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Published:September 14th, 2009 13:47 EST
Thanks to Judyth Piazza and the SOP

Thanks to Judyth Piazza and the SOP

By Nancy Lee Wolfe (HR Development/Content Manager)

What fun, Judy.  We work hard, we laugh hardily and we post passionately.  Everyone in the SOP Family understands.  (If you-- yes, you! -- want to be one of us, come along.  Before you know it, you`ll have friends around the world.)  Judy, from all of your SOP Family:  Thank you. 

To the SOP Family:  I love getting your email.  Your comments are always appreciated and your questions can be a bit challenging.  Still, helping you with your needs has often brought me to new discoveries and allowed me to learn with you.  I hope this will continue with Nancy`s Take " which is a more personal undertaking-- just click the link to the left. 

Before beginning what might loosely be called an autobiography, I confess everything.  If accused of something I`ve forgotten, I`ll think very hard.  To some of you who will not be pleased to appear in my stories-- ex-husbands, second wives, ex-fathers-in-law, killers and rapists-- sorry, you`re all in here.  Feel free to tell your own story from which I, likewise, cannot escape.  I suggest we name names. 

My grandparents raised five children in and around the red mud of Mississippi:  Leslie Mayzell, Essie Ona Bell, Bessie Adell, James Edward, who we called "Buddy" and Sudie Louella, who we called "Sister."  Sister married Sammy Brister; so, she`s Sister Brister. 

Bessie Adell, my mother, escaped to Detroit before I was born-- though not by much.  As a child, I believed Mississippi was as close to Heaven as a kid could get.  Broke as we were, we drove the endless miles from Detroit and back to spend two weeks each summer with my mother`s family.   

Let`s save this for later-- except to say that I was living with my grandparents that summer of 1964 when those horrible murders happened. I sat on feed sacks in my grandparent`s country store listening to the searing gossip and the shocking speculation.  Edgar Ray Killen patronized the store; he went to school with two of my mother`s sisters who still live there where it all happened.   

Once when I was pumping gas for Edgar Ray, he shared his particular brand of superiority with me.  After asking if my mother had become a Yankee and assuring me that I was a Yankee, he sent this message to my mom, You tell Adell that Edgar Ray says, "The only good n " is a dead n. " 

Suddenly, I understood the answer my uncle had given me that morning when I asked him, Buddy, what makes the mud in Mississippi red? " 

Buddy shook his head, looked me in the eye and answered, Blood, Nancy, blood. " 

At the time, I was 14.