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I was in the 5th grade at Alice Thurmond Elementary school before I ever had a black classmate. His name was Vernell and the old bat teacher just hated the way he stuck a pencil behind his ear and looked bored to be there. Of course she also hated the rest of us too. She just hated the world in general,I think. She threw erasers at Vernell to try and get his attention but it never worked with him. Kept me in line though..just watchin' those erasers fly across the room. I was always such a good little girl.

Now, it seems odd that I was segregated at school until the age of 10. Having grown up on a farm where black and white families happily co-habited I reckon it was a non-issue for me. Son and Lockie were our closest neighbors and they welcomed me in anytime and put me to work gathering eggs from the henhouse. When the river flooded I'd shuck the shoes and go exploring in the backwater behind the chicken houses for marine life. Tadpoles are good....snakes R bad. okay? The snakes liked to slither into the chicken house and eat the eggs too.

Miss Lockie would gimme a quarter for a basketfull of eggs and I'd go back across the road to my boring old house with the bratty little brothers. Dang, I always wanted a sister. Bad. Instead, I had Margaret and Annie keeping me company and making chocolate pies to die for. Margaret's husband Nelson was Annie's brother. Me and Annie drug him out of that old shack on July 4th and took him to the nursing home in Lake County when she couldn't make the trip out here anymore 4 times a day. He died shortly thereafter, and I still miss his BBQ pit on summer holidays.

When Son died, his side of the road got divvied up betwixt and between a kazillion kids and grandkids. The current mayor of our little community is Mozella, one of his in-laws. The other side remains a gift for our family as long as the karma lasts.

We have to buy our homemade Christmas sausage now, but the peaches-n-cream corn is plentiful for a few days in July at about the time the tomato crop kicks in and the electric bill hits 200 and my Daddy has a birthday.

Gotta run now. The hummingbirds are circling for food and damn if my feeders aren't in the sink drying out.

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