I grew up in Dortches, a small rural town on the outskirts of Rocky Mount, in a home with a wraparound porch and enough acreage to house goats, chickens, litters of kittens, 1 rabbit, 1 dog, and 1, one-eyed turtle.
Nearly all of my relatives lived within a 5 mile radius of my home and I grew up with more cousins than I could count.
We were the Browns of Browntown road. The Browns who owned almost everything green in Dortches. The Browns who went to the Baptist church down the street. The Browns who didn’t smoke or drink or date boys (or girls) who did.
But some of us, well… Some of us chewed or dipped snuff or smoked the occasional pipe of tobacco. But all in the name of keeping the bills paid by way of the all mighty tobacco leaf, so help us God.
The Brown name was a good name and I knew it. I loved being able to give my name anywhere in town and have someone recall, with fond affection, the name of one of my relatives. To say I was proud of my name would have been an understatement.
But this story is not about my good name, for that would bore you to tears.
No, this story is about the day I desecrated that good family name.
And received, in my young mind, my moment of crowning glory.
My heart pitter-patters at the thought of it, even now, 18 years later.
I remember the day like it was last week and in my mind, I am still 17.
I’m sharing over at Rise, a blog for the city of Rocky Mount. Follow me here?