I’m a two time military veteran ( Air Force Sergeant and US Army Captain) and I’m still sane. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things: Where there is smoke, it is usually followed by flame.
I purchased an old original copy of “Harper’s Weekly a Journal of Civilization” many years ago. It was dated January 6, 1866. Soon as I got it, I had it professionally framed, and matted. Harper’s Weekly featured illustrations of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
The lithograph beneath the title cover, featured a ragged old man sitting on a tree stump. He leans on a tall walking stick, as he views barren land. In the background, is what was looks like a burned out chimney stack, of what was once, a little shack. At his feet lies an old whip, which was once covered with blood and dirt.
Beneath the photo is a small caption that reads; ‘The Last Chattel’.
That was the smoke, this is the flame. I recently read a book, and put some of the words of it, in a frame. I titled it Fred remembers his grandmother Memories from one of the most famous chattel.
She was remarkable, but unsung because she was born under bondage. She served the old master from youth to old age. She was the source of all his wealth. She had become the ‘great grandmother’ for all under his command. She populated his plantation with twelve children.
She rocked him in his infancy, attended him in his childhood, she served him throughout his lifetime, and raised his children’s children. At his death she wiped from his brow, the cold death-sweat, and closed his eyes forever.
She however, saw her own children, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren divided, like so many sheep.
In the end, she became very old, having out lived the old master, and all his children, having seen the beginning, and the end of them all.
Now the present owners, find her to be of little value, because her frame is now weak and frail, with the pains of old age, over a body that was once active for many years. She is now seen as completely helpless, so they take her to the woods, built her a little hut, with a small mud chimney, and leave her to make do with whatever she can find.
She lives in total loneliness; she stands, she stumbles, and she falls, but there is no one to help her. There is no one to wipe the death-sweat from her wrinkled brow. There is no one to even place the sod beneath her fallen body.
How can this be? In the land of liberty; sometimes we forget, that there was bond and there was free. There is a difference between the ‘Christianity of the land’ and the “Christianity of Christ”. One is good, pure and holy while the other is bad, corrupt and wicked. To be friend to one, means one must be an enemy to the other. – Frederick Douglass in 1845 from the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)
Fire can warm your body and your heart, and it can heal, or destroy your soul your very soul.
I never met my mother’s mother (Bessie Green-Smith) because she died when my mother was only eight years old. Maybe that’s why my mom gave give birth to 14. She only ‘knew of her father’. When mom was checked into the convalescence home, we flew in from around the country; she was not left in the woods to fend for herself, and when she died at the age of 90, I learned the rest of her story.
The father she barely knew, was a Native American who kept count of all his offspring DURING his lifetime. When my mom was born in 1919, she was the last of HIS 33 children.
The roots run deep and there are many branches. Some of the branches broke off and some of the branches bloomed. I consider myself a late bloomer. At seven zero I decided to become my own hero. I didn’t just follow the crowd, I blazed my own trail. I claimed it, I framed it, and I put it in a book.
As a Quartermaster Officer, Issued resources to help soldiers to ‘survive and win’. As a writer with a warrior spirit I want you to ‘thrive and win’. I write to feed the brain, not entertain. It’s serious business to leave a powerful message behind, so I made some of it rhyme and some of it flow, but it’s designed to make YOU think before you fall into the brink.
As a blogger, I give you my link so you can read how I think: Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!! Is my written story. If you don’t write YOUR own story, no one else will.
Earl E. Hackett