…if you are ready to make that call!

8/24/2013

Yesterday was a huge turning point…stay tuned!

Here is a free excerpt from the book!

“…10/9/10:
Just like in my dream… the road bent and bowed with little
illumination once we made it out of town. The stars were thin and
the crickets thick as they played backup to the whispers from the
trees as we sped along the Clyattville-Nankin Road. There we
were, counting the miles and adjusting the minutes, retracing his
steps from that night each mile at a time. Only this time Charley
wasn’t at the wheel; I was. It was a pilgrimage necessary for us
both. She ─ the daughter, I ─ the writer. Both needing to be there
at the hour appointed to know and see for ourselves how black the
night, how still the heart, and how deafening the silence. All day
long we had made distractions of our own: research at the
Historical Society, interview after interview, conversations upon
conversations ─ all to fill the anxious hours before tonight.
Jules read from Kaye’s journal before we headed out as a
reminder that there was more at stake than just the rumor of a girl
and a cup of coffee. It was 8:58 pm when we got on the road for the
second time to where Charley spent his final moments. Mustang
revved, top down, and nothing but the wind to keep us company, we
drove quiet for the better half of the drive, passing a fence that now
appears to be of special interest as it has been mentioned twice in
Spencer’s readings. As we reached the spot, we slowed to a crawl
and turned off the lights. The deep velvet of the night folded in
around us, and I could not imagine a more hopeless setting. Even
with the stars above, the earth swallowed itself whole and you
could not see two feet in front of your face. Fearful as we
approached the second bridge, we cut the lights back on and
inched our way forward to a stop. Jules got out of the car and
walked in front of me down the side of the road, navigating the slim

shoulder and then asked that I turn the lights out once more to
embrace what her father must have experienced.
Checking both side and rear mirrors for other vehicles and finding
none, I complied. Again, even once your eyes adjusted there was
nothing but the unrelenting pitch. In silent vigil we each cast our
prayers into the void and bid her father freedom from pain. “He
would have been dead by now, I think,” she said. Neither star nor
human blinked a tear at the statement. No ghost exercised…or
demon fought. Just the night, the two of us, and the endless
silence.
I do not know what I expected of such a trial or that I expected
anything at all. But there we were, the three of us, caught
somewhere between 2010 and 1966 and there was nothing but the
night to act as segue and nothing but the dawn to look forward to.
It had been a long day filled with introductions and unexpected
blessings and information. We spent many hours talking and
listening, trying to engage others in our cause. I thought about
Charley throughout it and Rox too, not trying to forget that Kaye
too shared these last hours with him, not knowing if the marriage
would last or fail, not knowing if the coffee would still be warm
when he returned. And the children, how they slept in their beds
unaware that the world would come crashing in all around them
before the last raindrop fell.
It is now 11:53 pm and approximately the same time of night that
the second set of witnesses (boys from Florida who had passed the
crime scene) made the infamous phone call to the Lowndes County
Sheriff’s Department. They might stand at Sam Daily’s store
waiting for the call back to rejoin the Deputy Sheriff at the scene. It
is also not long since J and I have returned from forty-four years
ago. The minutes will continue to click by as we recount the hours
and the events that carried the beginning of lies through the night
and decades beyond. We could have easily stayed away, returned
to the hotel, dug in for the night, and let the moment pass from
where we were. But that would not have made either of us happy.
We each had made a promise, for better or worse, to be there for
that hour when Charley’s world had come to an end and taken with
it the infrastructure of a family.

May this trip and his death not have been in vain. I read something
on a church sign as we drove back from the spot earlier in the day
I wanted to share with you. I thought it poignant: “Nothing ruins
the truth like stretching it.” I will bear that in mind as I strive to
tell his story without interjecting too much of my own…”

 

Grim, do you have your copy of the book yet? Send me your address and I will forward a copy. No wait! Silly me…I already know where you live!

Have a nice day Grim. You know, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department is open on Saturdays if you are finally ready to make that call.

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