10 months ago


Zimri graduated from

Zimri graduated from Christiansburg Industrial Institute in 1928. He went on to college and graduated from Virginia State College for Negroes, (later renamed Virginia State College, and now called Virginia State University). Upon finishing college, he purposefully decided to return to Christiansburg Institute and teach there. Throughout his career, he pursued additional professional development at Fisk University, Hampton Institute and Virginia Tech. He stayed in the profession for 43 years and missed only 3 days of school. 55 His students knew they were expected to learn from him, and in turn, he also expected to learn from them. His words tended to be few and only what he deemed absolutely necessary, but when he spoke, people listened. LOVE: THE CHOICE OF A LIFETIME On a personal note, Zimri got married to Rosa Lee Thomas on July 30, 1940. They went virtually everywhere together during the nearly 50 years they were married. Rosa was also a teacher in Virginia. From an early age she was determined to be a teacher. Her life was marked by decisions that once they were made, there was no going back. As a teenager, the first time she saw Zimri Holmes she knew that she wanted to marry him. Teaching was her life-work, but her husband and extended family were her life. The early choices she made to go into education and to marry Zimri Holmes defined her personal and professional life. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 50

“DON’T EVER THINK I FELL FOR YOU, OR FELL OVER YOU. I DIDN’T FALL IN LOVE, I ROSE IN IT.” 56 TONI MORRISON Rosa very much enjoyed being close to family. She built her house next to her inlaws and across the yard from her sister, Verna, and brother-in-law, Nathan Holmes. She also possessed a strong desire and skill to keep track of what was happening within the Black community of Christiansburg, VA. She made it a point to stay connected to her extended family and friends with cards, letters, phone calls, amazing sour cream pound cakes and constantly going places throughout the United States. Ironically though, she never learned how to drive a car. She graduated from Virginia State College with a Bachelor of Science degree on May 28, 1956. She completed some coursework for her Master of Science degree, but was so homesick she did not finish her degree. She immediately returned to Cambria, VA 57 which later became part of Christiansburg, VA, and began teaching the Colored Harris Hart Elementary School in Floyd County, VA. 58 Rosa’s career also spanned decades. She was a devoted sister, aunt, wife, sisterin-law, teacher, church member, embroiderer, quilter, award-winning African violet grower and community volunteer. Throughout her life, she spent much of the day reading and preparing for her next Bible study or community event. As she would come across interesting things in the newspaper, she would cut out the articles, date them and put them in a scrapbook. She was very mindful of what she chose. Much of the Holmes’ family history is from her scrapbooks. Some of her other pictures are part of various books such as Images of America: Christiansburg 59 and part of local exhibits and digital archives at Virginia Tech. 60 Her multiple volumes contain every card and letter written while Zimri was in the US Army. She kept just about every program from a special event she attended. The collection also contained obituaries, photos of the family and places where she taught and visited. Each day we have the opportunity to pursue additional knowledge. We choose the people and situations from which we learn. Experience can be a teacher as well; however, sometimes it is only in hindsight that we master the lessons. It is through our daily choices that we set the tone for our lives. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 51

2001 - 東京外国語大学アジア・アフリカ言語文化研究所
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