Davie native writes about overcoming obstacles

Published 9:55 am Thursday, October 15, 2015

Members of the Davie County Training School Class of 1960 held a book signing luncheon honoring Ever Lee Hairston, fellow graduate, on Sept. 8 at Shiloh Baptist Church in Mocksville.

“Blind Ambition” is a 367-page autobiography of Hairston’s life as a blind girl.

The story chronicles her life from early childhood to the present. She was the product of share-cropping parents and raised on one of the biggest plantations in the South, Cooleemee Plantation.

As a child, she faced disappointments – one after the other.

“I allowed those disappointments to diminish my self-confidence and sully my self-esteem,” she said.

For years, she harbored a secret. She was going blind. Eventually, she decided to stop feeling sorry for herself and face her fears.

Now, decades after losing her eyesight, her story of inspiration and ambition helps others realize their lives have purpose in spite of obstacles.

She serves on the board of directors for the National Federation of the Blind. She graduated from N.C. Central University in Durham with a public school teaching degree.

At the age of 29, facing total blindness with a failed marriage and a child to raise on her own, she changed her attitude and her life. After attending the Louisiana Center for the Blind, she began integrating blindness skills into her everyday life.

She lives in California and continues to devote time mentoring and advocating for the blind.

Thirteen graduates and classmates attending the book signing were: Rosie Hairston Bethea, her sister who is also a victim of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Betty Sue Flint Frost, Faye Flint Brown, Waltena Hampton Wharton, Mamie Brown Young, Mary Ann Gregory Tenor, Frances Myers, Janet Tatum Parks, Emma Myers Griffin, Josephine Foote, Cassandra Foote Mason, Magalene Hudson-Gaither (her 10th grade English teacher), Annelle Mayfield Barker, co-hostess, and Jacqueline Watkins Cook, organizer and hostess.

School colors of blue and gold were carried out in food and decorations.

A copy of Blind Ambition by Ever Lee Hairston is in the Davie County Public Library and can be purchased at Amazon and at book stores.