Law Office of William F. Underwood - November 2018


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T hough I never met him, I’ve been lucky enough to get to know my granddad through the stories his daughter Laura Jordan (my dad’s sister — my aunt) tells me, and I’m sure this Thanksgiving I’ll learn even more. That’s my favorite part about this holiday: It’s a designated time to connect with family members every year. This year, as we meet in Aiken, South Carolina, with my aunt and her husband, Frank Jordan, we’ll be lucky enough to have my sister join us too. She just got a new job working with cast members for a Bravo TV network show called “Southern Charm.” We’re all excited and proud of her, especially since that means she gets to spend a few months in Charleston, which is just two hours east of Aiken. I’m also looking forward to talking with my cousin Elizabeth Supan’s son, Matthew, as he is taking on the adventure of a lifetime for his senior year of high school. Matthew is spending his senior year in kayak school. He began the year in Canada, will make his way to Ecuador for three months, then head to Peru for another three months, and finally end the year back in Canada. (Anyone else wondering if there’s an adult version of this school?) Matthew’s dad, Brian Supan, has been posting updates of Matthew’s travels on Facebook, but it will be fun to hear about them in person from either Matthew or his parents. I’ve personally never kayaked, but I have experienced water thrills from a canoe and a raft. Within the past few years, I know water sports have become a big part of Matthew’s life. I have a pretty adventurous family, but the man I love hearing about most is Granddad. William F. “Pete” Underwood was a flight instructor, musician, teacher, and conductor. Unfortunately, he passed away before I was even born, but the stories I’ve heard from Aunt Laura and my father have kept Granddad alive. When he was young, Granddad was an orchestra-quality trumpet player, but he injured his lip in a plane wreck, ruining his ability to play. Instead, Granddad turned to conducting, and by the age of 21, he was conducting his own orchestra in the pit of

The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. He lived across the street from the Fox and paid his way through school by working there. His orchestra became so popular that people would tune in to a radio broadcast to hear Pete Underwood and his orchestra. But he didn’t just share his musical talents with other professionals. According to Aunt Laura, Granddad taught the kids in the neighborhood how to play instruments, and together, all the kids would make up the Peanut Band. The band was nothing compared to the caliber of his former orchestra, but he loved teaching those kids how to play. I enjoy hearing these stories from Aunt Laura, and spending the day with the rest of my family is always a treat. Even Aunt Laura’s husband, Uncle Frank, has an interesting background, having served as a leader on a submarine off the Carolina shores during the Cold War. It’s pretty cool to come from such a talented family, but even if they weren’t kayaking in Peru, becoming conductors at the age of 21, working on a network TV show, or commanding a submarine in the Cold War, I’d still love catching up. -William F. “Trey” Underwood, III

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