The Whitworths

It was both a complicated and a simpler place and time
A very noisy and sometimes uncivil place, but very little crime
A place though legally dry, yet filled with moonshine and wine
Where peace and freedom were purchased by everyone staying in line
A place where ‘the few’ ruled and the masses got further and further behind

Corn, cotton, hay, and soybeans ruled the day from rising to setting sun
People here believed in the Bible, but also cherished their rights of owning a gun
For us kids, the crickets and lightning bugs on dark nights were great sources of fun

Except for a few bad apples, the people I knew were good and decent ones
The women were strong, kids well-mannered, and the men hard-working and worn
The southern social order of the region was well established long before I was born

As I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, my life moved at such slow pace
In this separate and unequal society, I knew several families in the White race
There was one custom required by all those of us who were blessed with a Black face
This Jim Crow custom required that we enter by the back door for any care, cause, or case

As if put in place by God to ease the plight and the pain, there was a most memorable home to which I must refer. These dear ones were as white as all the rest, but they were different in both their demeanor and their deeds. When in my middle teens, I was hired to mow their lawn once a week. It’s not that they did not have a door in both front and back, but I well remember mostly being encouraged to enter through the front door of their home.

I left home after high school and never saw them again, but till now I have the most pleasant memory of them. I remember their chickens, hen-house, and eggs. I remember their gentleness which even now gives me watery eyes, because they were nice to me in a way that was not popular at the time. I knew them 50 years ago, a man and his wife, both elderly at the time. They were the Whitworths.

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I am a retired minister and the husband of Barbara for 42 years. We reside in Sacramento ,Ca. We have two sons and a daughter, and we are the proud grandparents of 6 children.
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Saurin Desai

may the tribe of the ‘Whitworths’ like increase…