75-year-old Julian Walker tells his daughter, Julia Walker Jewell, about an accident his father had as a young boy.
Julian Walker (JW): My father fell off a cart that they pulled heavy logs out of the forest with, and the cart ran over him. He was just severely injured, and as an old man, he still had scars on his head where his scalp was rolled back. He was just scalped. The only medical facility they had up in the town was an old Doctor Shaw, and he did what he could to patch my father up, which was not much. So, he was sent to Wilmington to the hospital. He had to live there and have special care and a family befriended him and took him in. I’m gonna jump forward seventy-five years. When he was an old man, he would sit in his chair in the front lawn under the oak trees. This one day he was sitting there and an elderly couple came to the house. And the woman was a Mrs. Marshall, and she and my mother were friends. They went into the house. And Mr. Marshall sat out there with us and my dad asked him where was he from. And Mr. Marshall says, ”Well I’ve lived in Wilmington all my life.”
And my dad said, ”You know when I was a kid I was injured, and a family took me in. I do not know their names or anything about them. I just remember they had other children.”
Mr. Marshall said, ”Do you remember a teenage boy that used to carry you on his shoulders? That was me.” I
noticed my father look to the Northeast, Mr. Marshall looked to the Southeast, and I saw a tear run down their faces. I felt like I was invading somebody’s privacy, so I quickly left, and I let them have their moment. It was hard for me to see for a little while, either.
Julia Walker Jewell (JWJ): (laughs)
JW: But I could look back and see the depth of memories between these two old men. My daddy wasn’t a real emotional man, and he didn’t dwell on those things, so I never knew of this family until I heard the conversation. And you know, to hear that made me know there were a lot of things about my father that I didn’t know.