Part 3 Elnora age twelve

Part 3 Elnora at twelve
Mrs. Pettaway would not let me speak to Lemon. She was very unkind to me. Mrs. Pettaway said I had made her boy cry. She was not going to let me hurt him anymore. I told her I was sorry if I had made her boy cry and I just wanted to let him know I was sorry. She handed the phone to Lemon. I asked him why she called him her boy. I thought he was his mother’s boy. Lemon said Mrs. Pettaway claimed all of the children as her own. We called her Momma Pettaway. At one time the doctors thought she was dying. She wanted his mom to marry Mr. Pettaway. When she discovered she would live, she put us out. She didn’t want us to leave just my Mom. However my Mom would not leave without us
Mr. Pettaway bought a cow. Lemon and Mrs. Pettaway learned to milk the cow. They learned to churn the milk into butter and cheese. They learned to make buttermilk, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Mr. Pettaway had a little vegetable garden. Lemon and Mrs. Pettaway had to sell the excess. They stayed too busy to think. The only thing poor Lemon had time to do was write his mother.
SCHOOL STARTED
I thought the school year would be boring. One day as I got off the bus at my usual stop, Kenneth got off the bus with me. Usually Kenneth got off at the next stop. He called out Elnora, Elnora wait! I pointed to myself and he said again Elnora, I have something to ask you. Well, my mother wants you to answer something for her. I asked what is it she wants. Kenneth said: She wants you to go on a tour with us speaking to young people about remaining pure. Pastor Dykes and my father will sponsor a Purity Campaign Bus for youth speakers and their parents. They would like for a group of young people to speak to other young people about remaining pure. I am pure. Are you? Very sharp and quickly I answered; if you are not sure, why are you talking to me? Kenneth replied; oh, I know. Dad and Mom asked at school, church, and in the community. We realize some of you are only twelve. There are even more who are still pure today, however according to the track record of some their older siblings the projections is they will not be by the time they are seniors. Your family has a good track record. We do not judge people by the performance of the other members of their family. Nevertheless, it is one way of predicting behavior. Of course, there are some very good parents who are going to be shocked. We hope to reach those parents as well. Those parents must continue to love their child/children and do all that they can do for those who miss the mark. If they are exposed to the correct information, they will make the rich choice. The boy team will speak to the boys and we are hopeful you will join the young ladies. After our small group presentations, we will give them commitment sheets to sign and a purity ring. They will be free to wear the ring as long as their behavior is applicable.
Kenneth told me Pastor Dykes would write the speech for me if I didn’t have time or I could speak extemporaneously .He said I was very good thinking on my feet. The group and I were free to say whatever we wanted to say as long as our message remained germane to the commitment. Kenneth then asks: Do we have a deal? He had no idea how happy I was to have something to do other than school work.

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