As I have written before, the family of Rhodes Holliman have loaned me the manuscripts of a voluminous research which I have been scanning and uploading to a virtual archives at www.bholliman.com . There, among 1,500 items, one will find over eighty manuscripts on the Blakeneys and their histories, often compelling and fascinating.
Borrowing from real life, Reed wrote of a great, great grandfather, an owner of African-American slaves, and who as a widower fell in love with one of his female servants. Two children were born of that relationship during the time of the Civil War. In the 21st century, Blakeneys of both races have attended joint family reunions in Fayette County, a testimony to the complexity and richness of the American experience.
"We read and wrote by kerosene lamp light. Our primary contact with the state of world affairs was a battery powered radio and two periodicals - the Saturday evening Post and the Progressive Farmer. The battery powered radio was reserved for the Saturday night renderings of The Grand Old Opry out of Nashville, Tennessee and evangelistic sermons from far away places like Del Rio, Texas.
And it has been a delight to know Reed and to read his works. If you read 'Cotton Fields" you too may listen for the Whippoorwills this spring. - GNH at email@example.com
"Cotton Fields", "Sipsey" and a fictional account of a crime in Georgia entitled "A Mulberry Summer" can be ordered directly from Blakeney Associates, P.O. Box 846, Social Circle, GA 30025. "Sipsey" is $20. A Mulberry Summer is $15, as is "Cotton Fields' - plus $3 shipping.