It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Julia Older. Many will remember her from her recitation, at the 2011 Babb Family Reunion, of a chapter of her book “This Desired Place: The Isles of Shoals”.
I first came across her work while researching that next Babb Family Reunion in 2010. I did a preliminary trip to gather for myself what was of note and scheduled a lunch date with Julia while I was there. She brought Steve Sherman, her partner in crime!
I was so excited to meet someone who brought me an authentic picture of what Phillip must have actually been like. Suffice to say, we were both giddy!
Before I read her book, I had imagined Phillip as an English Gentleman. Not as the swashbuckling sailor that was larger than life! Reading her book, I knew that my ideal of gentility was futile. I told her so while we ate.
I brought her book with me and asked her to sign it. We were both star struck! But I still don’t understand why she was. I mean, I’m just a Babb. It’s what I do. I can’t help it. I was born this way!
Do I have some of Phillip’s spirit in me? You damn well know I do! Maybe that was it. He isn’t only my grampa; he is my muse! He always has been. He was hers too!
When I asked for this photo, Julia insisted we take it in front of this painting. It had something to do with the Shoals. I just don’t recall the details. The cover picture was taken by Steve Sherman.
In recent years, Steve suffered from dementia and Julia became his caregiver. She struggled to keep up with him as the situation worsened. We discussed this on several occasions, mostly via email.
Julia and Steve built Appledore Books, which was based on her works and other local authors with similar interests. I’m committed to keeping her legacy alive and have contacted a family member about how to proceed.
I view her work on “This Desired Place” to be the most accurate portrayal of the life of Phillip Babb (1) and his children that has ever been produced!
I don’t know enough about Steve to find out if he has passed already. I, as most people. thought that I had more time to figure that out. But I’m confronted with the reality that they are both likely gone. Julia was lost in trying to take care of her bestie Steve.
It’s a love story if there ever was one! Love cannot be constrained! Not by sex or boundaries! There are no limits to which we will go to protect our family and friends! At least, that is what it means to me.
Rest in Peace my dear angels!