During the turmoils of the present and the unknown future I now reflect on the past, also called by some, “The Good Ole Days”. I remember what it was like growing up on a plantation in the South during the 1960s. The plantation located in Grapeland, Mississippi. Grapeland was a small plantation that had a two lane road which was considered to be the main highway that connected other plantations and the nearby towns on all sides. There was one store called, “The Grapeland Store” that was a one stop shopping center. The plantation owners conducted business there and the owners of the store lived in the back.
On the other side of the store there was a room that had what we called, because we didn’t know the proper name, a “seebird” in it. A few of us cousins would sneak away and listen to music. You would put coins into the box and all of the trending music such as, The O’Jays, Jackson Five, Glady Knight, you name it all of those poplar musicians would be on the roster to play. That is where I learned to dance from one of the older cousins on the plantation.
The people that lived there mostly consisted of my family meaning Aunts, Uncles, Grandmother, Cousins, etc., a hop and a skip down on both sides were other small plantations.
There were two (2) churches on the plantation. The New Morning Star Baptist Church consisted mostly of family members and The Strangest Rest Baptist Church had attendees that were family friends or the other people on the plantation.
There was an Indian Burial Mound on the back of the plantation that was hidden off so most of the children did not know that it was there.
There was a large Pecan Orchard there. During the “pecan season” the “hands” as we were called, would “pick” the pecans for the plantation owners and after he had acquired all that he wanted he would declare the orchard “opened” and that meant that the plantation hands had the rights to pick pecans to eat or sell if they could find enough.
For the small children during the summer months, our days consisted of make shift games as we could not afford “real” toys. One of my favorite games was a form of dodge ball. There was an old one room school building that once a new school was built for the White children the Black children were able to attend that school. Anyway, we would divide up into 2 teams and team would be on one side of the building and the second team would be on the opposite side. The goal was to toss the ball over the building and someone from the other side catch the ball. After the ball is thrown you better start running because you never knew when the opposing team would be headed your way. Once the other team caught the ball they would run to the opposite side of the building and whoever was slow running or waiting for the opposing team to come around to the other side would get the crap popped out of them.
This is part 1 of my memories in time series….stay tuned for more to come!