All posts by busyorganizing283285

Ohio born, Michigan raised Baby Boomer who's worked over 30 jobs / careers since I was 14, almost non-stop. In between Life and Work, I try to maintain my Love of Reading and Writing by finding inspiration wherever I find myself.

75 SOUTH (A Mini Series) Part 13

It was Epsom salt time!

I was feeling out of sorts, out of my mind and more confused after talking to Vickie.  The only thing I could think about right now, at this moment, was soaking in my tub filled with Epsom salt.  Tomorrow would be here before I knew it and I, along with my parents would be heading south.  As I began to run the water in my Sanford cast iron, clawfoot tub someone was ringing my buzzer.  “Not now” (I yelled to the air).  I continued running my water and pouring the salt thinking about how all my troubles were going to fade away once I stepped my body into this elixir.  Somebody was still ringing my buzzer.

“Who is it!” (I yelled through the buzzer).

“It’s us Thomasina, let us in.”

“Who is us?  (I yelled back).

“Artesia Ms. Tommie. It’s Artesia.  Jay and Anderson are with me.  Can we come in?

“Artesia!  What’s going on?

“Hey Ms. Thomasina, this is Jay. We just want to talk to you. It won’t take long. Come on, buzz us in please.”

“It’ not a good time. I was just about to take a bath.”

“Girl, come on now. Put on a robe. It won’t take long. We need to talk to you right now.”

“OK, OK Anderson.  Give me a minute and I’ll buzz y’all in.”

I turned the water off, grabbed my robe and house shoes and buzzed the trio in.  I’m not sure why they were here but it looked like the only way I was going to get rid of them was to see what they wanted.   Oh my God. (I thought to myself)  I have not talked to any of them since I left on vacation.  I hope Linda broke the news to them so I won’t have to look like the tyrant.  God, I hope that their severance package was fair, I pray that they got jobs at good properties.  Poor Artesia, she’s so shy, hopefully she’s going to be OK with another manager.  Anderson, Anderson sounds like he’s pissed at somebody – I hope it’s not me.  If any of them can handle the situation it’s Jay.  He’s a free spirit and he probably can’t wait to take whatever money they gave him and start his own business.  Anyway, Anyway…

“You go open the door or what Boss!”  (Jay yelled).

“Hey, come on in y’all.  So what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”

“What you got to drink in that fridge Miss Powell?

“Help yourself Jay. It should be something in there to your liking.  Artesia, Anderson, you want something to drink, something to eat, some chips or something, there’s some barbecue fritos on the counter, help yourself.”

“So when you leaving?  (Anderson asked).

“Tomorrow.  I’m heading out tomorrow morning.”

“Well what about us Miss Thomasina. What’s going to happen to us?”  (asked Artesia).

“Didn’t Linda talk to you all.  Linda did tell you about Mort selling Paradise, didn’t she?”

“Yeah, yeah Boss.  Linda told us, she told us everything. Good looking out – Linda told us that you wanted to make sure we got treated right, fair.  We all got offers to go somewhere else.  I for one go take my small severance  and chill for awhile.  I don’t know if I want to be a janitor at another property.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think I want to be a janitor period.”

“Well Jay.  What do you want to do?”  (I asked).

“Right now I wanna finish off this golden champale I’m drinking.”  (we all laugh).

“Artesia. What about you. What do you want to do sweetheart?”

“I’m not sure Miss Thomasina.  I was thinking about going to Community College.  You know, take some classes in something.  I don’t know though.  I’ll be 20 in a few weeks and all I can think about right now is buying me a new used car – something a little more reliable than what I got now.  What you think I should do Miss Tommie – should I go to another property and pick up where I left off?”

“I don’t know Tesia.  Do you like working in Property Management?”

“Paradise is my first job.  I don’t know if I like it or not.  I know I liked working for you and working with Anderson. I even like working with Jay sometimes….

“What’s that suppose to mean shy girl?” (Jay asked).

“I mean, I like working in property management at Paradise because you, Anderson and Miss Thomasina work there.  Most of the tenants are like my friends, like uncles and aunts that I never really had.  I’m not sure if I like the job more than the people that work and live there.  It probably won’t be the same somewhere else.”

“Anderson, you got to be thinking about maybe retiring now.  I’m sure Mort was generous to you – long as you been keeping that property in working order.  What you think old man?  You got it in you to maintain another building at this time?”

“I got your old man Miss Powell.  But seriously.  Ever since Lula Mae passed I’ve been asking myself that same question, better yet, been asking myself who I’m working so hard for now at my age – You know I’ll be 62 next month?”

“That’s all! (yelled Jay).  I thought you was at least 80 man, you only in your sixties?”

“Alright young blood.  Show some respect to the old man who taught you how to use tools and then some.”

“I’m just playing with you man.  You don’t look a day over 60.”

“I know that’s right.  If Lula Mae was still alive – she would agree with you. God knows I miss that woman.  My only regret is that we could not have children.”

“Why not Anderson?” (I asked).

“We tried. Lord knows we did.  I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

“Anderson, where you and Lula Mae from?”

“Well Thomasina. We came to Detroit so long ago – it feels like we from here. We came here, me and Lula, when we were in our teens. We went to high school together, and once we graduated, we followed my brother Don this way. Don had got a job at the Ford plant and helped us out till we got our footing.  We came from Clayton. Clayton Alabama.”

“When’s the last time you been down south Anderson?”

“Oh Thomasina. It’s been a long spell.  I’m not sure if anybody I know is still there, in Clayton.  Me and Lula Mae got here and never looked back.  We stayed in touch for awhile with friends and kin folk – after our parents died, we went to the funerals. After that, we never went back.”

“What you doing tomorrow Mr. Anderson?”


B. Knox

To be continued



75 SOUTH (A Mini Series) Part 12

“Miss Love is from Tuscaloosa.”

“How you know where she from Tommie?

“She told me, she told me. Her and her sister, her little sister Lizzie, they from Tuscaloosa Vickie.”

“I thought you said something about pecans T.  You said she left a message for your daddy about the pecan harvest.”

“Yeah, that was the first time I talked to her, when I ….

“The first time T.  The first time, you talked to this woman more than once over your parents house?

“No, No Vickie.  I talked to Adaline, I talked ….

“Adaline!  Who is Adaline Tommie?  You said you talked to a Miss Love.”

“Listen Vickie, stop interrupting me.  I’m trying to tell you, let me tell you.  Adaline, Miss Love, Adaline is her first name, I’m trying to tell you that I talked to Miss Love, Miss Adaline Love.  Before we hung up the phone at my parents house, she asked me to write down her number.”

“After she told you about the pecan harvest T.?

“No Vickie. After she asked me about my eyes.”

“About your eyes!  What does that mean, what, what did she want to know about your eyes T.?

“Vickie, the woman asked me if I had hazel eyes.”

“That don’t make no sense Tommie. I thought you said you didn’t know her. Why would a perfect stranger, someone you’ve never met ask you something like that?  How does she know what color your eyes are?”

“Cause her eyes are hazel too.”

“What! (Vickie screamed).

“And so is her little sisters. Miss Love, and her sister Lizzie, both got my eyes.”

“Where did they get them from Tommie? Where did they get your eyes from?”

“The question is Vickie. Where did I get their eyes from.?

“Is that why you’re going to Alabama Tommie?”

“No, No Vickie. I’m going to Alabama on a work assignment for Linda and Mort. I’m going to a town called Three Notch.”

“Three Notch?  I’ve heard that name before. I can’t remember if it was my mom or dad who mentioned it, but, I know I’ve heard that name before.”

“Well, like I said V.  I’m leaving tomorrow.  And, guess what.”

“What Tommie?”

“My parents are coming with me.”

“Are you planning on visiting Tuscaloosa T.?


“Do your parents know?”

“I think so.”

“Hey T. Stop in Atlanta and pick me up. I’m go ride with you.”

“Thanks V.  I was hoping you would say that. See you in a few days.”


To be continued.

B. Knox

75 South


75 SOUTH (A Mini Series) Part 11

“Hey Vickie.  I was just about to call you girl. You must have heard me thinking about you long distance.”

“Maybe, maybe not Tommie.  I figured since you won’t pick up the damn phone and holler at me I’m go have to do the calling, the checking in, the seeing about my best friend and why I ain’t heard from her ass in so long.  What’s the story Tommie.  What’s going on.?

“V.  You just don’t know.  Shit, I don’t even know what’s going on – not really.  I’m just so confused and got so much stuff going on right now.  You know I’m leaving for Alabama tomorrow?”

“You going where tomorrow T.?

“To Alabama.  I told you about…..”

“Girl (Vickie interrupted).  You ain’t told me know such thing. What you talking about you told me?  When! When did you tell me Ms. Thomasina that you were going to Alabama?  I don’t think that’s something I would have forgotten. But you tell me Ms. T.  When did you inform me that you was coming down south?

“Oh my God V.  Oh my God!  I meant to tell you. I meant to tell you.  I’m going so crazy that I thought I told you what was going on. I was telling myself I was go call you the last time I talked to Miss Love in…..

“Miss Love, Miss Love. Who in the hell is Miss Love Tommie. Is that somebody I’m supposed to know?

“I’m sorry Vickie. Miss Love is my daddy’s friend in Akron, Akron Ohio.  She knows my mamma too, she knows both of them. She’s Bud’s friend, but, she knows my mamma too. She from Alabama. She from Alabama and so is her little sister Lizzie.”

“Her little sister (Vickie screamed).  What!  You been to Akron lately?  When did you go to Akron and meet these people, huh.  Who went with you. Did your parents take you to Akron to meet this woman and her sister?

“No.  I talked to her on the phone.”

“She called you?

“No. No Vickie.  She called my daddy.”

“She called your daddy and you talked to her?”

“Yes. I mean No. I mean, she called my daddy, I was at the house, at my parents house. The phone rang, the phone was ranging and my daddy, Bud, was asleep in his lazy boy. I hollered at daddy to answer the phone, I hollered but he didn’t hear me, he was sleeping, so, I answered the phone. My mother wasn’t home, so, I answered the phone.”

“OK T.  You answered the phone and she told you what?”

“She thought I was mamma.  I told her who I was. I asked her if she wanted to leave a message.”

“What was the message Tommie?”

“The message was for Bud Vickie.  She told me to let my daddy know that the pecan harvest was good this year.”

“Pecans, pecans don’t grow in Ohio. Do they?”

“I don’t know V.  I don’t think so.  I’ve never been to Ohio. Actually, as a matter of fact Vickie. I’ve never been out of Michigan.”

“I always wondered about that T.  All while we were growing up in Highland Park. Me and you, it seems like we’ve always been friends.  We’ve been knowing each other since, since we were babies.  I’m not sure who lived in the flat first – my family, or yours.  I just remember that every time we went out of town for something – my parents and me – that you and your family stayed home and kept an eye on our upstairs flat. I use to ask mom and dad – “why can’t Thomasina come with us – why can’t her and her mom and dad go down south with us?”


“Yes T.”

“Do you remember where you went down south when you were little?”

“Yeah girl.  We went to Alabama.”

“Where at in Alabama V.?”



B. Knox

To be continued.









75 SOUTH (A Mini Series) Part 10

“Yeah, that’s what I said!  Buds girlfriend.  Is Ada daddy’s old girlfriend.”

“No, No.  Ada is not your daddy’s old girlfriend.  Ada is not Buds old girl friend. Do you understand me child!  Ada is your daddy’s old girl friend! Your daddy.  Ada is your daddy’s old girl friend from down south.”

“Why you talking crazy mamma, why you talking like you having some kind of nervous breakdown.  I’m talking about daddy.  I’m talking about Bud.  What you talking about.?

“I’m talking about you Thomasina.  I’m talking about you, your daddy and Adaline Love.  I’m talking about your kin folk.”

“My kin folk.?  What kin folk, what kin folk beside you and Bud?  Huh mamma, what kin folk you talking bout beside you and daddy!

“Tommie, Tommie – your daddy wants to talk to you.”


“Daddy, what mamma talking about, what she talking about Bud?”

“Thomasina, listen,  (“tell her Bud, tell that child what’s going on”) my mom yelled in the background.

“Thomasina, Thomasina, I’m trying to tell you, I’m trying to..(“we should have told her a long time ago”) my mom yelled out.

“Emma, Emma, be quiet, be quiet now.  I’m trying to talk to Tommie, I’m trying to tell her, stop, stop yelling, stop yelling and let me talk to her, please, just let me talk to her Emma, let me talk to the girl.”

“Thomasina.  I’m not your daddy, I love you, but, I’m not your father, least, not your biological father, and, and, Emma, Emma not your mother, she not your mother in the natural way, she didn’t give birth to you from her womb – but, but to her, and, and,  to me, you, you our baby girl..(sobbing)  you our one and only baby girl.”


I heard my daddy talking.  I heard everything he said and what he was saying now.  I heard my mamma in the background yelling at Bud and telling him what they should have told me a long, long time ago.  I heard my daddy’s tears in the phone as he sobbed and wept and telling me he loved me, he loved me…. somebody else’s baby.  Not my mother, not my mother I heard Bud’s voice say…. not in the natural way,  Emma not your mother in the natural way.  I heard all of that, heard it all with my own ears, on my own phone, from my own daddy’s mouth.  Your daddy, your daddy was Ada’s old girlfriend from down south, Ada is your daddy’s old girlfriend… your kin folk, your kin folk.  Down South, down south.  That’s why they don’t go there, that’s why they don’t go there for nothing.  Down South, down south, that’s why they don’t talk about it, don’t talk about it at all -not to me anyway – never mention it.  Who never goes back home?  Who never goes back to their roots, to their people, to their kin folk?


“Yes Tommie.”

“I’m leaving Monday for Alabama.  You and mamma wanna come with me?”

“We’ll be ready when you get here baby.”

“OK.  See you Monday daddy.  Tell mom goodnight for me.”


B. Knox

75 South

To Be Continued.


75 SOUTH (A Mini Series) Part 9

I woke up the next morning on the couch with three 32 ounce empty bottles of Golden Champale lying next to me.  I felt awful and hung over because quiet as it’s kept, it don’t take much for me to get drunk.  All I kept hearing in my head was Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie and something about a black rag doll walking down the road, walking down the road.  Why the road and not the street?  (I thought to myself).  That woman, Miss Love, from Akron had been talking about something  I had never heard, never heard about, even the times I would eavesdrop on Bud or Emma talking on the phone to somebody, somebody from somewhere else, not Michigan – Akron, Akron, sometimes Bud would be talking to some old woman from Akron – I guess that old woman is Miss Love.  If it is Ada, how do they know each other – she said she know my mamma too – are they related to each other – why didn’t  I ask her last night how she knew them and, why are my eyes hazel like Miss Ada’s and her sister Lizzie.  I need to talk to my parents, I’ve got to get some answers before I leave on this assignment down south next week, I need to call Vickie, I need to call Miss Ada, and, damn!  I need to call Linda today about my itinerary.

Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

“Who is it, who is it?”  (I yelled from the couch).

Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

“Who is it?”  (I yelled again).

“It’s me Tommie, It’s Flora, open the door girl!  Are you alright?”

I jumped up from the couch and stumbled to the door.  “Hold on Flo, I’m coming, stop knocking.”

“Tommie, where was you at last night?  Your car was outside and I was blowing my horn waiting for you to come to the window and see me in safe.  I finally just got out the car and ran in as fast as I could – it was bout 3 in the morning and pitch black outside and on top of that, the stupid street light was out again.  I knocked and knocked on your door but you didn’t answer – I heard the TV so I assumed you was woke.  I finally gave up and went to my apartment and tried calling you on the phone.”

“Flo, I’m so sorry – I had a hard day yesterday and I started drinking and didn’t stop until all my champale was gone.  I didn’t hear nothing, nothing.  I was knocked out on the couch all night, come on in, I’m sorry.”

“It’s OK girl – I understand, I was just worried about you cause it’s not like you not to see me in at night.  Is everything OK?”

“No, I don’t know, some family stuff.  I’m working on it though, I’ll be alright.”

“Well, let me know if you need me to do anything Tommie.”

“As a matter of fact Flora, there is something you can do for me.”

“What you need girl?.

“I’m leaving next week for Alabama on a work assignment.”

“Yeah, you was telling me about that.”

“Well, I need you to look after my apartment while I’m gone – you know, make sure everything is in order like getting my mail and newspaper, watering the plants and just airing out the place at least once a week by opening up the windows and letting fresh air in.  Maybe turn on the lights at night and off during the day so it looks like I’m here.  If the phone rings while you’re here – take a message for me and call me once a week to give them to me.  I will pay you two hundred dollars up front before I leave.”

“You don’t have to pay me Tommie.”

“Girl, I know where you work, you could use the extra change – your job description will be house sitter.  I’ll tell Linda I’m paying you to house sit and  she will reimburses me.”

“Do you want the job?

“Hell yeah girl.  When do I start?”

“Next Monday.  Thanks Flo.  You’re a good neighbor and a better friend.”


“Hi Linda, It’s Tommie – I’m calling about the itinerary.”

“How you doing Tommie?  “Are you ready for your adventure?

“As a matter of fact Linda, I am.”

“Good, good.  I’m having it delivered this afternoon. Speedy has already picked it up so it won’t be long.  Everything you need is in there. If you need anything else, let me know. Drive safe and have a good time Tommie.”

“Thanks Linda.  See you when I get back.”



“Hi mom.  Are you busy, can we talk?

“Hi Tommie.  Your daddy told me what happened.”

“What did Bud tell you?

“That you going to Alabama.”

“Is that all he said.?

“He said Ada called and you took the message.”

“Do you know her?

“Yes Tommie, I know Ada.”

“How do you know her mom, is she related to you or Bud?

“No, she’s not a relative, she’s an old friend.”

“Whose friend, yours or Bud’s?

“Your daddy’s friend.”

“What kind of friend, is Ada Bud’s old girlfriend?

“No, Ada is your daddy’s old girlfriend.”


75 South

B. Knox




75 South (A Mini Series) Part 8

“This is Ada.  Who am I talking to?”

“Hello, hi Mrs. Love.  This is, I talked to you earlier, this is Tommie – Bud and Emma’s daughter, I talked to you, I talked to you on the phone, I answered the phone at my parents house and spoke with you earlier today.”

“Hello girl.  Are your parents home now?”

“Oh, Oh, no, I don’t know.  My father was home when I left, I’m at my house now, my apartment, my mom might be home now, but, I’m, I’m at home, at my apartment Mrs. Love.”

“Miss Love.”

“Excuse me.”

“Miss Love girl, it’s Miss Love, I never married.”

“Oh, Oh, I’m sorry Mrs. – I mean, Miss Love.  I’m sorry, I just assumed.”

“Don’t be sorry girl, it’s quite alright, just call me Ada.”

“OK, OK Miss Love, I mean, Ada.  Is this a good time to bother you Miss Ada?”

“It’s as good as time as any young lady.  I done had my supper and now I’m just reading the paper and relaxing a little.  I was hoping you would call.”

“You were?”

“Of course girl.  It’s obvious that you don’t know nothing about me and it’s quite obvious, to you I believe, that I know a little something about you.”

“How did you know that I had hazel eyes Miss Ada?”

“I didn’t know.”

“When I talked to you earlier, you asked me was my eyes hazel.”

“I know.”

“Well, I know you asked me.  How did you know?”

“I didn’t know until you told me girl.”

“But you asked me, you asked me was my eyes hazel. Why did you ask me that?”

“Because you said you was Bud and Emma’s child.”

“What does that have to do with anything?  Neither one of them has hazel eyes.”

“I know they don’t. But I do, and so did my sister.”

“Your sister, your sister.  Who is your sister, and what does that have to do with me and my parents?”

“Girl, calm down a bit.  When you answered that phone and told me you were Bud and Emma’s daughter, that you were 32 years old, I got to thinking, I got to thinking real quick and started adding up in my head.  I got to thinking about when Lizzie, my little sister, had to go away from our home because the elders said she had an infirmity, an ailment.  They took her away from Tuscaloosa, they took Lizzie away in 1952.”  About a year later, when I was about to go off to school, Lizzie came back home, but she was changed, she was different.  She hardly talked to me or anybody else for that matter.  All she wanted to do was mope around the house and play with this black rag doll that somebody had made her while she was away.  I asked her where she had gone and what had happened to her, she was about 12 years old then.  The rumor was that she was with child, she was pregnant, and my family took her to a home where she would be cared for until she delivered the baby somewhere in Mobile.  Lizzie never told me what happened and after I went off to school, my mother wrote me and said that Lizzie got up one morning, packed a little bag and her and that rag doll of hers left walking up the road toward the main highway.  That was the last time anybody saw or heard from my little sister.  That was in the fall of 1954.”

I couldn’t  speak.  I couldn’t  breath.  I thought I was having a panic attack.  I held the phone to my ear,  I heard Miss Ada breathing on the other end. I got myself together enough to form some words.

“Miss Ada.”  (I whispered in the phone).

“Yes child.”

“I have to call you back. Goodnight.”  (I hung up the phone).



B. Knox

To be Continued.

Highland Park High School: Nov 2015

This picture was taken by my brother, James Knox.  He was helping me out with a photo shoot for my digital photography class last November.  The reason that I’m looking sad is because my high school, Highland Park, located in Highland Park Michigan on Woodward near 6 Mile has been closed down for good.  The Polar Bears will no longer roam at this site and this deeply saddens me and a whole lot of other Alumni of Highland Park.  There are many rumors going around that my school is going to be torn down, turned into something grand, making room for the rail that is slowly making its way North on Woodward.  Some say that Dan Gilbert bought it just like he’s buying everything else that has VALUE.  Highland Park has value to the many students like myself who walked the halls, played the games, cheered the crowd, and danced with the band while being educated by the best teachers, monitored by the most professional hall guards – who, by the way, called us by our names and showed us love – not hate.  Our Administration staff was excellent and,  “It Takes a Village”  was the atmosphere as we walked the halls and made our way to classes.  I graduated in 1980 and have been to every 10 year reunion for my class.  So, before it’s too late, make your way to the school with no windows on Woodward near 6 Mile – sit on one of the benches – take a picture – and remember the way we were.


Bridget Knox

75 South (A Mini Series) Part 7

I took the long way home after leaving my parents house.  My plan was to wait for my mom to get home to tell them both about my upcoming trip down south, but, after talking to that Adaline woman from Ohio on the phone, I just wanted to get out of there, get something to eat and call Vickie as soon as I got home.  I stopped at Church’s Chicken on East Jefferson near Belle Isle and got a 3 piece snack, two legs and a wing with fries, a biscuit, a jalapeno pepper, and a large strawberry pop that would serve as my dinner after talking to V.

“What the hell is going on?” (I thought out loud to myself).  Who is this Adaline woman, what’s the deal on my hazel eyes, and, for that matter, what she doing with my eyes.  What did she mean when she said she know about me – know what about me?  I’m confused, how does some old woman in Akron, Ohio know that I have hazel eyes and we’ve never met – and what’s the story on how did Bud and Emma get a 32 year old child.  They got me the old fashion way Ms. Adaline – you do know where babies come from – don’t you?  I had so many questions to ask somebody, starting with mom and dad, but, look how Bud reacted when I told him about going down south – why was he so vexed, so uncomfortable just hearing me say the words – “I’m going down south on assignment.”  To be honest, I wasn’t surprised by his reaction – something inside told me that this wasn’t going to be a pleasant moment between father and daughter.  Still, I wonder, what’s the big deal, whats down south that Bud don’t want me to see?  How is mom going to react -I’m sure when she gets home Bud is gonna wake up from that lazy boy and tell on me – tell on me, a grown woman who built her life around her parents so completely that I’ve never traveled outside of Michigan.  I need answers, I need to know what they’re hiding from me, I wan’t to know why they never go back home – down south where they both are from.  I need to know what pecans that lady is talking about, where they are, where down south do pecans grow.  I need to, I need to – I’m going to call Adaline Love – I’ve got her phone number in my purse.  I’m going to call Adaline when I get home, then, I’ll call Vickie.  

I pulled up in front of my apartment full of anticipation of speaking with the mystery woman who knew both my parents.  I grabbed some stuff out the back seat in one hand and my dinner in the other.  As I was putting my key in the door, my neighbor across the hall from me came out dressed to impress somebody, with too much perfume and make up and hollered in her high pitch voice, “Hey girl. I’m glad I caught you Tommie, where you been all day?”

“Hey Flora.”  (still fumbling with my keys).  “Girl, girl, you won’t believe who came by here about an hour ago, I couldn’t believe it – he had the nerve”

“Who, who Flora, who you talking about?”

“Joseph, Joseph girl.  I just happened to be outside getting something outta my car and he go pull up and blow his horn at me trying to get my attention.”

“What did he want Flo?”

“You girl – you know what he wanted.  He asked me was you home and I got smart with his yellow ass and said “Do you see her car Joseph – I don’t see it, do you?”

“Well, what did he say after you said that?”  (I asked).

“Nothing, he didn’t say nothing.  He just licked his tongue out making perverted gestures and drove off.  I made sure to give him the finger so he could see it in his rear view mirror.”  (we both laughed).

“I know that’s right girl.  I’ve been over at my parents house all day – where you off to?”

“I’m going to a house party on the North East side.  My cousin is giving it and it’s suppose to be off the hook Tommie – you should come.”

“Thanks Flo, but, not tonight.  I’ve got some things I need to take care of, phone calls and such, making plans for my trip down south – thanks though.”

“I hope those phone calls and such don’t include calling that ass hole Joseph girl, you too good for him Tommie.”

“I know that girl!  I ain’t talked to his ass in over a year – that’s definitely over and done with.”

“OK then, I’ll see you later.  Listen out for my car if you woke when I get home and maybe we can talk later.”

“Alright Flo, have a good time.”

I turned my TV on and sat down to eat my dinner.  I thought about what to say to Adaline when she answered, if she answered the phone.  Feelings of panic overtook me after eating so  I got up and went to the bathroom and splashed cold water on my face for about 10 minutes until the panic subsided.  The phone number in my purse stared at me like a  photograph in a frame 330-868-8827.  I dialed the number.


“Hi, hello, can I please speak to Adaline Love?”


B. Knox

To be continued…..



75 South (A Mini Series) Part 6

I had fallen asleep at my parents dining room table.  It seemed like I had been out for a long time when I heard the phone ringing.  I lifted my heavy head off the table and immediately looked to where my father was still sitting in his chair.

“Bud, Bud – don’t you hear your phone ringing.  Dad, Daddy – answer the phone.”

I jumped up and almost tripped on that stupid carpet that they got under the dining room table on top of carpet.  “Bud.”  I made may way toward the still ringing phone in the kitchen closer to the dining room.

“Hello.”  (I said to the person on the other end).

Hi, How ya’ll doin.  Emma?”

“Hi, hi. No, this is Emma’s daughter, Tommie.  Mom’s not here right now, would you like to leave a message?”

“This is Tommie you say?”  (the voice on the other end asked).

“Yes, yes ma’m – Tommie, Thomasina.  Can I ask who’s calling please?”

“How old you be girl?”

“Excuse me.  I’m sorry, do I know you?”

“I say, how old you be – how old are you girl?”

“I’m thirty two.  Who’s asking?”

“Thirty two!  You thirty two years old?  Where on earth did Emma and Budrick get a thirty two year old from?”

“What!  Excuse me.  Budrick.  Who am I talking to.  Do I know you?”

“I don’t know child, do you know me?”

“Again ma’m, no disrespect intended, would you like to leave a message for my mom?”

“Tommie, Thomasina.  That’s a nice name.  Can I ask you a question dear?”

“I guess so.  What?”

“Do you have hazel eyes?”

I went blank and my mouth opened wide by itself without any help from me.  I couldn’t speak to the person that was on the other end of the phone because no sound would come out.  All I could do was hold the phone to my left ear and stare out the kitchen window into the beautiful backyard with the spectacular vegetable garden.  Budrick, Budrick – I had never heard my mother call Bud Budrick.  Was that his real name.  I always thought it was Buddy.  How did this woman on the phone know I had hazel eyes.  Was she still there.  I don’t remember hearing a click – just silence.

“Yes, yes ma’m.  My eyes are hazel.  How did you know?”

“Cause my eyes are hazel.”  (long silence).

“Do you got something to write with? – I’m ready for you to take that message now girl.”

“Hold on, one minute, let me get something to write on.”

“First, please write my number down for yourself, it’s 330-868-8827.  My name is Adaline, Adaline Love of Akron, Ohio.  Tell Budrick, tell Bud Miss Love called.”

“You called to talk to Bud – not my mom?”

“I’ve been calling every month for many years to talk to Mr. Powell.  Your mother know, don’t worry yourself about that, Emma knows who I am.”

“How do you know me Miss Love?”

“I know of you.”

“What does that mean – you know of me?”

“Let your daddy know that the pecan harvest was good this year.  I talk at you later child.  goodbye.”

I hung the phone up and looked in on Bud.  He was still sleeping, the empty Budweiser can lay empty on the tray next to him.  I took the empty can to the kitchen, rinsed it out in the sink and stacked it in the corner where he kept his empties for deposit.  This Adaline woman had to be the old lady who Bud talked to on the phone – who else did he know in Akron.  What’s with the hazel eyes – what does she mean her eyes are hazel too.  Besides myself and this guy I went to high school with – I didn’t know any other black people, especially as dark as me, with hazel eyes.

I put the message from Miss Love on the tray next to Bud, gave him a kiss on the cheek and let myself out the side door.


75 South

B. Knox

To be continued on Sunday, 2.14.2016

75 SOUTH (A Mini Series) Part 5

My severance package was generous, just like Linda said it would be.  Mr. Silver compensated me $2500.00 for the occupancy rate, $10,500 was my severance and $7000 up front for taking the assignment in Alabama.  Linda provided me with a credit card to pay for my living expenses while I lived and worked at the property in Three Notch.  Of course I banked half of the money and the rest I used to pay off some bills, buy some new clothes, get the Ford Windstar tuned up and checked out for my long drive and spoiled my parents with money and gifts.

“Tommie, what’s all this for girl, what you do, hit the lottery or something?” (said Bud).

“No dad.  You know I don’t play no lottery, you and ma play it enough for all three of us, and then some.”

“Well something then girl, you done did something to get all this money and stuff you handing to me and Emma like you one of them cash machines they got at the bank.”

“ATM machine daddy, the bank got ATM machines.”

“Yeah, them machines that give you money, you know what I’m talkin about Tommie.”

“Yeah, Yeah Bud, I know what you talking about.  Can’t I just be nice to you and your wife without you being so suspicious?”  “I love you and ma, I just want to do something nice for you guys.  I’m being sent on an assignment for my boss and the money is part of my salary for agreeing to take the assignment out of state.”

“Out of state you say, where you going?”

“Down south daddy, Linda and Mort sending your baby girl down south.” (I stared at his face to see his reaction).

“Do your mamma know about this Tommie?” (he replied in a soft voice).

“Not yet daddy.”

“Well when you planning to tell her girl – when you go tell your mamma that you going south?”

“When she get home daddy.”


“Yes dad.”

“Go fetch me a Budweiser from the fridge please.”


I sat at my parents dining room table and watched my father slowly sip his beer from the can sitting in his lazy-boy recliner, in the corner near the window of  the living room.  Bud sat there silent and gazed out the window without saying another word to me after I got up and brought him his drink of choice.  I sat in silence.  Scared to interrupt his solitude.  Scared to ask him what was he thinking about.  Scared to remind him that I was still there – at the house – sitting at his dining room table – waiting for my mom, his wife, to come home.


To be continued on:  Saturday, 2/06/2016

B. Knox


75 South