Book Cover

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Seat Of Honor

Robbie June Moye's Rocking Chair

Dear Mr. Goodwin,

My name is Kristy Moye Griffin. My great-aunt Robbie June Moye, 16, was a victim of the Winecoff Hotel fire. She was in Atlanta with a group of girls from Seminole County High School in Donalsonville, Ga. My grandfather was Robbie June's only sibling. My family seldom, if ever, spoke of Robbie June; I think the subject was too painful even decades later.

I was lucky enough to have my Great Grandmother (Robbie June's mother) for the first 11 years of my life; I shared a very special bond with this extraordinary woman. She restored an old rocker of Robbie June's for me when she found out my mother was expecting; and from the moment I entered the world she did her level best to spoil me rotten! However, despite our closeness, it was not until days before she died that she ever mentioned my late aunt. She told me while she sat stroking my hair that she once had a little girl just like me. Looking back, I think she knew she was about to see her little girl again.

I am currently expecting my first daughter, and I am in the process of repainting the same rocker my Granny lovingly fixed for Robbie June, and then for me. Knowing the story behind the rocker, my curiosity led me to search the Internet for information on my aunt. I was so excited to come across your web page. Just looking at the old photographs of the fire has been very emotional for me. I will definitely be ordering the book so I can learn more about this terrible chapter in my family's history.

Thank you so much for this site, and for taking the time to read this e-mail. I will scan a picture of Aunt Robbie June to be added to the memorial page.

Thanks again,
Kristy Moye Griffin

Dear Ms. Griffin,

Thanks for your e-mail. It is a poignant one. Your description of your great grandmother's words likening you to Robbie June Moye is lovely. The sentences are full of imagery. It's likely that in that moment, you filled the empty place in her heart. It gave me chills. Conversely, her words should give you warmth.

We have added your photo of Robbie June Moye to our Remembrance Page.

Robbie June Moye must have been a good student of exceptional character to have been chosen a Youth Assembly delegate. Her passing brought sweeping improvements to fire safety codes worldwide. I hope her mother knew that. Prepare that little rocking chair with love in your heart. It is a seat of honor.
Robbie June Moye In Her Rocking Chair - Circa 1930

Thanks so much for writing to me,
Allen Goodwin

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