“Keep It Moving”
“It ain’t nothing we can’t handle”
The snow sparkled atop the mountains near the city of Ogden, Utah. Nestled snuggly at the base, the beauty of the mountains was enough to take your breath away. But, for Norwood Youngblood and his beautiful young wife, Sallie Augustine, the beauty of the mountains dimmed in comparison to the excitement they felt. On June 6, 1959, the young couple who ventured from their homes in Louisiana to far away Utah received a very special gift from God. The present was a beautiful baby boy they named Carlton LaVar. Uncles, aunts, and cousins were there to greet the new arrival. On the 5th day in December, Carlton LaVar joined his parents, Sallie Augustine and Norwood and quietly stepped into immortality.
When he was just a toddler the family moved to Riverside, California. At the age of eight Carlton was given his wings to fly. His summers were now spent in Collinston, Bastrop, and Lillie, Louisiana with a host of cousins who taught him how to work, with uncles and aunts who showed him how to take care of family, and maternal and paternal grandparents who instilled in him the importance of family, the fervent love of God, and the necessity of doing what’s right. They helped him to understand that family is the lineage that God places you in; and one that you keep nestled snugly in your heart forever. It was because of the values they taught him that Carlton’s best friend was Jesus. He studied the Word and prayed continuously.
He attended high school in California, He was an Eagle Scout. President of the BSU, marched in the school band playing a tuba and learned to play the violin. He worked a summer in youth core fighting forest fires, an honorable Mason; a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, MSW in Social Work, and a massage therapist. In the City of Los Angles Carlton had the best job ever. Jewel Thais Williams gave Carlton the keys to the world when she hired him to work beside her, Rue and Vaughn at the Famous Jewel’s Catch-One , 4067 West Pico Blvd. Their friendship has been a constant through the decades.
Carlton, lovingly called Uncle Buck and his baby Sister Gwen, affectionally called Thursday had a vision that would develop into a ministry. Under the artful guidance of “Ms. Honey Do” (his mom-Sallie Augustine) and “Tater” (his dad), they started the Ambiance Network in the beautiful city of Atlanta, Georgia. His teammates work hard. Over the last 20 years the goal has been to serve great food made by amazing chefs to people all over the place. The City of Atlanta, several colleges, various organizations both private and corporate are their clients. It has been better than they ever imagined. .
Reginald said in his eulogy – Carlton was a true friend and a mentor to all who worked with him. He wasn’t all about sitting down and educating you. At the Network everyone is on The “A”Team, When you came to visit him it wasn’t unusual to be put to work. Carlton’s way was to lead by example. Carlton had a great time on this earth. He wants us to continue showing people that kindness is the key. I quote his brother “great friend, man of all seasons. He could make you laugh and give you a strong shoulder when you needed it. Most of all he did not put you in a box.
Missing his guidance and forever cherishing his memory are: his sisters and brothers Sabrina, Gwendolyn, Butch, Bruce, and Burdett and Pat, his godmother, Johnnie Shepherd, god sister, Linda Loche Odom, Uncle Silas and Aunt Linda , Aunt Hollis , Aunt Opeary Loche, T-Ola Mae, and Aunt Josie Loche, the Randle and Prejean families; The resident “A Team,”Janet, Regeanna, Reggie P, Tracie, Reginald B, Rev. Bush , Teddy, his lifelong business partners: Jewel, Rue, Vaughn , Chef Darius, Montoya , friends from way back. Linda Evans, Steve Butler, Larry Oliver. Shelly Samuels, Cheryl Blair, Karen Johnson, O.J, Ron. JB. Robb, Kevin, Dwight, Rick, host of sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews , clients from North to South East to West, Ambiance has touched to world. The list is as endless as the stars in the sky.
Last but never least, Taurean, who shared his clan with Carlton . Nieces and nephews; all amazing, all beautiful, all loved forever and always by their Uncle Carlton .
As the curtain falls for the last time, we must always remember our dear Carlton forever working, forever preparing for the next event. IF a situation came up he would say, “Keep It Moving, "It ain't nothing we can't handle!"Rest, my brother! Rest!