Old Wayside

From about 1925 until 1942 "Old Wayside," the nom de plume assumed by Harold C. Brown, was well known throughout the Carolinas. Among shut-ins he was even more widely known and loved.
Mr. Brown was born in London, England, September 6, 1879. After finishing college and two years in the British army, he came to America. During his first years in America he was an actor in various stock companies and carnivals. He was then stricken with infantile paralysis which left him so severely crippled that he was obliged to use a wheelchair the balance of his life.
 
He settled in Charlotte and from then on, from his dingy hotel room, devoted his theatrical and poetic talents to cheering shut-ins. Beginning December 16, 1926, he wrote an inspirational column for the Charlotte Observer. Thereafter, news of his fine work spread rapidly.
 
The Charlotte Lions Club sponsored the building of a cottage on Wilkinson Boulevard in Charlotte for Mr. Brown. From this cottage he conducted the affairs of the "Wayside Gang" and edited the magazine, The Waysider, which had been established. For a number of years he continued to spread good cheer by means of his column in the Observer, his magazine, many appearances at meetings, and on radio until his death, which occurred in a Charlotte hospital April 8, 1942.

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