Bridgewater community members carry on Whitelow’s waving tradition

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 1:14 PM EDT
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BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) -Carlyle Whitelow was the first African-American athlete at Bridgewater College, and later served as a teacher and coach there for many years.

“He was I think one of the biggest rays of sunshine anyone could ever meet, he was one of our biggest community supporters, he was an amazing campus supporter and to our family, he was a good friend,” organizer of Pack the Parking Lot Whitney Smith said.

Before passing away a year ago, Whitelow would spend each morning rain or shine in the Dairy Queen parking lot in Bridgewater, waving at anyone who passed by.

Whitelow’s friends and colleagues wanted to keep that tradition going and honor a man who they say was a true light in the community.

“Carlyle was all about doing good things and making the community better and that’s what we’re here to do this morning is just to do that but in return, I think we’ll all walk away with big smiles on our faces,” Smith said.

Smith says sports teams from the college along with residents from the town, have been standing and waving each morning since the beginning of the school year to carry on the tradition and plan to do so to honor their colleague and friend.