As a writer, my father has a talent for making even the most mundane stories exciting and shocking. However, the story of how he came to join the US Navy Reserve has always stood out. When my dad was in his early thirties, he was a successful Hollywood writer, fresh off a deal with Steven Spielberg’s company no less, when he boarded a naval carrier in San Diego to do research for a script he had been commissioned to write. He spent the afternoon talking to sailors from all over the country, many of whom were eighteen or in their early twenties, making little money, separated from their families for months at a time. To most thirty-something year olds established in a more lucrative career, hearing these experiences would most likely result in a few moments of appreciation, before gratefully returning to the comforts of everyday life. For my dad however, this was a life-changing moment. In the lives of the young sailors he interviewed, he saw service, sacrifice, and bravery, and upon examination of his own life, was inspired to join the U.S Navy Reserve to give back to his country. As you probably understood while reading the above, that dedication and willingness to serve is not very common. Therefore I was not surprised when my dad conceived the idea of The Evered House.
While the Evered House is an incredibly important resource for those who serve to explore their creative passions, the man for whom the house was dedicated means a lot to us as well. Charles J. Evered was my grandfather on my dad’s side, who passed away when my dad was fourteen. He was a World War II veteran who raised his children to believe in the benefits of service, having witnessed the incredible feats of heroism and sacrifice during the war first hand. As I get older and reflect on the importance of my own parents in my life, I can only begin to imagine how hard it would be to raise your kids knowing they’ll never get to meet someone who inspired you so much. However, I’m incredibly grateful for my father for taking the time and energy to commemorate my grandfather and his life of service in this way. There are many ways to serve, as COVID-19 has reminded us. For some, service may look like shipping out on a naval carrier for nine months, it may mean working shifts as a nurse during a pandemic, and for others it may mean volunteering time and resources to an organization like the Evered House, showing our gratitude for those who sacrifice for us on the front lines by offering them a space to create.
Margaret Evered is a Junior at George Washington University studying political science as well and Russian history and language.