Moving on through the years from my childhood to my adulthood, living the inevitable changes in society, culture, and relationships , I believe,  for the most part, the progress is positive, but the challenge is on-going.

Ruth Harris, beloved sitter for Chuck and our housekeeper  , was the anchor while Byron worked in textiles and I taught at Winder-Barrow High School in the  mid-60s .  She was dependable, loyal, and a true friend, assuring us that all was well with our baby while we were earning a living.

Chuck loved her and called her  “POOF “.

One day she confessed to me, with tears in eyes, that her young son, Randy (?) was ” not right “, suffering dizziness, seizures, weakness, etc.  A local doctor had no diagnosis, prognosis, or help.

I researched, contacted Egleston , made an appointment and started the process of  helping Ruth and her child.

I took the two of them to Atlanta several times after he was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, an almost unheard of condition in those days.

We moved to Kentucky when Chuck was two, and I lost touch with Ruth along the way, much to my regret.  However, I still treasure a letter that she wrote, saying how much she missed us.

…………………………………………………………..

And eventually back to Franklin County, mid-70s, and finding a different place in many ways.   I won’t elaborate.  You have your own observations, realities, and opinions.

But I will add this :  my friendships know no color, no gender, no demographics, no favoritism.  We are all who we are, why we are , and no amount of questioning can change that.

——————————————————————

When I was an administrator at FCHS, I would sometimes have to discipline  black boys who were sent to me by a teacher.   As with all the kids, often the  ” chip-on-the-shoulder ” was  palpable, so after a greeting, I would say ,  ” Please have a seat and understand that the good Lord made you young, male, and black.  And the same good Lord made me old, female, and white.  We can’t change that, so let’s move on “.

—————————————————–

Would be remiss if I did not acknowledge certain special friends in my life :

—–Kenneth Teasley, head custodian at FCHS, who ALWAYS had my back.  When he left to take a supervisory job in Hart County, he gave me an angel to watch over me.  I cherish that.

—–Bobby and Peggy Berryman,  the epitome of community supporters.  Where there was a need, Bobby and Peggy could always be found helping.

—–Jaunita Brown, librarian in the FCHS media center and after retirement, executive assistant at Lavonia United Methodist Church.  Professionalism and efficiency personified.  ( And, yes, her name is spelled with the ” a “before the ” u ” ! ).

—–Clyde Allen,  ( “Jelly” to me ) , childhood friend re-connected in the last few years.  “Jelly” and I  traveled back in time when we saw each other.  I always got a call from him on my birthday.

—–  David  ( “Chip ” ) Prather, social studies teacher at FCHS,  undoubtedly one of the best.  Stephens County relentlessly recruited him , but he stayed in Franklin County , saying,  ” I know where the snakes are ! ”

—–Blanche and Morris Rivers, community leaders.  Blanche was a part of my childhood,  employed by the family of my dear friend, Jerri Chappelear  ( Whitlow).

—–Keith Turman,  Mayor of Royston and former FCHS student , and his twin, Kenny. Both were good kids, with Kenny being the quiet one and Keith, the live-wire.  A politician in the making, for sure !

—–Brooks Benton, retired prison warden, who has promised to sing,  ” Precious, Lord, Take My Hand ” , at my funeral.

And there are others, of course, but time and space prevent me from more.

————————————————-

However, I would be remiss if I  did not send a shout-out to all those successful FCHS grads,  whatever their color or gender,  who made my journey so very, very special.

I pray that we all, white and black together, listen to the words and wisdom of Edward Hale, who said so succinctly,

” I am just one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something “.

Amen !