Photo by Edward F. Palm)

About Me

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Forest, Virginia, United States
A long time ago, my sophomore English teacher, Father William Campbell, saw something in my writing and predicted that I would someday become a newspaper columnist. He suggested the perfect title for my column--"Leaves of the Palm." Now that I have a little extra time on my hands I've decided to put Father Campbell's prediction to the test. I'm going to start using this blog site not just to reprint opinion pieces I've published elsewhere but to try to get more of my ideas and opinions out there. Feedback is welcome. To find out more about me, please check out my Web site: www.EdwardFPalm.com (Click on any of the photos below for an enlarged view.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Way We Were--Collins Park, 1959

This time around, I thought I would indulge in some true confessions.  The original article was posted on September 18, 2009.  
        For those who are interested, below I have added the rest of the story.  --EFP
            I remember that my mother and stepfather couldn’t resist driving by on the morning after the second bombing.  Much to my surprise, they allowed me to come along.  The left stucco sidewall was bowed out, like a giant abscess.  There was a jagged crack running from the ground to the roof.  That image haunts me still.  All the windows were blown out.  The lawn was littered with glass shards.  Even mother seemed to be taken aback by the sight.  I’m sure she never expected things to go that far.  My stepfather seemed relieved that it was finally over.  He, too, was a racist, but he and my mother had had bitter arguments over her activism.  He had mother’s number.  He knew she was enjoying the attention, and he feared that she was needlessly putting all three of us at risk.
            A local contractor, who just happened to live in Collins Park, and who had access to dynamite, was soon arrested and later convicted.  He went to prison.  His wife went door-to-door trying to collect money for her husband’s legal expenses.  I still remember when she came to our door.  My mother refused to contribute. She claimed to have been broke and behind in her bills, neither of which was true. 


J said...

that was my mom and grandparents house that was bombed. Your parents and the neighbors made my grandparents life hell. I still have the newspaper articles on everything that happened.

Anonymous said...

I was 7 yrs old. My family was returning from a 2 week beach vacation and when we got to our development we were blocked from getting in by the police, fire dept. etc., etc. The Rayfield's had moved in while we were away just one block from my family's home. I will never forget that day. It is a crime what Collins Park has become today. My brother kept our family home until 2009. I was in our family for over 50 yrs but the neighborhood just got too horrible.