Thursday, August 2, 2007

A little bit of history

Ok, has been a while...As you all know. My Grandfather passed away on July 27th and my life hasn't been the same since. I still miss him alot...We left to West Virginia on July 31st. It really is much more beautiful than I remember it being but I guess the last time I was there was in the summer of 1994 and chidren don't quite see things the way that adults do. Riding through the mountains and the beautful ness made me realize just why my Grandfather wanted to go back there. What I didn't realize was that He just left Cali in the beginning of July, and he died at the end of it. It was like that was where he wanted to be for real. I walked into the house and I didn't recognize anything. My mom kept telling me that that was my Grandfather's house, but i didnt see any of his belongings, I didnt smell his cologne. It didnt feel like my Grandfather was in that house. I still didn't truly understand why he wanted to be there, children, no one to be there for him when he took his last breath. I didn't understand until I went into the back yard...

It turns out, that my Grandfather was born on the same land that he died on. Behind the house that he finally came to own was his childhood home, falling apart and breaking down, not even fit to be walked into. That land, that house was Grandpa's pride and joy. The story goes...

When my Great-Grandmother was alive some people (White, just an observation)
came and told her that she had to start paying double the taxes on her land that she
already was paying. She and my Great-Grandfather owned one complete mountain
that was passed down to them from their mother Sarah Charlton. Their family of
slaves was given that land when slavery ended. When the banks came down and
told my Great grandparents that they had to pay more taxes on their land they
were forced to sell it. My grandfather could remember as a child when his mom
would take him all around and tell him the story of how much land she owned...
which was now reduced to the land under a 2 bedroom shack where the whole
family lived. When my Grandpa and his younger brother grew up and made some
money they bought the first piece of land back for their mom and built her another
small house on it. Eventually they bought back every piece of land that was once
theirs and the last piece of land that they could buy was the piece right in front of
his chidhood home. The people he bought that piece of land from had built a home
on it, and instead of tearing down that house, my grandpa just decided to move
into that house. At the time of his death my Grandpa and his brother owned a full
mountain and while I'm not sure of the achorage of the rest of the land, I do know that
if you were to stand on top of the house...All the land you can see on every side of the
house belongs to my family. Cool huh???

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Posted by ME at 9:36 PM