Heard at the Harris Family Reunion


I live in the past a lot of times. I go to sleep at night and dream of what happened years ago.

When we was coming up, the old people would be sitting and talking and they wouldn't want the children to sit and listen. They'd say, 'go off and play.' So, we didn't know nothing, unless we asked them, and it was very little that we could ask them about.

I did hear one time that Grandma and Grandpa run off and got married. He went into the Army at 17. He was a Confederate soldier. I've got his certificate. I remember him saying that when he was in the Army, he was going down the road and he found a piece of cornbread in the wagon tracks. He said he didn't shave much dirt off that cornbread because he was so hungry. He said it tasted like candy.

I remember the first linoleum that daddy ever got. Me and Howard thought that was something special. We got down and just sat on it and slid all over the floor.

‘You make a quilt every year and you'll never go without cover,’ Grandma said.

Like my sister, my older sister, when she lived in Washington, she had a neighbor whose husband was sick with cancer. And Laura was out hanging up clothes and she hollered out over to the neighbor, ‘Mrs. Cheney, how is your husband doing?' Mrs. Cheney answered back, 'I guess he's doing all right, I buried him six months ago.' And Laura didn't even know he was dead. That's just about the way it's got. We live right beside one another, but we don't mix with the people. We don't take the time.

I thought about it as we were coming up the road. I would like to have a paper and write down everybody's names, like yours, and your children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Somebody, some day, is gonna want that record.