Some of my fondest memories from high school revolve around visits to the home of Steve McRae. The basketball games … the bull sessions … the asparagus crop … the food … man, oh man, the food.
Steve’s mom, Linda, knew how to cook. Actually, she didn’t so much cook dinner as organize a small banquet. I remember having dinner at Steve’s house one night during which his mom tested the strength of the kitchen table with a plate packed full of french fries. Wow, I thought, she must think I’m a pig to have dished that out. Turns out I was lucky to snag the ones I did. Steve and his brother made that fried mountain disappear faster than David Copperfield. Before I knew it, the rest of the food – including what I am convinced were the original Thickburgers – was gone as well.
I also remember how Steve’s mom always took an interest in how I was doing. I shared many a conversation with her about school and her son’s mad skills on the court. She was always kind and always quick to throw together a snack. She always had a smile.
Mrs. McRae passed away June 15, 2002. I still remember the impact of reading Steve’s e-mail the next morning. I still get a lump re-reading it today.
These thoughts are inspired by the news that Linda McRae’s memory will live on at East Carolina:
Edward C. McRae of Hope Mills recently made a $25,000 gift to create and endow the Linda Haddock McRae Memorial Fellowship scholarship in memory of his wife, Linda.
She was a 1966 ECU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in library studies and educational technology. She was originally from Greene County and taught in the state public schools for 30 years.
She taught in Richmond County and Cumberland County schools and spent most of her career in Pitt and Greene counties. The McRaes have three children.
The purpose of the fund is to provide scholarship support to deserving graduate students who are pursuing a master of library science degree in the College of Education. First preference will be given to candidates from Greene or Cumberland counties.
“By providing scholarship funds to educate future generations of librarians, the McRae scholarship enables the College of Education’s Department of Library Science and Instructional Technology to support ECU’s mission to train the leaders of tomorrow,” department Chairman Al Jones said.