After reading The Help, I can't wait to see the movie which features several from the Midsouth area. People who were not a part of that era in which I also grew up, can't begin to imagine the stupidity and ignorance of snotty rich white folks. I recall seeing segregated bathrooms and water fountains and I remember the first black student who attended my school, in the 5th grade. Which was ummm....I was around ten or so. Growing up on a farm with black families beside mine, I never gave it a second thought. They weren't the help. They were family.
Annie Laura was one of those and so was Margaret. While Mama and Daddy worked they kept an eye on us and made sure nobody got hurt. Margaret made the best chocolate meringue pie I've ever tasted. She kept her hair in tiny braids giving her a pixie faced appearance, and we all adored she and her husband Nelson. He cooked bbq in an earth pit every year on the 4th. The real deal. I went with Annie to take him to the nursing home after Margaret died and he got cancer, and it was a real sad moment for all of us. Now she's in one too, and rarely gets a chance to visit. I see her more often than anybody because she comes in the sawmill more and more.
Mama's family had Big Zettie and Miss Rosie, who wore a paper bag on her head. As you can imagine, Zettie looked a whole lot like Aunt Jemimah and didn't take no lip. One of my favorite family pictures shows them all gathered around the fireplace one year at Christmas with my prissy faced great grandmother glaring through her wire rimmed glasses. I've heard she was a real doozy when she was younger. By the time I knew her, she was middle aged and lost some of her fight. Everybody I heard her say "God knows!" when I'd act a fool, I thought she was saying something about god's nose.
Per my usual Pollyanna persona, I am looking at the "half mowed side" and thinking about possibilities. Or maybe, I'm just out of the mood now.