I was born in Richmond, Virginia, the daughter of H. Lee Earnhardt and Louise Reichert Earnhardt. My family moved to Fredericksburg at the invitation of Dr. Gordon W . Jones. My father joined Dr. Jones in the practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
I was raised in Fredericksburg and Stafford County, Virginia. There I attended Maury Elementary and James Monroe High School. After graduating from Duke University, I earned a masters degree in Southern History from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
During my childhood, I was a friend and next door neighbor of Carolyn Gordon Jones. I accompanied Carolyn many times to the Ellwood Manor house, then owned by Blanche (Willis) Jones and her son, Gordon Jones.
Mr. Leo Jones, Carolyn’s grandfather, had a wonderful booming laugh and rescued us from many misadventures on the farm.
Carolyn and I once decided that Empire, a large black stallion,was a threat and took refuge in a tree. Mr. Jones responded to our cries for help and informed us we were clinging to poison ivy vines.
Another Sunday afternoon he arrived to shoo hundreds of chickens away and help us off the window sill in one of the long,narrow chicken houses.
I have happy memories of picnicking on the steps of Ellwood and Carolyn’s grandmother’ s delicious deviled eggs and lemonade .
A visit to the farm sometimes included a pilgrimage to the cemetery where Irecall placing honeysuckle blossoms on the grave of Stonewall Jackson’s arm.