Saturday, June 17, 2006

Praying for Sheetrock

Non fiction, it's a history of McIntosh Co GA over two generations of a paternal sheriff's family. A regular plantation they ran, knew every black in the county and would send a turkey every Thanksgiving, commandeered from a legitimate charity, to all the faithful ones-- much like old Cook Co. IL, Tammany Hall or the Old Regulars of New Orleans.

They spoke a native dialect somewhat similar to English, but they were more prosperous than many black communities spread through the South. They fished, caught shrimp, farmed land given to them by Gen Sherman in 1864.

The sheriff ruled a benevolent plantation and convinced most of them he was their friend, while he exploited them unmercifully. The Chief of Police casually shot a slightly inebriated black in the face; then they arose!!! (This was about the same time the large cities like Philly, N.O. were going over politically.)

PFS came to me with a visit from our oldest, Paul, and his daughter (actually more like a god daughter whom he has raised from 3 or 4 to her present 16). Paul is the least accomplished academically of our three, only one degree, but with street knowledge bar none.

Marie was an underprivileged youngun originally from West VA. With many such her family moved to Winston-Salem for economic opportunity-- hard working unlettered people. Paul took her in when there was no one else home. Now she computes like mad, mainly My Place, I suppose, but she's certainly learning how to read. Paul is an autodidact and has the best library of any member of the family.

Ellie has four other "godgrandchildren", little Mexicans with an illegal mother, and she had three of them over the other day for a swimming party with Marie. We all had fried chicken (from the grocery) and fried potatoes on the deck. Marie loves to swim; a few winters ago, when she was smaller and chubby, she would spend the whole day laying in an inner tube in the pool. While we were lunching today, we noticed a small snake in a fight with a large frog. Then the snake proceeded to share lunch with us. Awesome!

Marie's been living with my broadband this week. Last night I came in and introduced her to my Blake book, hoping it might elevate her mind a bit. She told me she hated school; I asked her why; "they're all unmannerly; rude; well most of 'em".

They're heading back to WS this morning. This evening we expect a flock of Gainesville and Ocala Friends with food, bathing suits, serious conversation.

It's been a busy week.


isaiah said...

Wow, thanks for sharing this post Larry. Sounds like you're having fun with family, friends and young ones. Summer is here and that means picnicking by the water's edge, potato salad, lots of laughter and lemonade!

Your post is like a sumer post card, but better- I can see, hear, smell and taste of what you've written here.

I'm not too far from McIntosh Co, GA myself...and did some serious partying in Gainseville and Ocala when I was on the road with the band.

Enjoy PFS...sounds like a great book. Happy Summer!

Larry said...

Dear Tommy, your comment is like a breath of fresh air. One thing I forgot about that memorable lunch on the deck. As we were eating the children noticed a garter snake down in the grass, then violent combat between the snake and a large frog, after which the snake was seen sharing the lunch hour with us.

If you ever go by Ocala be sure and look me up (Larry Clayton in the phone book). We have lots of room and good food and would love to see you and yours.