Originally Published: Esquire.com • November 14, 2017 • The Sunday Long Read number one readers’ pick for 2017, and Longform best of 2017. Recommended by Longreads as an “incredibly moving feature.” Winner of Hearst Magazines’ 2017 Editorial Excellence Awards in the category of “reported feature or profile.”
For three days during a humid stretch of July in Newton, North Carolina, cars lined up along the dirt road outside the home of Deloy and Kate Oberlin.
Musicians and farmers and doctors came, and friends and family and neighbors. They showed up with their hands full. They carried homemade chicken potpie and sweet potato casserole and tamales and apple cake. They carried fiddles and banjos, a bass, a dulcimer, and a six-string guitar. They brought girls in fancy dresses and a boy holding a fidget spinner. They walked in the door and admired the family pictures along the hall, and hugged Deloy, and asked how he was doing.
“Come visit Kate,” he’d tell them.