Today would be my Grandmother's 105th birthday.
I first published this memoir in 2006.
It was July 5th 1907. With temperatures creeping up to the 100 degree mark it was undoubtedly a hot and scorching day in rural East Texas.
My Grandmother was born into a sharecropper family.
Here is description of what being a sharecropper was life after the Civil War.
The Civil War changed many things, among them, who owned what. Many Texans never returned from the war, some killed, some relocated to other states or nations. Their land was sold for taxes, and so was the land of some who returned without funds to pay their taxes. By the 1870s, as many as 70 percent worked land they did not own. They became sharecroppers. This is how it worked: the land owner provided land for farming, shelter for the farmer and his family, equipment such as mules, plows, seeds, and, most importantly, credit for living expenses until the harvest. The sharecropper provided his only resource, his labor. When they settled up, the landowner received three-fourths of the yield and the sharecropper one fourth.On its face, this seems fair, considering the lopsided investment of the landowner. But the sharecropper had to pay back the "credit" for his living expenses, and most of the time this required all he had earned. Possibly, he owed even more. This was easy to arrange by "fixing" the prices. So the sharecropper had little choice but to remain on the place and do it all over again next year and try to produce more so he could get out of debt, but nearly always finding the same debt waiting at the end of the row
I find the longer those who have gone on before the more we miss them.
Things we wished we had asked....Things we'll never know.
How I wish I could sit at your table again...
Happy Birthday Irene.