Last Day in Ozark, Alabama (Short Sketch)

April 1st, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

1889-1890

A day in Ozark, it would be the last day Joshua Jefferson would ever spend sin Ozark, Alabama; it was in November 24, of 1889. He was all of 86-years old, and in the 76-years he lived near Ozark, he had only been in the city a half dozen times, and to him that was enough, but his previous times, the times before this time, which would be the last time, was some forty-years ago, take or give five this or that way.

Today, November 24, was his birthday, and he came down to see Jordon, who worked at the main grocery store, they were going to surprise him, and go have a light lunch someplace, all three of them: Silas, Josh’s older boy was with his pa.

He, Josh, looked about the city, and came to the conclusion it had all changed, since last he was in town. There were now beggars on the street corners with tin cups, a blind man was selling pencils, store windows had toys in some, in others underwear, clerks as young as he was when he first came to America in 1813, found in New Orleans like a stray cat by Charles Hightower-were taking orders from customers. There was also a park, where forty-years ago, there was none. A new courthouse, perhaps not new, new for Josh, new since the last time Joshua was in town anyway; the more he looked about, the more he wanted to escape, it was like being on that ship that brought him to America, he was becoming suffocated.

He had come to Ozark, for three reasons: one, to see his boy, Jordon and he along with Silas to have lunch with; two: to pick up some medicine from Dr. Sharp, for Mrs. Hightower, she was getting sick again, each fall and winter, since her husband died some ten-years ago, she got sick more often, and at longer lengths, that is, it took longer for her to recover; and third, to see how Ozark was doing, the town, the city itself, how it might have advanced, and now he was sorry he came for that reason in particular, and for that matter, the other two reasons Silas could had taken care of, because Jordon was nowhere anyhow to be found.

Josh paused at the Grocery Story, where his son worked, there the owner was, he had met him once, which was the time he had asked Josh if Jordon could live in the back room part time, as he worked during the evenings on inventory and so forth, and be security for the place at night, at times the owner had large stocks of supplies. Josh told him, it was ok, but should he find out he was using this time to do un-virtuous things, he’d grab his boy by the ear and take him back home.

“Hello Mr. Jeff Madison,” said Josh, “I is lookin’ for my boy Jordon, I cant find him in your store, yous know where he is?” said Josh.

“He left for his lunch, perhaps in the park; Silas, you take your paw on over yonder there (pointing at the park) and I bet you two-bits he’s there!” said Mr. Madison.

“Sur’nough Mr. Jeff, I do as you say, and see if he be there,” said Silas, and grabbed Josh’s hand to walk away; but he wasn’t there to be found.

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