by Cate Murway
Jailyn Keyoná Bryant, BHS ’13 has a favorite quotation. “Don't count the days, make the days count”. She is ardently living those words, all 86,400 seconds. Moments matter.
Jailyn comes from a large Bristol born family with a plethora of athletic and musical talents.
She is the eldest of the four children, including her sister, Zaida Janee, BHS ’15, and her two brothers, Maurice Alexander, Jr. BHS ’14, and Isaiah Nathaniel, who is in the sixth grade.
“I was born first. I’m kinda proud of that.”
Her beaming parents are Jacquie Bermudez, “my mom is unique” and Maurice Alexander Bryant, Sr. “my dad is one of my biggest inspirations”.
Jailyn’s paternal grandmother, Carol Sue [Woods] Bryant, BHS ’70 was born in historic Bristol on the Delaware and she was a powerful basketball player in high school.
Her yearbook attests that fact. “All around athlete, such a good one too. Her fair sense of play will carry her through.”
Uncles William B. “Billy” Keys, BHS ‘75 and Wayne Anthony Keys, BHS ’83 left their marks in Bristol athletics as well. Bill’s yearbook quote states “skill is stronger than strength”.
Jailyn is determined to continue the family traditions.
Her family has empowered her to become competent, capable, and compassionate. She exudes a practical and common-sense approach to her endeavors. “I hope that people want to look up to me.”
Jailyn played the demanding midfield position, "jack-of-all-trades" in field hockey, supporting both the defense and offense. The skills a midfield player must possess are those necessary in every other line on the field.
The field hockey coach, Sue French enthusiastically shared, “Jailyn was one of the tri-captains. She is a dedicated, quiet leader, a role model for the other girls.”
The admiration is mutual.
“Ms. French is good. I love her. I learned a lot from her and I knew where I was supposed to be. She drew out formations for me.”
Jailyn’s current aspirations include playing field hockey at the college level.
Sports are her passion.
She began playing basketball at the recreation center while in grade school and continued to play for two seasons at Bristol High. The softball diamond enticed her for a spring sport her freshman year, then track and field demanded her athletic prowess last year and she will be competing this spring. Training workouts have begun and she’s gearing up to run the relays.
“I’m excited. It’s my last year and I’m gonna give it my all.”
Track coach, James William [Jim] Jones, Jr., BHS ’59 shared, “Jailyn will be captain of the team. She is determined and works hard and gets better with every race.”
Sports have helped Jailyn grow into a strong leader and her commitments will be rewarded.
The best of the best will be honored for their stellar accomplishments on and off the field and
Jailyn has been chosen the “Courier-Kiwanis Scholar-Athlete”.
As a member of NHS, she ranks in the top third of her class. “I know you need a high GPA and class rank and play a lot of sports to get it.”
AP English is her favorite subject and she really enjoys reading. She is currently involved in the novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley. “My vocabulary is good and learning new words is always good.” Her academic load includes Honors Bio II and Anatomy and Spanish IV.
She has applied to Albright College in Reading; Lycoming College in Williamsport, West Chester University and BCCC to earn her degree in Business Management.
“Eventually I want to own my own pastry shop”.
Her stepfather, Nathaniel Strand taught her to make pudding pie and this was her first inspiration to learn to bake.
A mix of Hip hop and R&B music are her tune choices, and she loves Salsa dancing, especially to “Suavemente” by the Puerto Rican-American Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning Merengue singer, Elvis Crespo. She also likes to sing and dress in character for plays.
She has the role of June “Squish” in the BHS musical, “Chicago”. It is the third longest-running show in Broadway history, set in Prohibition-era Chicago. Jailyn will sing a solo monologue in their rendition of the “Cell Block Tango”, and her sister, aspiring choreography, Zaida is also performing in the play.
Jailyn volunteered to help her mom at the Bristol Borough Community Partnership’s Annual Family First Movie Night and has participated in the National Martin Luther King Day of Service. She has also helped with tours at the Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Museum.
“I love Bristol. It’s a nice quiet town and I know everyone.”
For the Oral History project, she was chosen as one of the 7th grade students to compose open-ended questions, generating great stories from Bristol’s seasoned citizens. She thoroughly enjoyed her once in a lifetime opportunity to ask Agnes Ann [Virostek] Dick, BHS ’42 what major lessons she had learned in life and what it was like to grow up in Bristol Borough.
“I loved interviewing her. She was so nice. She told me she never wore jeans.”
And Jailyn’s choice of clothing?
“It’s pretty much all I wear, jeans, sweatpants and t-shirts.”
Her favorite color is blue and her favorite number is 3.
“I’ve been told all good things come in threes”.
Favorite book? “Really, the Bible, I read that every day.”
She also has re- read, many times, The Tale of Despereaux, a Newbery Medal winning fantasy book written by Kate DiCamillo.
She loves green mint chocolate chip ice cream from the Bristol Blitz, where she worked last summer.
Her travel dreams include a visit to Rio de Janeiro and she knows there are beautiful beaches all over the world but none quite as stunning and enticing to her as the Bermuda pink sand beaches.
“I’m very involved in this community…I always want to come back.”
Recommend a "Spotlight". E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Lonnie Leon Bryant, Sr.
November 28, 1936 – June 7, 2012
Lonnie Leon Bryant Sr. was born on November 28, 1936 in New Bern, NC to the late James Henry Bryant and Evelyn Humphrey Bryant. James and Evelyn had eight children. Lonnie was the eighth child born from this union. Lonnie was raised by Uncle George and Aunt Hattie Whitfield due to the untimely death of his mother Evelyn. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Rosalyn Crawford, Vanda Boyd, Verna Small, Audrey Bryant, Floretta Holmes and his brothers Otis Thomas ‘OT’ Bryant, and Johnny Bryant.
Lonnie is survived by his wife of 42 years Carol Bryant and from this union they had 3 children. Letitia Bryant – Geames (Terry), Maurice Bryant Sr, and Kylonda Bryant, Lonnie also had 6 children from a previous union; Lonette Morris (Wayne), Derek Bryant (Mercedes), Lonnie Bryant Jr, Cager (Beano) Bryant, Floretta Denton, and Jackie Bowman (Russell), he was also survived by his sister-in-law Ethel Whitfield Bryant. He had 16 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and family.
Lonnie was employed at Waste Management Corporation for 25 years and retired in 1983. Lonnie worked 1 day a week for Schlupps Maintenance Company working out of St. Vincent DePaul’s Church. The neighborhood knew him as Mr. Lonnie and he loved everyone and was willing to help others from young to old.
Back home in ‘New Bern’ he was known as “Lemon Drop”. He loved to play his guitar, sing, and dance and he loved shooting pool. Lonnie loved his family, his dog (Spanky), and his truck. Lonnie liked to watch sports, his favorite team was the Philadelphia Eagles and he rarely missed a game. The most important thing of all is that he loved the Lord.