Thursday, August 21, 2014
Photo taken circa 1933, after my mother and her siblings were orphaned. Back row is my Aunt Sarah Margaret Atkins; my mother's mother's mother's mother Margaret Semmerine Ritchie Armstrong Dowdy; and my Uncle Bill, William Rusk Atkins II. In front is my mother, Mary Jo Atkins. Very soon after this photo, the three children were separated, sent to live with different Atkins aunts and uncles, and would seldom see each other again until adulthood. Aunt Sarah and Uncle Bill wound up in abusive households. Mama would luck out, having a good home. I think this photo shows their fear and hurt, already hitting them. The red brick building in the right background is Stoneburg High School, attended by my mother's mother, my mother, and then me. I knew every inch of it. It has now been replaced by a new metal building.