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Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: All my dad's yesterdays.
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Nov 2, 2007

All my dad's yesterdays.

I recently went to visit my Memaw for the first time in over 15 years. Her name was Bernice, and she was my dad's mom. I don't have many memories of her because she died when I was a young age and we lived so far away. But my mom said everytime we arrived at her house, she would run out on the front porch saying, "There's my shoogah!" and come scoope me up in her arms.

So while I was out of town in Destin, on the drive back, I stopped by Campbellton, Fl where my dad grew up, to visit my Memaw's grave and leave her some hot pink roses. My great-grandmother, Lillian, who I was named after, was lying right behind her and I left her some flowers too. I wish I had known these two amazing ladies better, but they continue to live on in the stories my dad shares about their exemplary lives.

While in Campbellton, I decided to go on a photo journey around the small town capturing all the various things I knew were important to my dad. For those that think Florida is all beaches, there are actually a lot of very rural Southern towns in the Panhandle of the state. And when you hear of one-stoplight towns, this literally is. Here are a few significant photos below, and then a slideshow touring my dad's hometown. Despite it being a grey and dreary day, I had fun capturing all of my dad's yesterdays.

This is the landmark water tower in the center of town. It says "Campbellton: Gateway to Florida" because the town is on the Alabama stateline. And my dad said when he was younger he once climbed it!


This is the sign for the church my dad grew up in. And across the street was his school and gymnasium his legacy lives in. He was a star basketball player back in his day and his team were State Champions for three years in a row. According to my Aunt Teeny, she said those boys were so famous that when my dad and the rest of them graduated, they closed the school down because no one else could outdo their legacy. ha! They did actually close the school down right after he graduated.


The church that my dad grew up in. It is the not only the First Baptist Church of Campbellton, but of the whole state of Florida founded in 1825. According to a historic landmark sign out front it says:
Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church was established March 12, 1825 with 20 charter members and Rev. E.W. Callaway Pastor. Landowners, slaves and the poor were all in the fellowship of the church. In 1826, 10 acres of land was bought for $50 to build a church and a public school. The first meeting house was log, and the present wooden building was built in 1858. Bethlemhem Church was the first Baptist church in Florida to have a women's missionary society. In 1859, the name was changed to Campbellton Baptist Church and later to First Baptist Church of Campbellton. Full time services began in 1954. The church has been in existence longer than any Baptist church in Florida. ~Chipola Historical Trust 1996
In the slideshow, I have a transition of all the pictures of the different phases the church went through. I'm usually not much of a history buff, but this was all fascinating to me.


The aisle that my dad, grandmother, great-grandmother, and many other greats walked down every Sunday. Even though my dad said the fans are new, they obviously didn't have that back in his day and the ladies brought hand fans to cool themselves off with during the hot Southern days.


My Memaw's grave. And some roses I left for her.


My great-grandmother, Lillian, who is my namesake, and the roses I left her too. My dad said she left a true legacy of greatness in the town and church for the explemplary Christian woman she was.


When I went inside the church, I saw a collage of photos on the wall from Valentine's 1986. In the collage was Lillian's smiling face. She also died when I was very young and I have barely been able to remember what she looked like, because my parents and I have never had a picture of her. It was one of those moments as a photographer that I truly appreciated the value of a photo and how important it is in the history of life. So I took of picture of this picture of her to keep for my own family records.


The house that my dad grew up on. He said it was hard to see it so deteriorated all these years later because my Memaw used to take such good care of it and have it so clean from the inside out.


I couldn't get inside the door, but this is a picture of the kitchen sink. My Memaw was known for her famous cooking in this kitchen, but this picture is extra special to me because my mom said my Memaw used to wash me in this kitchen sink when I was baby.


We don't have much family left in the town, but I stopped by to my dad's Uncle L.G. and Aunt Teeny. Uncle L.G. was the mayor of Campbellton for many many years and recently retired from the position. He still serves as a board member at the Town Hall though.


So I was named after Gone With the Wind, and have this whole Southern heritage in my family, but I have never seen real fresh in the field cotton. I had to stop and take a picture of it and touch it personally.


A cute cown on the side of the road. Just had to take a picture of the reason why I am vegetarian. :-)


Labels:

7 Comments:

Blogger Rene Williams said...

Thanks for the poignant tribute to Daddy's roots. We all need to remember where we came from as the anchor to our souls. Our heritage is our true treasure because it is the foundation of all we do and say and feel. We must know where we came from to steer us to our marvelous futures!

November 3, 2007 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Jen Harris said...

That was so refreshing! Thanks for sharing, I got teary reading about the history your family. So special!

November 3, 2007 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Carla Jean said...

I know it's a one-light town, but I literally get stopped at that light EVERY time I drive through!

November 5, 2007 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Mom- I'm so glad daddy was touched by the photos!

Jen- Aww you got teary eyed. That means so much to me!

Carla Jean- Ha! Is that the route you always take driving to Florida? Will you be coming home for the holidays?

November 5, 2007 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Shara Lana Pisowicz said...

That is SO cool! I will look at my little hometown of Blackshear, Ga a bit different next time. Thanks!

November 6, 2007 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Carla Jean said...

Yep, 19 times out of 20! I drive down through Alabama, cross the state line and into Campbellton, then on to Tallahassee before hitting Jacksonville.

I'll be home for the holidays, probably Dec. 20-26 although I haven't booked my ticket yet. Should probably do that NOW...

November 7, 2007 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Shara- Ha! I love Georgia too, so many beautiful towns.

Carla- Cool, let me know when you over this way and we'll hang!

November 7, 2007 at 9:56 PM  

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