I was so happy to see the city of Talladega honor the late John L. Taylor for his role in the city’s history as the first black city councilman and was equally happy to see his family again.
I was not born when Mr. Taylor lived at home, but remember him and his wife visiting his mother, Ms. Bessie Finch.
Mrs. Taylor was tall and wore beautiful clothes and she and Mr. Taylor were a distinguished-looking couple.
Ms. Bessie lived next door to Ms. Thomas (on the left) and on her right, were the Ragland family (Mr. Jessie and Ms. Josie and Dean, Sharon, Larry and Ronnie); across the street were the Turner family ( Ms. Betty Lou, Ma Willie, Teester, Minnie, Suge, Jake, Tony and Gene); we lived next to the Turners; Aunt Mae and Uncle Will lived next to us and next to them were the Davis family (Mr. Jeff and Ms. Bessie and Mary Ann and Billy); and across the street from the Davis family were the Browns (Mr. Lewis, Ms. Cinderella and Pat). Mr. Jeff and Ms. Bessie (Mr. Taylor’s mother) were sister and brother.
I can vaguely remember Ms. Georgia, Mr. Taylor’s sister (by the way, she is 94 and looks well); however, I can remember Ms. Gussie (not sure how she was related to the family).
Ms. Gussie would send us neighborhood children to the store daily.
She was known by us as being very stingy, therefore, when she would stand on the front porch and call, “I need somebody to go to the store,” we would fuss among ourselves about who had been the last time.
But, somebody always gave in.
Ms. Bessie’s house was as pretty as a page out of Southern Living.
But, come to think of it, all of the houses in our neighborhood were well-maintained.
Mr. Taylor had a brother, Palmer L. Taylor, and my mother remembers when Ms. Bessie was notified that he was a casualty of war.
When I visited Pearl Harbor, I made it my business to locate and touch Mr. Palmer’s name that was listed along with other fallen-heroes and was saddened more when I looked through the glass floor of the monument to see the U.S.S. Arizona resting on the ocean’s floor.
My goodness, life on Pulliam Street was more than five decades ago, but seeing the Taylor family brought back wonderful memories of a “village” and its people that I will never forget.
My sons and family and I enjoyed visiting Chicago and Wisconsin last week.
My tours, mostly, were from the front seat, but the rest of my family enjoyed many attractions (Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza, Navy Pier, Garrett Popcorn, Harry’s Chicken in Hyde Park, museums, Chicago Sky Deck,
The Jelly Bean Factory, Bubba Gump’s, U.S. Cellular Field and more).
Harry’s serves fried chicken with or without salt.
My son asked the waiter for salted chicken and the waiter politely picked up the salt shaker and sprinkled salt into the bag of chicken.
He might be onto the best way to fool your brain that you are eating salted fried-chicken because we couldn’t taste the salt but ate the chicken and remarked about how good it was. In the end, the bag only contained salt and bones!
My favorite tour was to Hyde Park to get a glimpse of the Obama’s home. As you know, you can’t drive or walk past the barricades, unless you reside in the immediate vicinity of the Obama mansion.
As we were standing at the barricade, a tour bus slowly passed and we meet and talked with a couple, also taking pictures and wanting a closer view.
There was also a man and his son, who live in the area, and a teen rode by on a bike. I pointed and asked him if he was going down toward the Obamas and he shook his head with a definite “no.”
We all laughed.
Tall trees cover the entire front of the house, but you can get a glimpse of the top floor-gorgeous.
The end of the street where the Obama’s lived was very quiet and a secret service agent was sitting in a large SUV in the driveway of the home.
I had a weird feeling that someone was watching us from the neighbor’s big house on the corner. Regardless, the tour to Hyde Park was wonderful.
My most sincere congratulations to Vera Hendrix and Sadie Britt on their recent history-making appointments.
And, my deepest sympathy to the Simmon, Swain and Wells families.