It was a hot day, June 22, to be out in a canopy on the lawn of the Ruston City Hall but myself and two special author friends sat there from 8 am until 6 pm selling books. Ruthie Almond from Laneburg, AR, and Patty Wiseman from Marshall, TX, were gracious enough to join me for the Peach Festival that day. We had a lot of fun meeting the Ruston folks as well as people from the surrounding area, and as far away as south Louisiana and Monroe area as well.
I drove down the night before as did Ruthie. Patty joined us the next morning. Ruthie and I, along with the help of my Aunt Sue (with whom I spent the night) put the canopy and tables up at our assigned spot on the corner of the City Hall lawn right out front near the sidewalk Friday evening. The next morning we three authors set out our books and chairs and starting meeting people shortly after 8 am, signing and selling books. It was an awesome day for sales. We also got some really great peaches.
We pulled up stakes shortly after 6 pm and headed home. I was very glad to have the help taking down our booth and was also very glad to have my comfortable car with air conditioning for the almost 2 hour trip home to Camden. What made it very special (besides having good friends with me) was that it was my Mama's 87th birthday. Each person who looked at the book, and each person who bought one of our books was shown her picture on the back cover and told that it was her birthday. This book was not possible without my Mama's fantastic memory and her willingness to tell all those wonderful stories about her life growing up on cotton farms as a young child, teenager and young woman.
Grandma Eliza and Grandpa Clarence would be so surprised to know that so many people have been interested in and read about the life you all lived back in the day. They would also be very proud. Thanks Mama for sharing. To date we have sold about 750 books and we are not finished yet. To think it all started because I wanted to write down those precious memories to share with our younger family members so they would know the family history of the sharecropping side of the Laird family. It did not really occur to me that it would be published. Now many others around this country know those stories as well AND we have met so many children and grandchildren of other sharecropping families who have shared some of their memories with us. Awesome!