Have you ever heard that song, Family Reunion by the O’Jays? That song always takes me back to my younger days when my Dad would take us “next door” for our own family reunion. Back then, it was a one-day cookout beneath the shade trees. I can still smell the meat on the grill and the aroma wafting from the covered dishes spread out on the tables. Music would be playing in the background as we kids ate, played, looked for our names on the family tree – near the bottom, and caught up with family. Our older family members always wanted to know who we belonged to. That question was easy enough to answer. But we better know who they were as well.
Then there was the story. My father was the first person to tell it to my sister and me over the dinner table. Then I heard it again during the reunion. The story went this way: During the Civil War, our ancestors fled their mainland plantation. When they arrived at the great water with the islands in the distance, they stuffed the mouths of the babies with cotton and swam on over. That was all that was known. No one knew of their actual experiences. That story died with them. But the tale of their flight has always stayed with me. It was my husband’s idea to create a novel that would fill-in-the-blanks, and that was how Marshland was born. I could have totally missed the mark with my interpretation and crazy imagination. Or maybe I was on the right track and my ancestors helped me with my story. I would like to think it was the later. So thank you ancestors for your bravery that would earn us our island legacy. I hope I did your story justice. If you want to know how we ended up on that vast property where we now eat, dance (Most likely to that O’Jays song), and enjoy our family, I invite you to read Marshland, on Amazon.