My family and I come from Georgia, and while they have mostly died off or moved further south, I still say I hail from Atlanta. My great-great grand-daddy wore grey and fought in The War. My daddy was a dirt farmer and Mother a school teacher. Growing up years happened in that strip along the south Georgia-north Florida line on a hardscrabble tobacco farm. We also raised hogs, corn and, for a time, cotton.
Bird shooting and coon hunting marked the fall with tobacco picking, bare feet, and watermelons summer hallmarks. Winter meant busting up pine stumps and hauling oak wood for our fireplace
Would a collection such as this be complete without casting an eye back on those that struggled with you, against you, and for you? Perhaps yes, perhaps no.
A nod of recognition to my mother whose con-fidence, values, and love shape me even from her grave. I miss her. My memories curve lovingly around my brother Steve, a bright simpatico life, too soon gone. I must thank my adoptive father whom I have finally forgiven for being himself. He did the best he knew how. A great army of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents marching to different drummers, are remembered for their joie de vivre and earthiness. It has taken me a lifetime to embrace the richness of my southern roots and the strength of those in my rural community.