Three Days at the Beach with Martha Battle Mebane – (1923-1996) – Day 3

Meeting on Main Street, as we do, you know I have written about the outstanding men of the community. They have left an ever-lasting mark, rising to the top of their professions through hard work, intelligence, good business practices, and are known for their philanthropical endeavors. They were church-going and patriotic souls. Far less has been written about the women of the same day. We rely on the stories family and friends tell about the significant women in their lives. It is important to me to write about Martha Battle Mebane, a woman, who has left behind a successful and endearing family.  

Compared to the lives of women today, I suppose some might judge Martha’s life as small, having never worked, a stay at home wife and mother. But it would be a grave mistake to discount the value of women of Martha’s generation that way. My own mother, Madeline, never learned to drive a car, and she too focused her life upon her only daughter and husband. I celebrate the lives of women today, of course. I’m intensely proud of my own eight adult granddaughters who have spread their wings academically, traveled aboard,  have entered into interesting and demanding professions. In the light of today’s political correctness, however, I am uneasy that in trying to change our history, we will try to diminish the Martha’s of the world. In honoring Martha Battle Mebane, it is also about the women in those days who made their families their life’s work; this remembrance is of their steadfastness and sacrifice.

I am opposed to erasing our history, removing statues, changing the words of a song, looking at the world through a politically correct lens. In the end, our own life/histories are the totality of both success and failure. I don’t want anyone to edit my life which includes mistakes that helped me become who I am. And, I don’t want anyone to diminish the lives of women like Martha Battle Mebane because they stayed home and raised a family. That family has grown over time and flourished. How proud and amazed she would be. She is remembered with love and affection and has left behind the best of who she was for her family to be going on with. It’s quite marvelous really. It is forever!




9 thoughts on “Three Days at the Beach with Martha Battle Mebane – (1923-1996) – Day 3

  1. My daughter Stephanie (how about that!!) works for the book seller Waterstones so I will get her to pick up a copy of your book for me. I look forward to reading it. Also more than happy to help if you do decide to do something on pen pals. Thanks for getting back to me.


  2. Mary Kemp and I have been life long friends since the early 1960’s but we have only met twice in all that time.The first time was exactly 50 years ago this summer when her family kindly took me to Nags Head with them. I have very fond memories of that special time and remember the warm hospitality and love they showed a young English girl visiting her pen friend for the first time. Your article was very moving and your pictures were just as I remember Martha and all the family. I was delighted that Mary Kemp was able to share this with me. Many thanks to you for writing the article and to her for a long and wonderful friendship.


    1. This is a wonderful addition to the posts on Martha Battle Mebane. It occurs to me, Caroline, that you and I should write a book on Pen Pals. Your story of this long friendship with Mary Kemp as the opening. I don’t think children have ‘pals’ any more, but in our time, they were numerous. I love your sharing this with me and the readers of Main Street Rocky Mount. THANK YOU! PS: Caroline has long been one of my favorite names and I gave it to a character in the first novel I wrote, Greening of a Heart. You would like her. I feel lucky that you took the time to write.


  3. I am deeply honored and humbled that you would choose to write about my family on Main Street. Have received many compliments from friends and family. Truly grateful!


    1. It has been a privilege to spend time in the company of these lovely, talented, outstanding people… Martha Battle Mebane and her family. Thank you for sharing them with me and for letting me write about them. I am the one who is deeply honored and humbled. Thank You!


    1. One of my favorite posts I have written on Main Street is about YOU, my favorite Sidekick. Thanks Polly for all your support through the two years I’ve been writing. It means the world to me to have your cheerleading.


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