Walter Lyons, Martha Randall

Cotton Row Club member Walter Lyons, left, and Martha Randall hold a watercolor painting of the club. Lyons donated the artwork in honor of former longtime member Billy Randall, Martha Randall’s husband, who died in November at the age of 74.

A longtime member of the Cotton Row Club will forever be remembered there following the Wednesday unveiling of a painting donated to the club in his memory.

Billy Randall, who passed away in November at the age of 74, spent a lot of time at the men’s club located on Ramcat Alley in downtown Greenwood.

Walter Lyons of Holcomb, a member of the club and a close friend of Randall’s who delivered the eulogy at his funeral, said the club was Randall’s second home. At one point in his life, Randall even lived in an upstairs room at the club.

Randall was a club fixture, running errands, washing fellow members’ cars or cooking for them.

“When he cooked, he cooked for the whole Cotton Row,” said Randall’s widow, Martha. “He was like an icon here.”

Billy Randall

Tucked away in a corner of the framed painting is a photo of Billy Randall in front of the Greenwood men’s club, which was considered his second home.

In 2010, Lyons received a watercolor painting of the Cotton Row Club from Sharrell Nelson, the husband of a woman who worked for Lyons.

For years, Lyons kept the painting in his office and then at home.

“It is something that I treasure,” he said.

At Randall’s funeral, Lyons brought along the watercolor painting and placed it with other memorabilia honoring Randall.

Lyons decided to get a small plaque reading “In Memory of Billy Randall” affixed to the bottom panel of the frame that holds the painting.

He donated the artwork, along with a photograph of Randall in front of the Cotton Row Club tucked away in a corner of the frame, to the club on Wednesday.

Chris Cascio, the owner of the Cotton Row building, said the painting will be placed on the wall.

Randall is not the first deceased Cotton Row Club member to be honored  there.

Sketches of past members hang on the walls, and some shelves feature the ashes of other members.

“In your bigger cities, you go to the bar after 5 p.m.,” Cascio said. In Greenwood, he said, the Cotton Row Club has provided that outlet, making it a place where men can discuss business deals or talk about politics and football while enjoying their favorite libation.

There are currently 70 members in the club.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

(1) comment

President

Are there any Black’s in the club, and if not can they become members in 2020.

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