Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Help and Walter Jackson (Pt. 1)

It's funny, about 5 days ago I was at the bookstore looking for something to read.  Without finding anything, on the way out I picked up a flier on the desk about The Help.  Hmmmm.  I had remembered reading an exerpt from it on B & N and bought the paperback and literally tore into it.  I was so pleased with myself for finding a good book.  The next day! on Good Morning America they came out with a teaser for the movie!!  If there's one thing I hate to be it's a conformist and here I sit gobbling up the book while it's all over the TV. 
Oh, well, that's the way it goes sometimes. 

But that isn't really what this post is about.  The book has opened up some very dear memories. 

In 1963 when I was 21 years old my first husband and I along with my toddler, Cathy, moved to our little house on Park Street.  As we were moving in a black man came around the corner and asked us if he could help us bring things in.  It was our neighbor Walter Jackson.  His wife, Helen,  had died a few years before and he always wished we could have met her. He just loved to have some people of his own and it was so nice to have him.  Some people called him Jack, others Walter, but I always called him Mr. Jackson and so did my girls........except for times they slipped and called him Grandpa!  My girls adored him, he was always there if I was late getting home, he'd have them come over, push them up to his table and give them a snack.  He took care of injured birds for me, stayed up late so he could brush the snow off my car, even came in and cleaned my house till it glistened when I had to work late at Christmastime at the flower shop.  He grew a garden so he could take care of it and I could have all the vegetables I wanted.   And I know he wrung his hands and prayed  for me when Phil and I had problems.  He was the best neighbor and friend I will ever have. 

Mr. Jackson was first of all in his heart a cowboy, then a railroader, a precinct committeeman, and a Methodist - I think in that order. I'll write another post on his very interesting life soon. 

My point is, I never was a racist.  How could I be with him as an example of love?      Diane


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Sounds to me like we need Mr. jacksons in this world.

T's Daily Treasures said...

Mr. Jackson sounds like he was a wonderful friend indeed! There is only one race and that is the human race. To think otherwise is atrocious.

Have a beautiful day! Tammy

mudderbear said...

Oh, I do love your story. And this is a great photograph. It warms my heart. We should all have such a dear friend.

I read The Help a while back and it is one of my favorites now. I'm so happy you found it. Wish we could go see the movie together.

Laurie said...

What wonderful memories Diane, he sounds like the ideal meaning of neighbor. And I still pray for the day when all people realize that we are truly the same. On the news last night, a car of teen age boys threw a cup of pop on the face of a 5 year old little black girl and called her a monkey. There is no room in this world for such hate. When she asked her mother why they did that, She told her they just have to pray that they never do something like that again. Terrible.

Angela said...

He sounds like such a sweet neighbor. I think it's so good for kids to have someone like that in their life.

Name: Amanda said...

He was such an important figure in our lives. An unforgettable person for our family. Thanks for this lovely tribute! I thought of him when I read that book too :) love, Bean

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

Oh my goodness - I found you through Blue Waters blog and this is such a touching tribute! Isn't it amazing that in this world there is still such , for lack of a better word, stupidity about "races"..thank you for such a sweet post and I look forward to more "rememberies" !