Musician and soccer player, Kristina Kelhofer, of Roswell High School shared her memory of pre-game gatherings during away games where the players would munch on snacks and listen to music with Coach Harbin. She remembered Bob Marley being a favorite, so Kristina chose to perform Three Little Birds at a tribute held in Roswell, GA.
© Copyright 2011-2012 Charles Harbin Memorial Scholarship. All Rights Reserved.
“Three Little Birds” preformed by Kristina is a sweet rememberance of my beloved son Charles. Kristina’s rendition was a comfort, as was each story and vignette shared by Charles’s students and colleagues at Roswell High’s celebration of Charles’s life. Also what I have learned in the months and years since he was killed. I play the clip of Kristina’s above sometimes or I unexpectedly hear “Little Birds” on the radio or elsewhere. It is so reminiscent of Charles, that vulnerable, caring side of him…poignant, sweet, self-deprecating.
And, oh how he loved music. Music was always on in his home, but I did not understand how important it was until I learned from others, until I saw his many CDs, learned of Soulja Boy’s RHS visit, listened to tapes he had in his car, and recently as we watched his young daughter’s play his CD’ s and hear their stories.
Charles loved Bob Marley’s music and Marley’s message. I remember when Charles came home on break from Bennington College. He was sporting a few dredlocks, tough to accomplish since his hair is fine and poker straight. He must have worked at it. He had the dreds tucked under a Jamaican crocheted hat, he hoped out of sight. It was too radical and discordant for us, his conservative, foreign service parents. When given our ultimatum on the dreds, Charles was off on a new adventure to work on a horse farm (nevermind his allergies). The dreds may have also caused discomfort even for Bennington College. His dreds were gone when we next saw him, in favor of a burr cut, perhaps cooler for the weather in Sarasota at New College, but his love of Marley was forever.
Renee, his sister, knew Charles well. She knew “Three Little Birds” was right for Charles and ensured it was played at his Memorial Celebration service at our church. Marley was complimented by Armstrong’s “The Saints Go Marching In”, bluesy jazz also a favorite of Charles’s. It was equally right for the RHS memorial celebration of Charles and his RHS life.
The lyrics of Little Birds” are a message from Charles to me. He knows how much I always worried. He knows how impossible his leaving is for me. It is his message to Renee, Molly and Kate. It is his message to you. Sweetly, softly sung by Charles into my heart and into yours “Don’t worry, every little thing will be alright…” Cheryl