The day I sat across the table at the Central Cafe from Chris Falk, Lynell Bynum’s grandson, I felt teary. (You know how I am.) This handsome, young man, articulate, bright, whose company I was keeping for a few hours, is one of the richest legacies his grandfather has left us. In a few days, Lynell Bynum will be inducted into the Twin County Hall of Fame. His grandson will be accepting the award on behalf of his grandfather and the family. Chris is an example of why I keep saying, one thing leads to another. First, it was Ben Braddock, along with his partner, who bought Station Square; Ben asked me to research and write about Mr. Bynum. A few years later from my seat on the Hall of Fame board, I am introducing Chris the night of the event. The tears I hid at the Central Cafe were on behalf of his grandfather who would be amazed and proud of this young man. Chris, who shares many of the same interests and passions with his grandfather, wanted to talk about ‘Main Street,” preservation and his love of Rocky Mount.
I remind you that Lynell Bynum along with Errol Warren, a local architect, and Sandy Bulman of Bulman-Frazier Design Studio in Raleigh, together redeveloped an entire city block into a modern shopping center and office space. When it was all said and done, the Station Square project, named for the railroad station next door became the gold standard on how private and public partnerships can develop projects together within the community. Mr. Bynum took basic commercial structures, some in dreadful condition, and restored them with sensitivity to their glory days. Today, Ben Braddock, one of the modern-day ‘repairers of the breach’ has brought to Rocky Mount his passion, his determination, his unique skill set, his financial where with all and his role in finding new investors and owners to help save our commercial structures as Mr. Bynum once did.
The summer I left for college, my mother asked a question. “If something happened to me, would you be okay?” I answered, “Yes, I thought so.” My mother smiled. “You hope you have given your child enough to be going on with.” I think of that conversation and apply it to Chris Falk. I have whispered to Mr. Bynum, that Chris, who now has a family of his own, has indeed ‘gone on’ in a fine way.
We all wonder from time to time, what might be remembered of us? I hope those I love will hear a song that makes them think of me or recognize the fragrance of the perfume I have always worn. Perhaps they will read what I have written. Mr.Bynum could not have imagined that there would come a day when he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame and that his grandson would stand in his place to accept the award. Mr. Bynum is remembered for his contributions to the life and times of Rocky Mount. Perhaps we too will have someone coming after us who shares our interests and passions and is carrying on in our place. Wouldn’t that be lovely!