In 1902, William Alvis Rich left Baltimore, Maryland and returned to his hometown of Graham, NC. With him were his wife Lettie McCoy Rich and a two-year-old son, Alvis M. Rich. W.A. Rich had gone to Baltimore to work and study the art of embalming and the business of funeral directing. Upon his return to Graham, he established the first professional and licensed business in Alamance County whose sole purpose was the caring for and burial of the dead. During the next eleven years Mr. W. A. Rich practiced his profession with his brother, James A. Rich.

Our Family Serving Yours

William Alvis "W. A." Rich died in 1913. His brother James continued operating the business and was later joined by W. Ernest Thompson as a partner. In 1919 Alvis M. Rich, son of W.A., graduated from Brown's College of Embalming and followed the footsteps of his father, making the practice of funeral service his life career. In 1926 the funeral service was incorporated, with its owners being James H. Rich, Alvis M. Rich, W. Ernest Thompson and Charles A. Thompson. That same year, Rich & Thompson opened a location in Burlington. It was located on Church Street at the site of the present Duncan's Exxon Service Station. While the new business opened and became more and more successful in Burlington, the Graham branch continued operation until 1935. In the 1930's James Worth Rich, James H. Rich's son, joined the business. It was at this time that Frank M. Rich also joined the firm.

What the Deaf Man Heard

Looking to leave their run-down life behind, little Sammy Ayers (Frankie Muniz) and his mother, Helen (Bernadette Peters), board a bus bound for Georgia hoping for a new start. But Sammy's dream is soon dashed when he wakens the following morning next to an empty seat. His mother has vanished! He responds by shutting himself off from the world and pretending not to hear or speak. Bus station manager Norman Jenkins (Tom Skerrit) and waitress Lucille (Judith Ivey) befriend young Sammy and offer him a place to stay. For the next twenty years, Sammy (Matthew Modine) continues to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone in town by remaining silent. When he over hears a scheme that could hurt the people he loves, he enlist the help of an unlikely ally-the wily local trash hauler (James Earl Jones). Join in the fun as Sammy cleverly turns the table on an entire town!