In the last days before the ending he anguished. Haunted by a public life, lived on the wrong side of history, isolated by privilege, entrenched in an old-world ethos, he lacked the perspective to see the interconnected reality of the human experience. His legacy haunts history reaching its long arm into present day where a once great nation remains divided.
In 1950, Chaney arrived at the grand-old house on Hampton Street, deep in the low-country of South Carolina, to work for my great-grandmother. In 1960, when my twin sister and I arrived, our great-grandmother sent Chaney next door to our grandparent's home to care for us. And there Chaney remained, year after year. She cooked and cleaned and fussed over us as if we were her own. She was family and we loved her. Chaney hummed when she ironed and starched the sheets. She made a savory macaroni pie and perfectly sweet iced tea. She called me "Miss Suzy." I simply knew her as "Chaney." I never knew her last name. No one did. Mama said, "No one thought to ask." And therein lies the pickle of my Southern roots.
The ancestors have arrived! Best stoke the pit!
Smoke billows from the beast ~ an offering heaven sent
The ritual has begun, the feast of ancestral ghosts
The bounty of the harvest stews as elders prepare the roast
Honoring our ancestors keeps their memory alive
Allowing the veil to open from this world to the other side
Ritual and tradition bind generations to their core
So feed your ghosts, make a toast ~ rekindle your family lore