Recently I donated to the archive at the University of South Alabama my 450+ page unpublished memoir "Story-Telling," to be made publicly available after my death. I had selected that archive because it alreay houses a major collection of invaluablel material dealing with Unbria Plantation and the Pickens family of Sawyerville and my memoir also features Umbria and that family prominently as well as a great deal of material about Sawyerville at the time and over the years. I subsequently discovered that my memoir was valuable to them for other reasons asa well. Along with the memoir I included a weatlh of photos of Umbria, including the old HABS photographs, a large number of color photos taken in the spring of 1971 before the house burned the following December, and photos I had made of the ruins in 1999. In addition I included my files of photos that illustrate Sawyerville over the years and files with photos of my paternal and maternal relatives. And then I thought: If I were reading this memoir in the future I would wish to know what the author himself looked lilke. Hence this file, which I will share withj you.
1957, with my father. I assume this was Sunday morniing after we got dressed to go to the BaccalaureateService honoring graduating seniours at the First Methodist Church of Greensboro.
Note the already seriously receding hairline on the younger May. This is a atheme that will continue.
(By the way, the smaller photos may be enlarged with a click, if you care.)
1966. This was taaken in our woods behind ouir house on one of my early trips home from New York, where I had moved in January of 1962.
I was still a skinny boy then. The more the hair recedes, the more the tummy will expand. At this time I was 6 feet tall and weighed 147 pounds.
Today I am 5 foot 10 inches tall and weigh 214 pounds.
Still 1966. Still Central Park. No, I didn't leve there. I just spent a lot of time in there. At the time I was living in a 5th fooor walk-up on East 60th Street between Park and Lexington. Souds elegant. It wasn't.
When I first moved to New York I lived in a 5th floor walk-up in the middled of a courtyard (you entered the courtyard throgh a tunnel) on Sullivan Stree a block and a half below Houston Street. I moved uptown 2 years later.
Same day, same beach.
Are you paying attention to the hairline?
Odd about losing my hair. It began so early and I was used to the look from my father and some of my uncless, and I never associated baldness with old age and its aattendant woes. I was never attempted to try the comb-over or implants. This was just the way I was.
Same day, same place. The WTC was under construction when I moved to New York. I loved it. That was unfashionable at the time. It was thought to be a bore and a desecration of the skyline. After 9/11 other folks began to love it. Johnnie Come Latelies.
I was clerckint at the post office in Boligee that awful day with no TV or radio and was kept abrest of develoments by my friend Tom, who called regularly with updates.
1992. That yew tree was purchased by my mother as a seedling with funds she made in the 1950s doing school census. I toopped it later that year because it was starting to brush against the main phone line to the house. Nobody had told me that this tree didn't like to be toopped, and I thought it had died. But it came back.
I think I wuld have liked to have known me.