Mr. Josephus (Joe) Lovelace and his mother moved to Alexandria, Virginia from Halifax, Virginia after the death of his father, Andrew Lovelace in 1943. He first attended Lyles-Crouch Elementary School for two and half months before entering Parker-Gray High School in September 1943. His family first lived on 325 North Fayette Street, then on 611 North West Street, and then they moved back to 325 North Fayette Street.
He has several fond memories of Parker-Gray. One time he was throwing snowballs when Mr. Pitts, the principal walked up behind him and he elbowed Mr. Pitts in the stomach. That action got him into trouble. Other memories were about his favorite teachers, Mrs. Dorothy Key, the Librarian and Mrs. Edith W. Casey, the Social Studies and English teacher. Both of those teachers were his homeroom teachers.
Mr. Lovelace loved horsing around and chasing the girls in school. His friends in school were John Herring (Johnnie Cake), Herbert McGreer, Willie Daniels, Robert Burless, Lloyd Diggs (Class of 1949), Louise Gaskins, Suzanne Gaskins, Theresa Bentley, Katherine Lomax and Phyllis Roy.
He gives credit to his favorite teacher, Mrs. Casey who insulted him by saying, “Do You know what the letter ‘D’ stands for?” She continued to say ‘D’ stands for “Dumb”, like you. In addition, she told him in his senior year in school, that he will not graduate unless he recited “To Be or Not to Be.”
He graduated from Parker-Gray in 1948 and joined the Army weeks later. He kept Mrs. Casey’s comment in mind, which helped him to excel in everything he did. Mr. Lovelace had 30-years of combined service in the Army and the Air Force. He worked for 15-years with the United States Postal Service while attending College and obtained an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. Mr. Lovelace was 48-years old when he started his undergraduate program; he completed his degree in three years. After retiring from the postal service, he worked for the police department as a counselor. At the age of 82, Mr. Lovelace volunteers at the Police Department in Colorado. His military career took him to foreign countries like Germany, Korea, England, France and Japan. He had lived in Germany, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah, and finally settled in Denver. The negative comment that Mrs. Casey made about Mr. Lovelace was the fuel he needed to accomplish all the things he achieved. Even today, he says that Mrs. Casey was his best teacher.