A Little Twig from Ladonia (My Family Tree)
By Mary Katherine James Dowell -- 1987
Provided by Glenn Ann Dowell Hunt
The Country -- (1 of 3)
My brother, Buddy, and I were more fortunate than most growing up children. Instead of having one home where we were loved and cared for we had two. One was the country with our mother and dad and our black friends. The other was in Ladonia with our grandparents, Frank and Emma Roan.
Buddy stayed at home more than I did because he could ride his high spirited Shetland pony to school. I was a "fraidy cat" and would not ride anything but an old plow horse called "Henry." I can truthfully say the most miserable time I ever spent was riding that horse up Sweat Box road to school. Buddy's pony was like sitting in a rocking chair but I was scared to death of her! Sometimes he could persuade me to ride Nell, but not often. He always ended up carrying all the sweaters, coats, books and lunch. I look back now and know I was a trial to my little brother - but he still loves me in spite of it all.
When school was out we went home, to the country, for the summer. Missouri Parker was a colored lady who lived on the farm. She had four boys that helped Daddy with the farm work. She had two younger boys that Buddy played with. They would hunt, fish, ride horses and get in all kinds of mischief. I spent a lot of time at Missouri's house.
Her mother, Granny, lived with her and she was one of my special people. When I was there Missouri would get dinner ready and she, Granny and I would eat before the boys came in from the field. Buddy would always eat with the boys, but she never would let me. I finally figured it out. I was a girl and she had her reasons.
One morning I did manage to get off with Buddy, Jew and Woody. We played all morning in a creek ditch. It was sandy and a good place to roam. The Johnson grass that grew on the sides of the banks made a shade. Once I thought I heard someone call and I mentioned it to the boys and they said it was a rooster crowing. When we finally realized we were hungry we found we were about four miles from home. When we got home we ran into a storm! Daddy and two neighbor men were on horseback looking for us. All the field hands were out of the cotton fields helping in the search. They had already dragged three pools looking for us, or our bodies. Mother was wandering around like she was in a trance. She did not have on a hat and that summer sun nearly cooked her. We could not understand why...
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Her mother's book provided to us by:
Glenn Ann Dowell Hunt