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A daisy for Momma

The old T model Ford chugged and stammered its way along the thin pig trail that crisscrossed up the side of the Gravelly Spur Mountain.
On one side looking down was a shear drop, while the other side was straight up.
As Pearl looked off the mountainside, in the valley below the farmer’s new crops of corn were beginning to show some strength in the neatly planted rows they laid off earlier in the year traipsing behind their best mule teams.
The mountain laurel dotted the side of the mountain and a faint smell of wild roses occasionally whisped through the open car.
This trip up the mountainside would eventually reach a point where the car would stop because there was no more passable road and Grandma Kitty, Grandpa Bill and little Pearl would get out and walk the rest of the way.
Their goals were three fold — Grandpa Bill was scouting the mountainside for any usable timber, Grandma Kitty was planning to hit her favorite spots to gather remedy roots, barks and berries, but the main goal involved a tremendously large bouquet of daisies tightly grasped in Pearl’s hand.
You see this was Mother’s Day weekend and for Kitty and Bill their mothers were both in heaven.
Grandpa Bill’s mother lay in a green patch of ground nestled between stately cedar trees on the side of the mountain where generations of the family rested, while Grandma Kitty’s mother was buried miles away in another county.
Through the years they had created a tradition of alternating between the locations on days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day.
As the T model hit the end of the road, Grandpa Bill shut her off and picked up the lunch pales sitting neatly in the back seat. Grandma Kitty pulled her burlap sack from beneath the seat and Pearl jumped out without losing a single daisy from her bouquet.
As they walked up the old mountain trail Grandpa looked over at an old cabin and said, “Pearl, that there is where your great, great, great grandpappy built his home after beating them there Red Coats.”
Though abandoned the lonely the cabin still held its position strongly on the side of the mountain creating a natural fortification against potential attack from indians.
Grandma Kitty spied a bit of wormseed and she strayed from the trail to gather some to grind. Some of the neighbor’s kids had needed a batch of her remedy to rid them of worms.
The canopy of the dogwood trees almost hid the entrance to the little cemetery.
As you walk between two majestic oak trees, in a clearing high on top of the mountain, was this lush green field with lines of stones marking departed loved ones. Some stones were store bought with fancy writing on them while some were simply mountain stone where someone had chiseled in the name of those gone on.
Pearl had made this trip before and knew the ritual just as if it was a part of daily life.
As they stopped near the edge of the cemetery, Pearl gave half of the daisies to her father ‘cept six.
He took them and walked over to where his mother slept. He sat down on the grass next to the stone and started talking with her. He told her about how the crops were last year, how the children were, and anything he thought might interest her.
As he did this Kitty took Pearl’s hand and they walked to the graves of the other six mothers who came before her and placed one daisy on each plot of mountain ground.
When they finished Bill had placed his flowers on the grave, told his mom how much he loved her and said goodbye once again.
He joined Kitty and Pearl and they walked slowly to the edge of the cemetery that went up to the very edge of the mountainside.
Pearl still tightly gripped the other half of the bouquet and when the time was right she gave it to Kitty ‘cept one.
Kitty quietly held the bouquet and looked to the east to her ancestral home, she called out to the four winds to carry her love to her mother dear and she tossed the daisies across the sky and they flew through the air off the mountainside.
As Kitty walked back to join Bill and Pearl, Pearl looked up at her and handed her the one remaining daisy she would not relinquish earlier.
“Mommy, I want you to have my love now. I don’t want to wait until I have to talk to a stone or to the four winds.”
Kitty put her arms around her and Bill put his around Kitty’s. They stood there and gazed off the mountainside watching the four winds carry the daisies across the sky.
For more stories of the Gravelly Spur, see the book “A Mountain Pearl.”

The loss of history dooms our future

As we worked in the recording studio, the nearby fireworks popped and boomed in the sky nearby.
After a 10-hour day in the studio of producing the amazing talents of a group of youth bringing together some original music to share to radio, my mind set back to the coming day ahead – Independence Day.
In our family, the day always marked my late mother’s birth, now 91 years earlier, but my folks never let me forget that it stood for something so much more when a group of American patriots gathered, debated and ultimately signed a document to cut our colonial ties with England beginning years of war.
For most of these men, it meant loss, hardships and an uncertain future, but because they made the choice, our country was set on a path to freedom.
We are still a young country in the realm of our world’s history, yet in recent years, it seems many people and groups the align with spend a lot of time reframing history to reflect the lense if today’s experience and thinking. Overseas under the cloud that has risen the last two decades, we have seen terrorists destroy historical places, statues, artifacts, because those that created them did not align with their beliefs. Thousands of years wiped from the face of the earth because of the thoughts of someone today with no respect for those who came before or a desire to learn from their existence.
They judge the actions and thoughts of those set in a different time and place and often in a world we could not even envision living within, condemning them for their place in history sometimes on one aspect of their choices within the bounds of the society in which they survived.
Generations of our ancestors lived in a world in which slavery was the norm, in fact many of our own ancestors, were slaves at some point, whether they were sold into slavery for profit or as the spoils of victory between warring peoples, were born as a serf spending their life toiling for a royal land owner, or became an indentured servant to work off a debt or secure something better years in the future.
In reality, today, there are millions of our brothers and sisters living around the world who are toiling in slavery today, with their lives bartered and sold at the whims of others. Sadly, this is true even within the shadows in our present day America, inside the norms of certain cultures, and in the sex trafficking trade.
Many of us have seen the news or historical reports of millions of people killed in places around the world in an effort to end the existence of a race or tribe of people, a group of people who worship in a particular religion, or people with a different political ideology and national allegiance.
Even within our short-lived history in America, our ancestors have fought wars, skirmishes and battles to win the American continent from native indigenous people and other European powers that dominated various regions and took public policies on our own soil, that resulted in certain people following particular religions, being or certain race or nationality being persecuted or not given equal opportunities.
So, some activists, choose to wipe out the admiration and acknowledgement of millions of past Americans for the contributions of presidents, governors, legislators, scholars, educators, explorers, statesmen, military officers, and just plain folks because they condemn where that person fell on an issue, belief, political alliance or life choice. Unfortunately, now, many of have found themselves in positions of power, whether elected, appointed or hired and they bow to the loud voices of the present ignoring the voices of the millions who came before and choosing to hide away our history. Though in their time they worked and raised monies to erect statues, place monuments to people who in their time and their circumstances were those who moved or changed the world in a positive way.
As a result, we have seen statues moved, monuments destroyed, plaques taken down. At least in our country the activists have not taken on the ‘let’s blow it to kingdom come’ approach we have seen of some of our world’s greatest treasures overseas.
If we revise our history and the people who made it to suit our present prospectives, how will we learn from past mistakes? Our world and all aspects of the human experience were brought forward by flawed individuals. It’s by examining their experiences, their flaws from the modern-day lense, that we are not doomed to repeat the history they experienced. But if we tear down our past, we are simply setting ourselves up for more of the same. Learn from those who came before, don’t judge their actions based on where we are.
If you want to fix something, the same atrocities from the past exist today…. Fix that, if you look close enough, there is a living breathing person who is within your midst who needs the attention to change their life and circumstances. Spend your energies on fixing that, rather than trying to win a victory over those who can no longer speak for themselves.

 

Music DVD – Concert of Celebration

Concert of Celebration DVDMusic DVD – Concert of Celebration

$25 Donation


Share America Foundation, Inc. features in the 2012 release a cast of music stars and legends Starring Randall Franks with Guest Stars (In order of appearance) Paul Brown, The Marksmen Quartet, John and Debbie Farley, Ramblin’ “Doc” Tommy Scott, and Luke McLuke, Curly Seckler, Charlie “Peanut” Faircloth with the Trust Jesus Singers, Chubby Wise,  David Davis, Johnny Counterfit, Gary Waldrep, Barney Miller, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys, Butch Lanham, Doodle and the Golden River Grass,  Dale Tilley, Jesse McReynolds, Johnnie Sue, and Nelson Richardson. Two Hours of Entertainment, 29 Musical Performances including these favorites and more:
Ain’t Gonna Study War ♫ Amazing Grace ♫ Grandpa Was A Farmer  ♫ How Great Thou Art ♫ Wayfaring Stranger ♫ Crying My Heart Out For You ♫ You Can’t Stop Time ♫ Lord, I Am Coming Home ♫ When the Saints Go Marching In ♫ Golden Slippers ♫ Farther Along ♫ The Way Is In God’s Hands ♫ The Other Side of Heaven ♫ Cripple Creek  ♫ In the Garden ♫ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ♫ You Better Get Ready ♫ Back Up And Push ♫ When They Ring Those Golden Bells for You and Me ♫ What a Friend We Have in Jesus ♫  The Old Gospel Ship ♫ Meet Me in Heaven ♫ I Want to Go There

Two Hours of Entertainment, 29 Musical Performances featuring a host of stars raising funds for the Share America Foundation, Inc. available for a $25 donation.