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A Family Friend Remembers Joann Black


JoAnn Deloris McAdoo Black

It was early evening on Thursday and I had just concluded a conference call when my cell phone rang.  It was a call from Greensboro.  Any call from Greensboro coming over my cell phone is always a priority, so I answered it.  On the other end was a childhood friend.  After hello, she asked had I seen Pluto’s sister’s obituary in the Greensboro Record.  I stopped dead in my tracks as I asked which sister.  JoAnn’s name was on my mind, but when I heard her name I fell in my chair in disbelief.  I had seen JoAnn at Rolaines some fifteen years ago.  We hadn’t recognized each other, and as far as she was concern I was a complete stranger.  That did not prevent her from starting a conversation with me as we searched the racks for a bargain.  My mother’s best friend was also present.  As the conversation continued, it became evident that the two knew each other.  After JoAnn confirmed that she was Martin McAdoo’s sister, I realized that I knew her too.

 I met Joann in 1969 through her younger sister Pluto who was my classmate at Gillespie Park Junior High School. The McAdoo family was special. This was so true of the mother Josephine who was as patient as Job. 

I concluded the phone call, and went directly to my computer and pulled up the obituary.  After reading the nice obituary, I began to read the heart felt condolences written by numerous friends, and she had plenty.  As I read them, I begin to reminisces about those good old days. I also remembered that I had thought of her a few months back when I was listening to some of Aretha Franklin old hits in preparation for a project.  Aretha’s song “Call Me” always reminded me of JoAnn.  I did not know why until the moment I started writing this Blog.  It was a wet winter’s day in 1970 when I joined Pluto, and her side kick Kathy Greenlee on a drive to downtown Greensboro.  Joann was driving the family’s green 1965 Chevrolet four door Impala. Joann was on route to pick up her boyfriend, Donald Black from work.  Don drove a 1955, 56 or 57 Chevy standard shift. He had broken his collar bone so was unable to change gears.  As Joann dropped Don off at his destination she gently said to him call me.  Just as we pulled off, the DJ on the radio (WEAL) played Aretha Franklin’s “Call Me”.  JoAnn sang that song along with the recording.  I remember her face was a picture of an innocent high school senior who was so much in love!

Now some thirty-eight years later she is no longer with us.  During those years she married her true love, Donald Black and together they produced Crystal, Donald Jr. and Preston.  JoAnn had also earned a bachelor degree in psychology from Greensboro College.  Bellsouth was fortunate to have her in their employment for 35 years, where she had served as the district manager for Greensboro. 

As I sat down to write this Blog, I placed Aretha’s CD in the player and selected “Call Me”.  The lyrics rang out loud and clear and just as they were appropriate and timely on that day in 1970, they are appropriately and timely today as a way to immortalize her final farewell to all she left behind.  Please click the player above and see if you agree with me. 

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