The End Of An Era

Photo of Dr. Branscomb courtesy of

Dr. Ben Branscomb



That’s what Ben Branscomb did. Ben was a second father to me and he wasn’t alone. Lee McGriff Jr. (Daddy Pete) was my other second father. Daddy Pete died several years ago and it was pretty devastating. He had always been there solid as a rock. And then he was gone.

We celebrated Ben’s life yesterday.

There are many stories I could relate but this is the one that keeps coming into my mind. Janie and I were in the Cahaba Pony Club. The club formed a drill team to perform for the Ambassador of Spain during the Birmingham Festival of Arts. Janie and I were on our way to practice with the drill team and I was running late.

I was cantering along a woods trail approaching the Henley’s field when I noticed something on the ground. The people who owned the property seemed to object to our trail across their property and we knew they were eventually going to fence it off. A roll of wire had been standing next to a fence post for weeks. Apparently they had gotten around to unrolling the wire and it was lying flat on the ground.

The last thing I remember was looking down and thinking, “My horse doesn’t see this wire and this could be bad.” The next thing I remember was Ben Branscomb sitting on the ground and cradling me in his arms as I regained consciousness. I had no idea what had just happened. All I remember is that I felt safe in Ben’s arms. I knew I would be okay.

While I was never officially a patient of Ben’s that demonstration of caring is an experience I’ll never forget.


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