Wooden Markers on Slave Graves

2009: Mr. Burnett agrees to take me and my friends to Hester Cemetery, in the country between Lenox and Eldorado. The father of my friend Mary, Mr. Burnett is a handsome elderly man. He lives in Eldorado, not too far from the cemetery, in a lovely country home that makes me think of homemade cakes [...]

Bees, Tombs, and Crumbling Graves

As I moved from one grave to another, my husband warned me to keep some distance from a tomb that was swarming with bees. By not getting too close to the vault, we were able to avoid the bees, and they ignored us.

Keeper of Graves

  Mrs. Miller asks me what I believe in. Just like that. No warning. Out of the blue, the slim woman with dark coffee-colored skin tosses the subject of spiritual beliefs between us, tosses it between the cemetery where she stands and the edge of the woods near me. I’ve been searching in the wooded [...]

On the Hunt for Graves

I was at Martha’s Vineyard a few weeks ago when my phone rang. Emory Tucker, my father’s first cousin, was on the other end. “Brenda! Where are you, girl? I’ve got another place to show you where you’ll find some old graves,” he said, his voice booming, softened around the edges. Emory knows I’ve been [...]

Searching for William J. & Susan Royal Story

If you read my posts, you know I’m writing my second novel, and you know I enjoy searching for forgotten graves. It’s what I do. I have to stop writing at times to go exploring. If not, I'll go stir crazy. Last week, though my husband seldom accompanies me on my explorations, he decided to [...]

These Dirt Roads of Georgia

In the 60s and 70s, as a young girl, I ran barefoot through the hot soil of plowed fields and along dirt roads that led to blackberries. At the end of the day, darkness settled and fireflies came out of hiding to dance and put on a show. Life was simple and beautiful and carried [...]