Taking a little break from Dave Malarcher for a few days, I wanted to give an update on the Wesley Barrow grave marker. I was also very fortunate to have a short talk with Mr. Paul Lewis, who played under Barrow circa 1950 for the New Orleans Black Pelicans, at that time a semipro team.
With the grave stone, Gretna Councilman Milton Crosby said he’s going today to pay the balance on the stone cost, and he’s got a couple sturdy guys volunteering to help get it in the ground.
Once the marker is at the site and situated, that just leaves the dedication ceremony, which is slated for Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. at the New Hope Baptist Church cemetery. Councilman Crosby has lined up a minister to give a prayer and dedication, and I’m pulling together a few people to say a few words.
One of those people will be Mr. Paul Lewis, who played second base for the 1949 New Orleans Black Pelicans, one of the later incarnations of that squad. The team was skippered by Wesley Barrow, who by that time had roughly 30 years of organized baseball under his belt.
“We played all over Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, everywhere,” Mr. Lewis said.
He said the Skipper had such a charismatic and electric personality that people were drawn to him.
“If you ever met Wesley Barrow, you never forgot Wesley Barrow,” Mr. Lewis, who is 88 years young, told me last night. “He was also one of the nicest fellows you could ever meet. He always had a great attitude with everyone he met.
“I learned from Wesley Barrow how to be a man,” he added, “and to treat people right, to have the right attitude with all mankind.”
I’ll keep coming back with updates on the situation, especially when we get the grave marker in the ground and when I’ve got a press release ready in preparation for the dedication ceremony. Keep checking back for details!