Sherman and Velma Sutphin - A Lifetime Together
By Bob Heafner © 1984-2012
Issue: February, 1984
George Moles and Velma Bolt Sutphin. (See article for information about this photograph.)Driving north from Meadows of Dan, Virginia, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, past the turn of the century water mill known as Mabry Mill, I turned left onto state road 758 and headed toward Buffalo Mountain. Old chestnut rail fences, naturally weathered buildings and rusty antique farm implements give you the feeling of driving through an outdoor museum. To the right, majestic Buffalo Mountain stands as a silent witness and monument to the spirit of those brave, determined souls who first ventured here in search of “home.”
The first of them have long been gone, but the legacy they left to their offspring survives the wrath of time and storms of change of the last two hundred years. Here in the shadow of the “Buffalo,” hard work and determination along with a spirit of self-reliance are still a part of everyday life. Like the majestic Buffalo, old fashioned values have withstood the test of time here without noticeable change.
Turning to the right, the Buffalo behind me, I travel over a small winding gravel road. At the crest of the first hill, I am treated to the rare sight of perhaps thirty wild turkeys in the road before me. They quickly scatter into the surrounding woods as I pass. Over several more hills, past an old homeplace and several sharp curves, I finally reach my destination, the home of Sherman McKinley Sutphin and his wife, Velma Bolt Sutphin.
Sherman was born on September 27, 1897 and Velma, on May 1, 1898. They were married on the 14th day of May, 1919 and their love, like the Buffalo, has endured the test of time. They were born within two miles of each other and were childhood sweethearts. Sherman first proposed to his future bride when they were 15 years old but didn’t tie the knot until they were in their early twenties. They were classmates at the old Brammer School, which was named for its first teacher, Bell Brammer, many years before.