We believe the name "Album" was chosen in memory of father Lewis Martin's cousin: Albumis Robinson, born abt 1881. We speculate the first name "Album" may also have been chosen from Edward Beyer's famed "Album of Virginia" suggesting that Lewis and Rose Alice Martin likely had a copy in their possession. The book published in year 1885 may have been in the mother's hope chest of memories and evidence the family valued reading. Living in a Pennsylvania coal mining town among mostly strangers from Italy and eastern Europe, ... it is not inconceivable they may have longed for sights and sounds of Virginia where they were born and raised. We know for a fact that all the Martin children were bright and learned to read and write even before attending first grade in a racially integrated school.
It is an excellent example of values and views by many young Black veterans of World War I looking and seeing a world of wonder envisioned by the arts far different from the imagined good life in Harlem by non-veterans like Edgar Frog Kyle Atkins, ... who had fled Virginia conscription registration and employment in the West Virginia coal mines and changed their names to ones like (Eddie Adkins) to avoid conscription in the war to save democracy.
Album (Buster) Martin was the oldest of the four Martin brothers, and had the responsibility given by his father, mother and older sibling sisters Emma and Leoma to be a role model and protector to "the least of us" born after him. It was never easy being the oldest sister or brother and especially for Album with a dynamic father who expected him by six or seven years age to be helpful and useful to others, and he was all the days of his life.
One of his first big jobs, under supervision of his older sisters was the daily task of muscling up to carry and slop the family hogs that eagerly awaited his coming. Carrying those buckets of slop and water every day helped him find muscle strength he did not know existed. And, as he grew ever strong and sure of himself other challenges like baseball and going into the surrounding woods to find berries, ... Buster gained confidence that he could do what his mind was set to do.
One of our favorite stories about Buster is that of his World War II military service before he went on in life to use the G. I. and become a lawyer; and later one of the Municipal judges in New York City. After completing basic military training following induction in the army and extensive testing for aviator potentials, ... he and his brother Emmett were both assigned to Tuskegee Army Airfield for further training as pilots and navigators. According to him that after completing a battery of testing and qualifying for the actual training, he one day walked through the Tuskegee Hall of Honor and noticed that it was to commemorate the many officers who had been killed; and he and Emmett were likely to have the same fate if both continued.
It has occurred to us that Emmett who was very anxious to be a aviator had an older brother who reasoned it would be too much for their parents and siblings to experience the loss of two sons in the war. He had proven that he had the right stuff; and not proceeding to the final block of training to fly aircraft was his decision the family could with.
Album (Buster) Martin
Born: Jul 1923 in: Grindstone, Pennsylvania
Father: Lewis Marshal Martin
Mother: Rose Alice Lowry
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