Bernard Lamb was born on a Sunday, two days after Christmas in 1964.
Dr. Lon King delivered him at a Macon hospital. His mother has always told the story about how Dr. King had to spin him around so he wouldnt come out feet first.
It wasnt the first time Dr. King had to deliver a breech baby. Nor was it the last. He once delivered Siamese twins.
In 46 years as an obstetrician, King watched thousands of babies draw their first breath. He worked until he was 70 years old. On his final night on the job on New Years Eve in 1991, he delivered five babies.
Bernard never met King. The doctor was someone he admired and respected from a distance.
His mother, Thelma Lamb, worked as a housekeeper for the King family for 38 years. She cooked meals, ironed clothes and helped raise Kings four children -- Linda, Lon III, Susan and Anne.
She was a widow with five children of her own -- Betty, Beatrice, James Jr., Walter and Bernard. Her husband, James Sr., was an Army veteran of the Korean War. He died in 1966, when Bernard was a year old.
Whenever Thelma struggled to make ends meet, King would pay her rent or buy Christmas presents. He delivered two of her children and a grandchild.
Bernard has worked in the ground maintenance department at Riverside Cemetery for 19 years. He digs graves, cuts the grass, plants trees and lays the foundation for monuments at the historic cemetery.
Many of the graves he digs are for people he never knew. Sometimes he recognizes their names. Two years ago, he dug the grave for former Sheriff Ray Wilkes.
Two weeks ago, Bernard was instructed to dig a grave inside the circular driveway at the north gate. He began scooping the red clay with a backhoe and shaping it with a shovel. He cut into the earth four feet deep and 37 inches across.
He noticed the name on the headstone next to it. In 2009, he dug the grave for Jean Lorinne King, who had been married to Dr. King for 63 years.
Although it was still the dog days of summer, a chill swept over him.
Dr. Lon King was buried Sept. 7, a month before his 92nd birthday.
Bernard called his mama to tell her he was digging a grave for the man who brought him into the world.
Reach Gris at 744-4275 or email@example.com.