Sunday, August 28, 2011

Part 14-By Any Means Necessary!

Life was changing in Crackling,N.C. and America,Colored folks had begun to realize that they deserved more of this life then had been offered or given by the American society.
Folks were  questioning the status quo and refusing to accept crumbs,the sermons and prayers of Reverend John and the powerful work of MLK had awoken a sleeping giant in the Colored folk of Crackling,NC.
Just as Robert Lee slowly pulled the family 1952 Chevy pickup to the hospitals side door,Minny wheeled Sampson out the door for the joyful ride to the homestead,smiles and prayers were everywhere.
As Robert Lee turned the 52 Chevy into the long driveway to the house he could see cars and pickup trucks lined from one end of the homestead to the other.
The people of Crackling's Colored community cared for each other,no matter if you were blood related or not.
This mentality existed because of the social and economic realities for most of the population.
Billy Bob the Fire and Rescue Chief was milling around near the front door as the 52 Chevy rolled to a stop,many in Crackling understood the closeness Billy Bob felt for Sampson,Sampson had saved his life in a fierce firefight  in Korea.
For that heroic act Sampson was awarded a Purple Heart and a promotion to Sergeant First Class.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Part 13-By Any Means Necessary

Robert Lee came through the back door  out of breath he could hardly get the words out of his mouth,that he had been offered a job as a bag boy at the Piggly Wiggly.
His mother Minny stopped in the middle of dressing for her second visit of the day to see Sampson in the hospital to take in the good news in what had been a routine day of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
As Minny patiently listen to the joy and excitement coming from her oldest child,there was a certain amount of pride that she couldn't hide.
As Dr.Roan finished his daily assement of Sampson's condition,Minny and Robert Lee quietly walk into his room.
Dr.Roan had good news Sampson would survive his massive heart attack and was coming out of the coma and  would be going home in a few days.
This was the greatest news and Christmas present the Atlas family could ever want,the daily prayers of Minny's brother Rev.John had again produce miracles,that baffled the medical profession.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Part 12-By Any Means Necessary

Things were beginning to change in America,even slower in small towns and hamlets like Crackling.
The Mayor wielding the financial and political power he had,brought his board of directors of the bank together and convince them that they need to do business a little different.
One of the first things decided was to start to include the Colored population of Crackling in the economic system of the town,more then just being  consumers,but employees and stakeholders.
This was a win,win situation no matter how it was sliced for the powers that be,as Robert Lee took a seat in the office of Mayor Coop,he wasted no time getting to the point,he wanted Robert Lee to come work at the Piggy Wiggly after school as a bag boy,the pay was fifty cent a hour plus whatever tips he was given putting groceries in the cars of the customers.
Robert Lee was  smart  and tactful for his age and  explained to the Mayor that his school work came first and he would have to discuss this with his parents.
Even as he was counting up in his head how the extra money could help around the house,since there was no income coming from anywhere else regularly
Robert Lee bidded the Mayor farewell and thanked him for the job offer and ran down highway 441 towards home faster then a greyhound express bus..

Monday, August 15, 2011

Part Eleven-By Any Means Necessary!

There were very few Colored Folk in Crackling who believed the change they had seen in Mayor Coop was a come to Jesus moment,but clearly a realization that things were changing in America!
Spirituality and religion did pop up on the Mayor's radar for a minute,but after his son was healed by Rev.John's miraculous prayers,the Mayor had almost forgot about the miracle and was back to business as usually until Sampson's heart attack.
Martin Luther King had just paid a visit to Rev.John's Church three days earlier,he had heard through the grapevine of  The Southern Baptist Church Convention  of the miracles being preformed in his Church,
The last person the Mayor wanted to bring influence to the Colored folk of Crackling was MLK,he had heard and seen on the news the change MLK had brought to Montgomery,Alabama.
As Robert Lee nervously walked into the Crackling Saving and Loan,thoughts race through his head as to what the Mayor wanted to talk with him about,as he pass Ebb the Mayor's son who was back at work as senior teller,his healing everyone said was unexplainable,Robert Lee said hey to Ebb and told him he was here to speak with his daddy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Part Ten-By Any Means Necessary!

As Robert Lee stumbled into the house from school,his mother gently reminded him to keep his school clothes on for the meeting this afternoon with Mayor Coop.
The walk up highway 441 would be a cold one,but Robert Lee has walked this road all his life,the Crackling Saving and Loan was a building he passed often on his way to school,he had  been inside  once with his father Sampson,when he went in for a farmers loan,which he didn't get.
Robert Lee can remember even as a child the hate displayed by Mayor Coop and the folks he runned with for the Colored people of Crackling.
Even though half of the population of Crackling was Colored,the money and political power was held in the hands of a few White folks,which included the Mayor.
It was December 19,1959,with Sampson in the hospital and money low,the thought on everyone in the Atlas family's mind was Sampson and Christmas!
Christmas was special for Colored folks in Crackling, going to church on Christmas Eve was mandatory ,the Crackling Free Will Baptist Church would be over flowing,even the heathens would come.Rev.John would preach the baby Jesus story every year,and admonish the ungodly to get right with Jesus,because we never knew when our own time was up!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Part Nine-By Any Means Necessary!

It had been five days since Sampson's heart attack,Minny was there everyday like clock work standing by the man she has loved for twenty years.
Those twenty years had been up and down,but as Minny knew all too well,that life is not always a bowl of cherries.
She knew every situation in her life was a call from the God she believed in to stay on point ,because there was a reason for every season.
As Minny and her youngest daughter Jennie Mae set quietly in the ICU praying for their husband and father,Mayor Coop respectfully knocked on the door,he knew he had to come visit,it was Minny's brother John who had reached out with some miraculous prayers that healed his son from his rare form of cancer.
Mayor Coop also own the local Piggy Wiggly Super Market and was President of the local Saving and Loan.
While stopping by to pay his respects,he asked Minny to have her son Robert Lee  stop by the Bank  tomorrow to talk with him!
Many thoughts ran through Minny's mine wondering why the Mayor wanted to see Robert Lee so urgently.
The Atlas family were a proud family and were not the type to take charity or pity,they had their God,who always  came through.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Part Eight-By Any Means Necessary!

When Rev John prayed and spoke it seem to many, like the world had stopped and what he had to say was the order of the day.
Even Dr.Roan lowered his head in respect for Rev. John's prayers Dr. Roan wasn't a religious man,but there was something about Rev.John's prayers that  even this religious cynic pondered.
Many stories abound about Rev.John's healing powers and prayers,there was one that everyone in Crackling knew to be true where the Mayor had asked for his help in asking God for direction in his own life.
You see the Mayor's  son had suffered from a rare form of cancer,they had taken him to the best doctors in the state up at Duke University Hospital in Durham,they had all but pronounce that there wasn't anything further that they could do.
It was hard for a White man like the Mayor to ask a Black man for help,years ago the Mayor was the Grand Dragon of the KKK and his attitude then was the only good Black man was a dead Black man.
But the Mayor had begun to change with the sickness of his son,he began to realize slowly how important life was,not just a white life but every one's life.
After returning from Duke Hospital with no hope of his son recovering,the Mayor picked up the phone and called Rev.John for his help!

Part Seven-By Any Means Necessary!

As Minny paced the hallway's of the Colored section of Crackling Memorial Hospital,the children sat silently on the hard wooden benches provided in the small but clean waiting area.
Segregation is the rule of the day even in the place you go to for health care,Dr.Roan the only Black Physician on staff came out to talk with the family.
The news was not good Sampson had suffer a heart attack and it was touch and go,just as Dr.Roan was giving the family his finding,Rev. John and his wife Mildred walked in to hear the news,Rev. John  was one of those preachers who could pray,he could create a moaners bench anywhere,his prayers were so deep and intense that if God couldn't hear them it was only because,God already knew what was needed!