For those attending the “bittersweet” farewell party for the “right and left hand” of State District Judge Thomas Culver III last week, it was indeed a trip down memory lane. Raydelle Crosswhite and Lori
Crawford are retiring from Fort Bend County with 30 years each behind them.
Judge Culver, Raydelle and Lori took the time to bid a fond farewell to each other in a public forum at the farewell event. And, boy was that a trip down memory lane. Reflecting on various events over the past 30 years, the trio laughed and cried as they recalled the many experiences they had
Just as we bid farewell to our kids when they reach various levels of achievement such as kindergarten and college, each milestone is bittersweet but filled with love and pride. That is exactly the family feeling that permeated the old courthouse rotunda last week. For this reporter who has
covered the courthouse beat for 30 years, it was an eye-opener. There were framed mats with old photos of courthouse activities and antics featuring Lori and Raydelle over 30 years. Everyone attending could sign the mats, which were presented to the retirees at the end of the reception in
their honor. The notations on the mats contained so much nostalgia that attendees who had been around a while certainly regressed and a lot of “remember when” discussions followed.
Personally the event was a memory maker for me. One Fort Bend County deputy came up to me and reminded me of a story I had done on a Missouri City teenage singer who fancied himself to be Elvis back in 1978. Come to find out the teen went on to become—you never would have imagined—an Elvis
impersonator. Somewhere in my boxes of memorabilia, I might still have the blue scarf he threw to a young reporter from his backyard stage that night.
Judges asked me if I remembered certain events we had shared at the aging courthouse—from the serious capital murder trials to really funny incidents that I had actually hoped would be forgotten.
It’s been a long trip and I plan to continue down the lane to see where it takes me. While it is sad to see two more of the old-timers venture off, I do want to wish Raydelle and Lori the best on their new journey. Knowing both of them I’m sure our paths will cross again.
And, thanks for the memories.....what a trip!