I spent time with Steve Felton this week. Among many things, he is a Financial Advisor and Franchise Owner of Carolina Capital Advisors, – Ameriprise Financial. He started his business at age 24 in 1985. I knew of him through his paintings of Rocky Mount architecture, although his artwork encompasses many subjects. See his website: sfeltondesigns.com
Steve began painting after his son was treated for a staph infection at Duke Children’s Hospital some years ago. With his deep respect and love for the heritage of the community, he has painted many of our best known architectural buildings. I was delighted to finally meet him in his office that reflects his abiding interest in his family history. There are wonderful glass cases that display some of his family memorabilia: old precious photographs, and the bits and pieces we all collect, making small altars where we place our stories. I found yet another Southern storyteller, who lovingly and proudly talks about family members who have contributed to the Rocky Mount area. Shade Felton, Steve’s great grandfather, from 1934-1956 was Deputy Sherriff of Edgecomb County. Jerry Fentress, his grandfather co-owned Carolina Awning and Tents. His other grandfather worked for the railroad but also built houses primarily in the Oakwood area from 1950 until he died in 1970. His Dad, Ron Felton was also a Financial Advisor from 1982-1998.
Steve’s notecards are an important aspect of his artwork. He carries on the tradition his grandmother started who always wrote notes to people. Steve refuses to abandon this habit as many of us have to the extent we once did. His cards and artwork are about giving back. If he is asked to do custom work, he gives the fee to charities that are listed on the website. It is no wonder people who receive a special note from Steve save and collect his cards. Listening to how he approaches his life, his deep faith is apparent.
In the light of the state of affairs ‘downtown,’ Steve admits that he is a bit ‘down’ these days, eager for resolutions to put things right so Rocky Mount can continue to grow and prosper. He has a strong sense that it has taken many people, like those in his own family, to build Rocky Mount on a sure foundation, using a moral compass that safeguards right from wrong.
But listen! Staying ‘down’ is not allowed for long. We must believe together that things will be straightened out because of new leadership, and our insistence that all breaches are repaired. Steve Felton is one of the prisms of light in Rocky Mount that will help get us there.
“My hope and prayer are that we as a community will come together, put our personal differences aside. We owe it to our forefathers because they paved the way.” -Steve Felton
If you missed the post called Prisms of Light, I hope you will take a minute to read it.