Archive for the ‘Alabama’ Tag

I, Too   3 comments

Alabama2006-11-13-25Lincoln web-EditLincoln, Alabama (Old Downtown Lincoln Station By The Railroad Tracks) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

When my brother and I were in elementary school
we lived with my grandparents in Lincoln, Alabama.

My grandparents had sold the farm and moved into town.
Grandfather bought a two-pump gas station out on the Highway.

All the years since the person I remember most was Dacey Bell.
She was a young black woman who would help take care of us.

We loved Dacey Bell, and she loved us, therefore making it difficult
For us to understand why she was not allowed to eat with us.

We would ask why, but never got a clear answer — it just was.
Then one day, Dacey Bell stopped coming to be with us.

Again we would ask why — “Where had Dacey Bell gone?”
We were told Detroit, she had gone to work in Detriot.

Years later when I first read Langston Hughes’s poem, “I Too,”
The line that stood out was, “They send me to eat in the kitchen.”

. . . again I thought of Dacey Bell

— kenne

I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well, And grow strong.

Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

 

Village By Any Other Name. . .   Leave a comment

Lincoln art-72Old Town Lincoln, Alabama — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Most streets in Lincoln
were paved in the late ’40s
turning into gravel and clay
just outside Lincoln Station.

I was surprised to see
some of the buildings
still standing fifty years
after leaving this small town.

A place an adventurist kid
could take risks and survive —
a village by any other name
in northeast Alabama.

— kenne

Posted January 23, 2020 by kenneturner in Alabama, Information, Photo-Artistry, Poetry

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A Break From The Normal Stuff — Way To Go Aggies! Whoop!!!   2 comments

Aggies at the World Sports Grille In Tucson — A scene that can be found all around the world. Image by kenne

“Oh ye of little faith!” I have been connected to Texas A&M since 1977, getting a PhD in 1980 and having three children who have degrees from there. An Aggie learns early on what it is to be let down, but not today — No. 15 Texas A&M upsets No. 1 Alabama 29-24 in Tuscaloosa! Whoop!!! Whoop!!! Whoop!!!

Way to go “Johnny Football!”

kenne

 

Mother’s Mission Completed, We Celebrate Her Life   10 comments

Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Agnes. 

Willie Agnes Poe passed away (September 8, 2006) after three months of fighting post-surgery infection. During the last few weeks of Mother’s life, she shared stories of her childhood and often talked about playing with her close childhood friend, Fern.  (They remained close throughout life.)

“We had so much fun playing in the cemetery — Can you take me back to the cemetery on the hill?’ she would ask.  “I can see the man in black with a big black dog,” she would go on.

In her last days, the man in black visited her.  As we were talking, she looked straight ahead, “…see him, he is here!  Don’t you see him?”  Then she would turn and ask, “Can you bring me a big black dog?  I want a big dog!  Can you get one for me?”

“Yes, we can,” would be my reply,  We were making arrangements for Jill to bring one of their black labs by for Mother, just two days before she passed on.

On August 26, 2012, the family gathered in The Woodlands to celebrate the life of Willie Agnes Poe, which involved a brunch at Cru’ Wine Bar and a gathering at the pedestrian bridge over Grogan’s Mill Road.

After moving to The Woodlands in the mid-1980’s, Mother would walk the trails from her Grogan’s Landing apartment, which included the pedestrian bridge in a six-mile walk around the TPC golf course. Over time, Mother became functionally blind, limiting the trail walking, but not her walking. Early each morning she would spend a couple of hours walking back and forth over the pedestrian bridge. Our gathering at the bridge ended with a symbolic walk over Agnes’ bridge.

Why this celebration now? Because Mother had donated her body to the Texas Medical Center after her death, we didn’t have a family gathering to celebrate her life. It was our understanding that Mother’s ashes would be sent to us 2-3 years after her death. As it turned out, we didn’t receive her ashes till this past May.

Hall Cemetery

Several months after Mother’s death we got word that her brother, J.C. had died.  I knew immediately we were going to Alabama.   How I know just how important it was to bring closure to the Mother’s life. While in Alabama, Joy and I made a point of going to Lincoln, then two miles out to the country church and cemetery in Refuge.  She was always at her happiest when talking about her childhood in Alabama, even more so during her last days with us.  She always wanted to go back but knew she would only be able to in her vision of those childhood memories. It doesn’t go unnoted that with the importance of Hall Cemetery in Refuge, Alabama, Mother didn’t desire to be buried there. For her, a higher priority was to give her body to medicine.

While visiting Hall Cemetery, I wanted so to turn around and see two little girls playing in the cemetery on the hill – to see the man in black with the big dog – to hear them laughing, and see the joy when the big dog came running to the children.  Instead, Joy and I walked silently, on this sunny fall morning through the small cemetery on the hill, which now represents the burial-place of the last surviving member of the Confederate army. As fate would have it, as we walked through Hall Cemetery, a black dog appeared.

By making the journey to Hall Cemetery, I have for my life captured the feeling of two little girls laughing and playing in a world that never vanished from Mother’s vision of happiness.  Real or not, it was real for her – now it is real for me, and I might add, Joy.

kenne

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A Celebration Of Life

“When the child was a child, it didn’t know

It was a child

Everything for it was filled with life and all life was one

When the child, when the child

The child, child, child, child, child

And on and on and on and on, etc. And onward

With a sense of wonder

Upon the highest hill. Upon the highest hill

When the child was a child

Are you there

Shassas, shassas

Up on a highest hill

When the child was a child, was a child, was a child

Was a child, was a child, was a child, etc.

… and it’s still quivering there today”

 

from, Song of Being A Child

Music by Van Morrison, Words by Peter Handke

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