I was married for thirty years to George Fowler, twenty-five years old when I married him and age fifty-five when he died. Who I became as a mature, thinking woman was done with him.
George’s history and his family history going back to the Civil War was in Georgia. As a child, he played with confederate money in his grandfather’s barn.
His great-grandfather was a store keeper, not slave owner, in rural Georgia when the Civil War began. The confederates forced his grandfather to surrender his money/gold and was given worthless confederate money in exchange. When the confederates lost the war, he lost everything due to the theft.
We move forward in time to George’s father, Oscar, who was a tenant farmer. He farmed next door to a black tenant farmer who had the misfortune of having daughters. Oscar and the neighbor exchanged work, Oscar’s boys working the neighbor’s field and the neighbor’s girls working Oscar’s garden.
A very young George was working in the neighbor’s field one day when a white brute crossed the furrows with a 2-by-4 board. He raised the board and for no reason except hate he struck the black man working his field. The white man turned and left as quickly as he arrived. George never forgot his friend’s assault and the lack of justice to follow.
After George at age 17 followed Patton across Europe, he returned to Georgia. He was a mail carrier, postal clerk, assistant Post Master and finally the Post Master in Decatur, Georgia. Along the way, George played golf with men of all races before integration. His friendships were always based on shared values, not race or ethnic origin. He was considered a fair manager – tough, but just.
I not only was inspired by George’s racial fairness, but he was feminist before I was. He always insisted I be more than I imagined.
George was the most intelligent person I have ever known. He read continually. Brilliant mind. Great humor. Kind.
I believe George is looking down and screaming, “Black lives matter!” As a man who supported women, he would be proud of Representative Park Cannon.
I lived in Savannah, Athens, Decatur and Ellijay in the North Georgia Mountains. As an observer from afar, I know the people who foolishly elected Marjorie Taylor Greene. I have been amazed at the democratic votes coming from Savannah, an obviously different place from what I knew in 1969.
George loved Georgia. It was home – complex, beautifully landscaped, and still living the pain of the Civil War.
As I have watched what is happening in Georgia, I remember my George, his grandsons in Georgia and his granddaughters beyond Georgia borders. I know they remember their grandfather with great love. George is looking down and expecting them to honor their family legacy, to be strong, fair and kind.
You must be logged in to post a comment.