Southern People

Just this weekend I read that Benjamin E. Mays was born to sharecroppers (and former slaves) in Greenwood County, South Carolina, on 1 August, 1895.

Shame on me, but I had never heard of him. Turns out he was the youngest of eight children, a true American success story, growing up in poverty and ultimately becoming one of America’s most influential educators.  He was dean of Howard University’s School of Religion from 1934-40 before assuming the presidency of Atlanta’s Morehouse College.

After serving as president for 27 years, he became a member of Atlanta’s Board of Education, becoming its first black president. Looking back on his time at Morehouse, Martin Luther King Jr. said that the eloquent and mesmerizing sermons and lectures of Professor Mays were among his most important college experiences.

The following quote from Professor Mays seems a most appropriate guide for how to live one’s life:

“The circumference of life cannot be rightly drawn until the center is set.”

In the words of the ancient Hebrew prayer for the dead: “May his soul be forever bound up in the eternal bonds of life.”

David Evans

David Evans

I'm retired from another life and live in the mountains of eastern West Virginia with my muse Jody along with one little and two big dogs and a diminishing pride of two cats and other critters who come along the path from time to time. I retired one morning years ago when I woke up and said, "This is the day." It was simply time to do something new with my life. I had done whatever I did long enough, and now it was time to do something else. Being independent and no longer in the reins of someone else's driver, I believe I have found something to cherish that I never had before. Retirement may be dull and boring, but that's true only if you are dull and boring. But if you’re like I was, and am, I saw a lot of things as I went along the trail that I would have liked to linger over a lot longer if I had had the time to spare. Above all, I wanted to think about what they meant and have the chance to go back over them and figure them out. I'm not abashed to say that today I lead a life of real luxury. I also recognize that I'm a lucky boy. In the words of Katherine Anne Porter: "My life has been incredible, I don't believe a word of it." I am the author of the recently published collection of essays entitled Meeting Memory In The Dark. Earlier I self-published Words To Woo Her By And Other Distractions Along The Way; Tunes of Glory: The Slow Ticking of the Heart; Cradle My Soul: Glimpses Into Other Lives; and Unscheduled Stops: Essays on Love, Loss and Other Roadside Attractions. All are available on either Amazon or Create Space, a subsidiary of Amazon. Proceeds go to the Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary in Capon Bridge, West Virginia.