“First memory: a man at the back door is saying, I have real bad news, sweat is dripping off his face, Garbert's been shot, noise from my mother, I run to her room behind her, I'm jumping on the canopied bed while she cries, she's pulling out drawers looking for a handkerchief, Now, he's all right, the man say, they think, patting her shoulder, I'm jumping higher, I'm not allowed, they think he saved old man Mayes, the bed slats dislodge and the mattress collapses. My mother lunges for me.
Many traveled to Reidsville for the event, but my family did not witness Willis Barnes's electrocution, From kindergarten through high school, Donette, the murderer's daughter, was in my class. We played together at recess. Sometimes she'd spit on me.”
Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir