Robert Malcolm Cook Gholston, Birdman, as he called himself, was born on Halloween in 1986 and, from the beginning, his mom said he was the trick and the treat. A bright spark. A genius with a photographic memory and a voracious appetite for knowledge. An avid sports fan. A gifted artist. A natural leader who saw the best in us and wanted the best for us.
He was born in Greenburgh where he attended public school and graduated from Woodlands High School. He was a football player, a video gamer and an avid reader. For the past 10 years, he has been honing his skills as a studio and digital artist. He relocated to Connecticut in 2019 where he resided until his death.
Everyone who knew him will laugh when they think of his great storytelling. They will shake their heads and smile when they remember his lectures about doing right by themselves and recognizing their own greatness. They will say “He was so crazy! He was so funny! He was so smart!”
Mal had this way about him that attracted people like a magnet. He made friends everywhere he went. We couldn’t wait until he showed up because he was sure to add his special energy to the occasion. And while he was not religious, when asked, he would say that he was blessed. But Birdie didn't just make friends; he made family. If you were a part of his world, you were part of his family and he cared for you fiercely. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for you. All of us who knew him, knew that he loved us dearly and deeply. And, though he was not sentimental, he was sincere and honest about his feelings toward us all. He will be missed!
He leaves behind his parents, Anita and Felton Gholston, his siblings: Benjamin, Avery, Maya and Thera. His nephews: Jaida and Joel; his grandfather, Charles Cook; his grandmother, Maralyn Mosley; his aunts and uncles, June Castleberry, Kathy Graham, Donna Renee and Michael Mandella, Marc and Paula Cook, Woody Pascal, Christopher and Adam Mosley. His cousins: Lori and Steve Harris, Debra Castleberry, Duane and Senia Castleberry, Roderick Junior Lewis, Mary Anne Shelton, Amber Chisolm, AJ. Pascal. His favorite kids: Chase, Olivia, Jeremiah, Markie, Carter, Claudia, Cheyenne, Junior and Levy and finally Team 8: Ken, Benny, Marcel, Temesha, Liz, Meka, Turon, Justin, Morgan, Tameka, Tavon and many, many more.
Birdie’s final message to us would be...
“There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you well, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living. Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself. I love you all.”