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Luther Cain Jr. and the American dream
Big Daddy is what his three grandchildren lovingly called him. It was his choice as they were growing up. His birth name was Luther Cain, Jr..
He was raised on a small dirt farm in Tennessee with his eight siblings by his mom and dad. They had just enough "dirt farm" to be able to live off the land.
I can still remember visiting my grandparent's three-room farm house as a young kid, and wondering how they all lived in that small house. Dad told us some of them slept in the barn. That's how they lived and survived.
Dad literally walked off that small farm at the age of 18 with just the clothes on his back. His dreams were bigger than that small farm.
He eventually ended up working in Atlanta as a waiter in the executive dinning room of the Coca Cola Company, and later became the chauffeur and personal valet for the chairman and CEO of the company, Robert W. Woodruff. Dad excelled because of his work ethic, and his infectious and positive personality.
While working for the Coca Cola Company and Mr. Woodruff for over 25 years, he participated in the employees stock ownership plan. This allowed him to acquire small amounts of stock throughout his employment. Mr. Woodruff would also grant him stock periodically for his loyal service.
My dad never sold a single share of Coca Cola stock! He once told me "The Coca Cola Company will never go out of business." He was right, and he never invested in any other stocks.
He passed at the early age of 56 years due to health complications. His savings and the dividends from the Coca Cola stock allowed us to care for my mother for the rest of her life without a special care facility, which is what she wanted. She passed at 80 years young.
After mom died, we distributed the stock assets to the designated heirs and others. This included their five grandchildren. The proceeds allowed each of them to pay for higher education, or buy their first home when they got married.
Each of them knew it was a blessing from Big Daddy, because I told them!
Big Daddy didn't collect fancy cars, he didn't buy a boat, and he didn't want to own a second home. That little two-bedroom house on Albert Street in Atlanta was his dream home. But he loved nice shoes, and he had a lot of them! Even though he only wore them to church on Sundays, where he was Deacon Cain.
We established a scholarship fund at Antioch Baptist Church North in memory of Luther and Lenora Cain. It's still going and helping young people today!
Big Daddy had a big impact on our family, our church and the world! Needless to say he had a big heart, and it wasn't about him.
Not bad for an 18-year-old who started with nothing except his belief in God, himself and this experiment called America.
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