Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My Aunt and the North Carolina Primary

I have an aunt who lives in North Carolina. She is my mother's oldest sister, the third oldest of my mothers ten siblings. She lives in a quaint brick house that her and my uncle built twenty-something years ago when they returned to her birthplace - just outside of Ahoskie - after living in New York City for close to fifty years.

When I was growing up in New York, my family would frequently go to my aunt's house in the city for dinner after church on Sunday afternoons. All seven of us (my parents, three brothers, and little sister) would pile into the Cadillac and make our way to Corona in Queens. Once there, we'd laugh and talk and watch the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, which was a stone's throw from their home. My sister and I would gorge ourselves on Frito's and my aunt's world famous French Onion dip. My aunt cooked the best food I've ever tasted and she would make a "Sock It To Me" cake that would make you want to fight your mama! We'd finish off the evening in Queens watching "All in the Family" or "Columbo" before my father drove us back to Westchester.

My aunt is getting up there in age, she is 94 years old, but she can still recognize my voice when I call her. The last couple of years, she's been battling some health problems and gets around with a cane and an oxygen tank. A nurse comes to the house everyday to help her get dressed and fix her meals and run a few errands.

All of my life, my family has always been politically astute, keeping up with current events and voting in all elections. My parents grew up in the Jim Crow South, they couldn't vote, they had to attend sub par schools, they had to work long hours in the fields for very little money in return. My mother talked frequently of how John Kennedy spoke of racial equality. I remember the feeling of loss in the household when Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. I remember their feelings of betrayal during the Watergate hearings (and old "Tricky Dick" Nixon, as they would call him). My father used to say he wouldn't vote for a Republican, even it was his own father! And I remember their joy when Jimmy Carter, a country boy from Georgia, was elected president.

Well, I called my mother this past weekend to catch up on things and I happened to inquire about my aunt down in North Carolina. I wondered if my mother drive down there on Tuesday from Virginia to take her to the polls to vote in the Democratic primary. My mother's other sister lives near her in Virginia and my mother had taken her to the polls to vote during the Virginia Democratic Primary.

My mother said, "No, because your aunt has already voted!" She had the nurse take her to the courthouse for early voting a week ago. You see, even at the ripe old age of ninety-four, my Aunt Blannie made a way to make sure her voice was heard... and she voted for Barack Obama!

That's why plezWorld take no excuses from people for not exercising their civic duty to select our elected officials. And thanks to my aunt for her courage, determination, and being an excellent example of how to live life!

1 comment:

Villager said...

Outstanding! I enjoyed the story that you've shared about your family, especially your aunt! I hope that Barack does well tonight in North Carolina and Indiana...

peace, Villager