Sunday, 23 June 2013


Before I tell the stories---I want to introduce more of my family and friends. And I remind you that these stories collectively make a larger point.  Tomorrow still more Sondheimer stories.

Meet my niece Vicky--Lawyer--assistant District attorney for the whole region---all three towns of my childhood. She helped me put the pieces of history together---hosted me, toured me,  fed me and gave me insights into the current mentality and character of my home towns. (Tallulah, Sondheimer, Lake Providence, La.) 

I admired her I-Pad  ----and bless my soul ---My family BOUGHT ME ONE! Thank you sweet people---I love it and I'm slowly getting the hang of it.
Meet Vicky's husband John Edward who sat still for an interview on local dynamics.
He owns a security company and Farms on the side.
Meet two of my cousins--Rusty-- left and Marty right.  I was astounded that Rusty knew all about my doings since I went West---HE READS MY BLOG.
He lives in Tallulah and I was able to consult him by telephone regarding the current state of affairs.
Two boyhood buddies---Bud and Bobby Foster.  My hosts went to some considerable trouble to find them for me---on the far side of town in a secluded bungalow.  We reminisced about old times.  Bud was a bartender for my dad---He was famous for his badminton skills---no one in town could beat him.
The emblem of my grade school---Transylvania VAMPIRES.
Historically notable for it's cluster of large--pyramid shaped mounds. 
Meet John House---the most feared lawman of my times.  A legendary enforcer who is famous for once filling up his car with lawbreakers and en route to jail stopped and arrested one more wrongdoer.  HE PUT THIS ONE ON THE HOOD OF HIS CAR AND CARRIED HIS CARLOAD OF MISCREANTS TO LAKE PROVIDENCE JAIL.
He and his family treated me to one of the great southern-fried meals of my lifetime.
Sondheimer had no full time lawman---but on weekends it sorely needed one.  So a deputy was sent down from Lake Providence---18 miles away---to maintain order every Saturday---it was usually Carl Brown---a fierce man with hair-trigger emotions. I once saw a drunken black man bump into him and receive a brutal beating with a blackjack.  Carl then dragged him to the edge of the porch and handcuff him around a steel sign pole. There he sat all afternoon and into the night---suffering from his aching head and the humiliation of being a spectacle.  Often there would be two folks handcuffed there---and on one occasion I saw three.
Only one white person was ever humiliated in this manner---HUBCAP HOLMES.  Yes that was his name in our town.  He got into an argument with Carl--that was his crime.  I can still see his incredulous sadness as he sat between two blacks. In late evening Carl would load the prisoners in his car and take them to jail. 
 Once, Carl killed a black man with his pistol and was surrounded by an angry black mob intent on killing him.  He was saved by several armed whites.
looked something like this
I was a boy of twelve when I first lusted for her.  She was a spinster who's work put her in the public eye.  She was curvaceous and friendly---had no notion of my feelings.
Six long years went by and I went away to college ----came home for a weekend and FINALLY had the courage to ask her out.  She was perhaps 36---twice my age---but still I lusted.  And just this once my courage did not fail me----told her I had to go to Vicksburg--would she like to ride along.  Amazingly, she said yes.  Off we went to tour the old battlefield---climb one of its confederate observation towers---eat a bite and return home.  I parked and made my move---she responded and we became lovers.
I went back to college---she continued her work.  It never happened again.
Fast forward 30 years---we both attended the wake of a local citizen.  Our eyes met and she smiled a knowing smile.  I sent the same smile back---We had a secret that would have shocked the town. I feel free to tell the story because she has passed on.
The father set it all in motion.  Jeff Marsh---father of 7or 8--lots of mouths to feed--no inheritance from his father to set him in motion.  But he had a friend--Mr King--who let him farm a piece of land.  It was all the help that  Jeff needed---for Jeff had two rare qualities: a VISION and the WILL to set it in motion. His vision was to have his 5 boys combine their energies in the same endeavor---farming.  Renting modest acreage they began to work together while still in high school.  They divided the profits and each was made to feel a full partner.  Six minds focused on one enterprise is a formidable force.  A synergistic feedback loop that builds a whole that is greater than the sum of it's parts.  It was efficient ---requiring no duplication of equipment.  The farming operation grew rapidly----more and more acreage was bought and leased. In time they created a corporation that dwarfed anything in the region.  Each of the sons became rich--married--- built large homes and had families of their own. The corporation is still intact though each son now has separate enterprises. I recently chatted with one of them---Cooter---yes that's what everyone calls him--who refreshed my memory.
Kudos to Jeff Marsh for his vision and will--to Lucille, his wife ---and a family with the wit and will to work together for the common good.   

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