Restoring a Legend's Home

Some Madison County leaders are looking for ways to remember one of their most beloved residents.

Ray Charles passed away last week at the age of 73, but his childhood home is still standing on the street that bares his name.

A weekend memorial for Ray Charles, Greenville's most prominent resident, was eerily quiet. For some it was almost as if the music were gone.

Joe Vancres Bea, Ray Charles's former neighbor, says, "We would go down to the place where he was living at and just hear him play."

While a few gathered at the church, just four houses down the road on Ray Charles Street lies the old homestead, a broken down wooden Florida-styled house now taken over with weeds, but that may change.

Greenville did name a sign for Ray Charles, but it is hard to find and doesn't really signify the way they feel about him.

Ronnie Moore, Madison County Commissioner, says, "Hopefully in the future if the community decides to restore it I would like to restore it and do what I can to maybe make it a historical location."

Commissioner Moore is considering the idea of restoring the house to its original look back before Charles lost his brother in a terrible drowning accident, and before he lost his eyesight to glaucoma.

Moore's hoping the community will back the idea. Meanwhile, all they have are the memories and the music. Commissioner Moore tells us he plans to bring the idea to the next Greenville City Commission meeting, then to the county if need be.


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