Fiction Daily.
A blog on writing, writers and why we read. Posted most mornings by Marion Blackburn.
The Southern Manor
Most people who know me -- the invented me -- have no idea where, or how I grew up. I'd like to keep it that way.

I'm not a sociopath. I haven't done anything wrong. It's just that I grew up in one of the stranger situations you'd find in the modern world, a childhood that was darkened by leftover customs of the feudal South.

For four generations, my family lived in a home with a name ... MacHaven. It was built by my great-grandfather, the "Ice King," who built the Rocky Mount shops that served the north-south railroad line. He did quite well for himself.

My grandmother, his daughter, was named Marion and she inherited the house but not any money, really. The house was barren inside.

She married an ambitious young man, my grandfather Marvin, who was an American archetype in so many ways. Driven, hard working, silent. A Naval war hero who flew in WWI and was a communications officer and retired as a commander, in WWII.

I knew my grandparents as rather stern, formal people with a taste for things. I found boxes of new, unopened china in the attic after their death, gowns and fur coats stuffing closets.

Other aspects of my childhood were uncommon. My grandparents had full-time cooks, housekeepers and even a driver.

My mother, struggling with this burden of Southern stiffness, raised me to love dirt. She has always been a gardener and even today, at 71, she works in the soil as often as possible. I remember her clearly leaning on a shovel in the blazing August heat as a little girl. She still does.

Back to the invented me. I have little respect for money or riches and have never valued wealth above character. I have favored the so-called "marginal" and even consider myself part of that group.

So tracing a line through my own family history, you'll find Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames, lots of good taste. You'll also find a large family home we no longer own.

These days, though, you'll more likely find my mom working in her daylilies and me on a beat-up couch with my dogs and a book.

2007-11-29 12:38:06 GMT
Comments (1 total)
[url=]SOFT[/url] Goog!
2007-12-14 18:04:58 GMT
Add to My Yahoo! RSS