood quite a lot.”


In ‘46

the Blackburn Family

did move

to Sapelo Island’s fair sands


such a lovely land.


Most of Sapelo

R.J. Reynolds had bought

(whether he should or

whether he ought).

Upon Sapelo Island

cattle R.J. ran –

give or take

about 1.000 head.

R.J.’s people also studied

how our wetlands,



and salt waters –

all are wed.


In ‘46

mixing races –

it was banned.


the law of the land.


weekdays onto the ferry

Ed did hop

to Darien for schooling –

full stop.

Weekends on Sapelo

the races – they were friends,

working & playing together,

all did blend.


In ’54

to UGA Ed did bounce,


in ’60

Ed gleefully announced –

It’s a veterinarian degree

I now have in my hand

into Central Florida

he then did land.

In dairies – in barns –

in the fields & on the farms,

all God’s creatures

enjoyed Ed’s care and charms.

No matter time of day or night

Ed would surely be there

whatever the animal’s plight.

On his knees – in wet grasses, –

mud and sand

in the rain – flood – and cold

he sought the cure –

not the gold.


In ‘95

full circle Ed did come.

returning to Darien

EXACTLY where he started from.

Mud and rain he now disdained.

It was the small animals he sought

to them he offered his relief

from their aches and pains.


20 years –

more or less

his skills he did ply –

most critters would live

but, alas, some –

they would die.


In late 2011

after 50 meaningful years,

his “shingle” he pulled down.

To his clients he happily said

                                                                                  “It’s Dr. P

                                                                     your critters they should see.

                                                                        He’s 30+ years my junior

how much better

could that ever be?”


A lifetime of service to all.

Achievements – perhaps many

but most very, very small.

Tho none exceeds –

and, by far,

surpasses all other deeds.


It’s his commitment to St. Cyprian’s,

as its first Caucasian congregant,

where Ed found “a home”

and many, many ‘a friend.

He will proudly say

              “Maybe, just maybe,

         I helped to buck the trend.”