I was fortunate enough to meet a sister of my immediate neighbor to the west this evening.
How this meeting came about is, I was taking Paxton (and Kali) for our evening walk. The cows were out and Paxton had gone to say, “Hi!” to them. Because he had visited the cows, he was an excited puppy and had a spring in his step.
When we were about .20 of a mile away from the house, I noticed a woman walking in the road towards me. She was pushing a baby in a stroller. I knew that an excited Paxton and a baby being pushed by a lady in a stroller wasn’t a good combination. MFH (My Favorite Husband) was outdoors, so I gave him a holler to bring me Paxton’s leash so I could get him into the house without any trouble.
The woman and the baby had paused while this was happening so as soon as I got Paxton into the house, I walked across our property to where she was and introduced myself. I told her I would keep Paxton inside so she could walk with the baby and enjoy the nice evening.
She introduced herself to me and told me she was the sister of our neighbor. I didn’t know our neighbor had any more sisters seeing as the only one I knew about had passed from cancer a few years back. She’s a pretty quiet lady, though, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised?
Anyway, the sister said she lives in Indianapolis! She had moved up north in the late ’60′s. We got to talking and got acquainted. I really liked her~super nice lady!!!
She and her adult children, aunts and uncles were all here for Memorial Day weekend. They had gone to a little cemetery I run past practically every day. Her grandfather is buried there.
See, I knew the story about that church where the cemetery is located burning down some years back. When we first moved here, one of the men I lifted with at the local “Y” had been the minister of that church when it had burned. It was a sad story and the church just quietly folded and the people melted in to different MB congregations in the area.
She told me how that was one of the last rural MB Churches in our area to be torched as a result of Civil Rights and segregation. The story broke my heart.
Then she proceeded to tell me about how her grandfather had been a freed slave! He had been able to purchase his freedom. Think about it~how awful that a person have to buy their own freedom!!! That’s so wrong.
He had been an entertainer. That is what his owner made him do. He could sing and dance so his owner cashed in on that.
During his performances, people would throw money at him. He saved that money to get to be a free man. Once he had obtained his freedom, he used his savings to buy 200 acres. Her family, her grandfather had originally owned the land on which I now live.
I don’t know what happened that brought about the circumstances for him to sell off most of his 200 acres. They now live in a small house next door to me. I think their small lot is all that is left of that 200 acres.
Nicest people in the world and terrific neighbors!!!
So, you ask me, why did I title this blog, “Sally Freeman Lane?”
Well, when I run Limerock Road, which is only a couple of miles away, I pass a tiny gravel road called, “Sally Freeman Lane.” I know a tiny bit of the history from the Civil War and Civil Rights era. I’ve been taught that sometimes when a person had been freed or had purchased their freedom, they were given the last name of “Freeman.”
Many times as I’ve run past that little road, I’ve wondered about the history of that name. I’ve wondered who Sally was. I’ve been curious as to whether she had ties to slavery (which was prevalent in my area) and if so, to whom she had belonged or what freed person she had relations to.
I think maybe I might have found out!
*pic of Limerock Road*
Having grown up in “the north,” I have to say that what we were taught in school regarding the Civil War and the Civil Rights Era and what I have learned about that horrible conflict and what the people of Mississippi endured during that era since I’ve moved to Mississippi….we’ll I’m not proud of either “side!”
There is simply no excuse.
What a terrible scar on our country’s history. Such complete disregard for human life!
It angers me.
Even with all of that, I am proud to be a Mississippian!
MFH and I have lived all over this country and I have to say that Mississippi is my favorite place we’ve lived. The people, the friendships (the nice, toasty weather!), second to none.
#Blessed to live in Mississippi.