We all face troubles in life, and how we deal with and confront those problems can be as unique as our DNA makeup. For those with a writer's heart, it might mean jotting down those feelings, those deep and painful secrets, in some form or another: maybe in a song, or a poem, or a journal that's buried so deeply at the bottom of a chest of drawers, it will never see daylight.
For Croaker native Phyllis Garrett, who for years withstood life's difficulties in silence, it meant finally succumbing to the urge to write about her experiences, not just for herself, but for her children. She states on her website:
"I was born in Croaker, Virginia, in 1937. For many
years I have had the desire to write about my life.
I wanted my children to know and understand the roots
of our family, and to gain a better understanding of their mother.
How many mothers out there have had the same wish -- for their children to understand what they've been through? Most of us probably don't go to the extent of publishing our memoirs to convey those feelings, but that's just what Garrett did, in a book entitled "A Country Girl From Croaker."
According to the publisher notes: "A Country Girl From Croaker is the amazing story of a small-town girl who finally found the courage to speak out against decades of buried wrongs, aided by her faith in God and the support of family and community."
I haven't read the book, but I'm intrigued by Garrett's memories of a Tidewater I'll never know. She writes in Chapter 1: "In 1937, the rural community of Croaker, Virginia, was a small place with a funny name. It was named after a fish -- the Atlantic Croaker is found in abundance in these parts." (I didn't know that!) "It was a somewhat isolated community in those days; no paved roads yet connected Croaker with the city of Williamsburg, 15 miles to the East. Families traveled to and from Croaker on dusty roads rutted by weather, and traveling by horse and horse-drawn wagon was still commonplace."
(I must admit, my imagination takes off here, and I begin to wonder what secrets were hidden in that small, rural community.)
If you'd like to meet Garrett and learn more about her story, she'll be speaking at the James City County Library this Thursday (12/29) at 10:30 a.m., and will be signing copies of her book on Saturday (12/1) from 2 to 5 p.m.
For additional information, you can check her website, or contact the library.
James City County Library
7770 Croaker Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188
A Country Girl From Croaker was published in September 2012 (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform), and it is available in print for around $17 at amazon.com.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun