“Between the lines of photographs I’ve seen the past. It isn’t pleasing.”
This post is for Teela
My grandfather beat his wife. He was a jealous man. He was a boxer in his youth, and his beatings were top-notch.
He could beat:
This man. That man. Any man. (He could beat women too)
And he did; he beat my grandmother.
For fifty years.
He was a jealous man.
He hated me, but more important, he hated the spring I had sprung from.
He hated those “Marcoms.”
“Who the hell do they think they are, Boy? Doctors, lawyers? Scum! That’s what they are!”
“Yes, gran-dad, they are scum.”
“That old Doc Marcom… he is communisss.”
“Yes, Grand-dad, surely”
“If’n you sass me Boy, I gonna send you there to live among ‘em.”
“Go on in there and do yer homework.”
That conversation happened in 1969, if memory serves.
In 1974, when I had ‘matured’ and I was spending a summer there (in Winnsboro), late one night, my Grandmother came flying through my room:
“Lance! Lance! He’s trying to kill me! Help me!”
I jumped out of bed, followed them onto the porch, and confronted my so old nemesis:
“Hey! You son of a bitch! Don’t be hittin’ my grandmother!,” I shouted.
He took a swing and a miss.
I countered and decked him. Knocked him off the porch actually.
He gathered his wits and said,
“Boy! I am gonna shoot your ass!” And I believed him.
He ran into the house, as I was grabbing my Grandmother by the arm and dragging her to the road. He reappeared with his deer rifle and shot at us. We dived into the bar ditch, an’ cowered.
But he did not miss the mark that I would have some difficulties lookin’ at him as ‘Gran-dad” anymore.
But… we forgave him.
We should not have.
(I know this now)