Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jehu's Garden


Jehu Marshall
1928 - 2002

I never knew Uncle Jehu to have a garden until he was a man in his late sixties, early seventies. As a younger man with a whimsical smile, he loved a cold beer and the ladies. He was not the settle me down kind, he was seek and you might find kind. He never married nor had children. My childhood memories of spending time with him are few. He would dart in the middle of the day for a quick visit, gone by nightfall. When my mother was told he was gardening, she was not a believer. How could he have a garden when he could not stay in one place long enough to collect gardening tools.

After a logging accident that caused nerve damage to his left hand and the illness of his companion, Uncle Jehu settle down in her house, on her land. He could now be found. He returned to something he was familiar with, to something his mother had taught him. He became a gardener.

How green did his garden grow or how well was the garden doing was the question my mother would ask the relatives. Uncle Jehu's gardens grew well. He loved growing cabbages, mustards, turnips, and collards, vegetables that required a good piece of ham hock or a smoked turkey part. He would also grow okra and tomatoes. Winter, spring or summer, we could count on him having a green vegetable he would happily share with us when my Mom and I would visit him in Brookhaven, MS.

Jehu was my mother's brother, her only sibling. He had a stroke in 2000, died in 2002.

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