d n english
In 2004 I wrote this story based on a conversation I had with a gentleman calling from Chicago.
The telephone rang as I enjoying a rainy day daydreaming.
“Hello is this Miss English” this amazing deep voice said
“You don ‘t know me but I was told you could tell my story about my life in Jackson.”
The gentleman went on to introduce himself I will call him Mr. B.Here is his story.
“ I was born in Fite’s bottom on a cold November night in 1932. I was delivered by a midwife in my Grandmother’s home in Fite’s Bottom. Now you can research Fite’s Bottom after I tell my story. From the moment I was born my grandmother called me lil’l Freddy. She said I reminded her of her little brother who had died when he was 6. We lived with my Grandmother until we moved over off N. Royal when I was 8. My father was a worker at the saw mill and worked his way to supervisor. My mother took in laundry until she could go back to school eventually earring her teacher’s certificate enabling her teach at Merry High School.
I had an younger sister and an older brother the three of us were tutored by Miss Givens. Miss Givens’s mission was to see that the children of Fite’s bottom knew the important’s of education. Our parents dream was to see us graduate high school and get our college education.
My brother went on to serve in the Army for 30 years and he did manage to obtain his degree in history. I am proud of him before died he had many articles published about Black People who made a difference in the South in the 1940’s.
My sister went on to get her Doctorate. She also is published and taught Math at the University in St. Louis.
Then there is me (have I told you he had the most amazing
laugh as well as that amazing voice)
Well I got my underrated degree at Lane then I went to Nashville where I got two Masters. All on scholarships then I moved to Chicago where I met my wife I was teaching at the time.She encouraged me to go to Law School. I was hired by one of the top firms . When I retired I was a full partner. Did I tell you I worked in Radio while I was in college?
Back on target the reason I wanted to tell you this story is to inform you that several very successful individuals have their roots in that place called Fite’s Bottom.
Now my charge to you is to research “the Bottoms”. Then share with the people that do not know that part of the history of Jackson.”
In 2006 I was at Farmer’s Market talking to Shine, the ambassador of the Market, then over my shoulder I heard a lady “ Well if it isn’t Lil’l Freddie”. Then came that amazing laugh followed by that voice.
I asked Shine if he knew the gentleman. (Of course Shine knows everyone) “ that’s Mr. B. he was from here but now he is an important Attorney in Chicago.” ( what are the odds)
Then I here “Miss English?” I got to meet this handsome gentleman and his charming wife receiving a hug from each. He got us all Barbecue’s we sat and talked he explained they were in for a reunion. I had the best time more people came by to speak I learned so much. I mean what were the odds?
Soon I will post the history about Fite’s Bottom some from research done at the Tennessee room. Even more information from the wonderful individuals I met at Farmer’s Market on that faithful Saturday morning.
Story from Downtown Wanderings 2004 the rest from a life experience