Lowe recalls life, African-American Museum

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 9, 2019

By Michael Cole

The Orange Leader


Henry Lowe, director of the new Orange African-American Museum in Orange, regaled the members of the Orange Historical Society with reflections of his own life and that of the contributions of the African American Community in the history of Orange.

From a pretty young age, he was involved in quarter horse racing. His involvement in the sport led him across the Southwest and into the circle of Hollywood with the racetracks in California

He recalled meeting Dale Robertson and Mitch Mitchum. He touched on knowing fellow Texan and War Hero, Audie Murphy.

It was a brush with death that changed Henry’s life.

Lowe talked about how drinking had brought him to death’s door.

“I was feeling something bad at the race track,” Lowe said. “The security there was a police officer and he took me to the hospital.”

The hospital wouldn’t see him because he did not have insurance, so he took the bus down to the VA.

“The Doctor told me that I would be dead by morning,” Lowe recalled. “So I told him to give me my clothes, because I had not been to Disneyland yet.”

He pointed out that he had worked down the street from Disneyland, but never went.

“It was that thing that you always figured you could do later,” Lowe said. “And then you realize you never did.”

Returning to Orange, he decided to follow a dream of his.

That was to open an Afro-American museum in Orange.

Henry Lowe pointed out the contributions Blacks have made in Orange.

Lowe mentioned Reggie Garrett who died on the field after tossing a touchdown pass in a West Orange-Stark game.

He mentioned going to school with Ernie Ladd, who he was a year behind at Wallace High School. Lowe talked about Ladd’s life as the Pro-Football player and Wrestler.

Other Orange residents such as Andrew Hayes, Bettie Curtis, and Emma Wallace were talked about also.

Lowe updated the group on the progress of the Afro-American Museum.

According to Lowe, the framing has been done, and now they are in the process of getting an electrician to work on the wiring.

Overall, Lowe is confident that the museum will be a huge success.

“Its a story that needs to be told,” Lowe said.

When asked by a person if he had ever gotten to Disneyland, he replied, “No. I am not going to tempt fate.”