Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ancestral -- Hand written letters

Howard III said he wanted to share with me several handwritten letters from Big Mama!  Wow... she wrote him letters when he was a freshman-senior out at Langston University!! 1967-1971.  She'd put a dollar in the letter... never more than two dollars.  Big money at the time!

Howard doubted that Andrea or Val could appreciate significance of it... He would share such treasures with me.!!! YIPPPPPPPPEEEEEE

Never to be Found Great-Grandfather Jim Travis and Neeley - MS

My oldest brother told me about five stories....  I'm going to recount them briefly in order to fill in details a little later

Brother Cavers and possible kiss stolen question to 13 yr old boy.....sing a song come this far by faith...cry and preach at small church next door to big mama's house......   

about 12 years old, they were traveling to a small town and he looked out window and saw a sign COLORED only  mama would not explain to him... just looked away. 

3rd story about daddy often telling an extraordinary story of when he and some friends were driving a distance.... tired of fried chicken/salad in a bag. they wanted a lunch mean....pulled into a town and Dad walked into restuarnt and asked the owner.... for a colored menu.   Guy said SIR  we do not have separate menu... all of our customers are welcome to come in and sit and order..... Dad quite impressed at reverse tale of NON RACISM.  

4th story.... after I tole him we were going to Sweet Home in Chandler OK.... so he told me what Uncle DD said about the old cemetery for his (mydaddy's) grandfather and grandmother Jim and Nellie Travis... who lived as sharecroppers on the Watson plantation.  The old man/owner had allowed the many families who sharecropped to have a plot of land to bury their kin.   Likewise this was where Jim and Nellie were buried.   Time passed as our grandmother Mama Dooley and siblings moved to Lexington OK... that is where DD and daddy were raised.  DD told story that as the Old man died -- his son took over the land/farming and systematically plowed over the cemetery.. planted cotton.  My uncle DD cussed every time he told the story -- so inhumane -- we were just like dogs or no-life personhoods who were buried on HIS LAND.... so irrespective he plowed and grew cotton on the land.   There is not record of names..... so I have found out.... But can confirm the loss of place // identity destroyed -- no burial place.   Gosh a resting place is needed. 

But I think of Jim Travis as a godly man... trusting his soul to God's good keeping hand.   Knowing the evil lurking in the human heart of slaveholders in the deep southern state of Mississippi.....