Today I am featuring Author Ingrid Brown. She has a new book Miss. Sadie’s Song. Please read the blurb and the first chapter here. I am sure you will enjoy and purchase the book today. Thanks.
Ingrid Brown is an Oklahoma native and was educated in Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma. In addition to Miss Sadie’s Song, Ingrid is the author of Village Vengeance. She is the mother of one adult son and has one grandson.
Sadie Wise is a high-spirited teenager with an eye for older men; when she sees the handsome, newly discharged soldier, the young girl immediately decides he will be her husband. Joe Goodman is intrigued with the beautiful, vivacious redheaded woman-child but is well aware that, due to their age difference, any involvement with her would be disastrous. Nevertheless, the two find themselves together and at sixteen years old Sadie becomes Mrs. Joseph Goodman Jr. For many years the couple thrives, prospers and loves each other until a totally unexpected occurrence threatens to rock their seemingly unbreakable bond.
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Joseph Goodman, Jr. stepped off of the train and slowly scanned the environment. He was not surprised to see that during his six year military stint very little had changed in Small Town, Arkansas. Across from the train station the Mom and Pop general store was surrounded by the area’s only restaurant, a hotel, a hardware store, a barber shop and a number of other privately owned establishments. Joe gathered his two duffle bags and jogged across the street, mounted the bus and took a window seat in the back. As the bus traveled west, Joe gazed at the passing scenery. Soon he was able to see “Colored Town.” He smiled slightly as he began to see people who looked like him. He saw the smoke coming from the chimney of the Bar B Que joint and through the opened window he could smell the aroma of ribs, beef, chicken and bologna being prepared. He thought, “I made it back. I’m finally home.”
As the bus continued the houses and joints were replaced by wide open fields. He saw fields of cotton, corn and tobacco as well as apple orchards that spanned as far as the eye could see. Joe inhaled the fragrance of apples, dew and the scent of freshly cut grass. He relaxed and closed his eyes imagining the faces of his family whom he had not seen since he left for the service. In a few minutes he would see his mother, father and brother. Soon the bus halted and he opened his eyes, looked out of the window and saw his father standing at the side of the road. Joe quickly arose from his seat, grabbed his duffle bags and rushed down the isle of the large vehicle. He cleared all three steps in one motion, dropped his bags to the ground and embraced his Dad.
Joe, Sr. gently pushed his son away at said, “Let me look at you son. My, my, my you are a sight for sore eyes.” He then took his son’s hand and began shaking it vigorously before slapping him on the back. The men stood gazing into each other’s eyes. They were mirror images of one another. They were both six feet one inches tall with strong, stocky builds. They were dark skinned with complexions that appeared to be somewhat rough. Their broad features were not handsome but were ruggedly appealing. Straight hair that curled slightly on the ends could be attributed to their Indian heritage; the older Mr. Goodman’s was beginning to grey at the temples.
When Joe, Jr. picked up both bags, his Dad attempted to take both of them away from his son saying, “I’ll carry those.”
Junior quickly objected, “No, Papa. You don’t need to do that, I’ve got them.”
His dad hurriedly responded, “Boy, you need to give me those bags. You think I’m too old to tote two bags? You ain’t been gone that long.”
Even though there was humor in Mr. Goodman’s voice, Junior knew better than to defy him. He said, “Okay, Papa you carry one and I’ll carry the other.”
Mr. Goodman laughed, took one bag and wrapped his free arm around his son’s shoulders. He said, “Come on, Joey. We need to hurry up. Yo’ momma’s been up all night waiting for you.”
After being reminded that he would soon see his mother, Joey began to walk at a more rapid pace. When he saw his mother running across the field, he dropped his bag and began to move toward her as quickly as he possibly could. He lost his hat but continued to sprint. Soon, he reached his mother and picked her up swinging her around several times. He released her and they hugged each other tightly. Tears were in his mother’s eyes as she said, “Oh, my lawd. My prayers are answered. My child is home.” She then looked at Joe closely and said, “You are alright? You ain’t been hurt or nothing have you.”
He promptly answered, “Yes, Momma. I’m fine. I ain’t been hurt at all and I have not been sick a day since I left.”
Joe’s mother hugged him again and said, “Lawd, I must be losing my mind running like that. You know a forty-five year old woman needs to take her time and walk.”
They both laughed and Joe said to his mother, “You’re as young as you ever were Momma. You look good. You haven’t changed a bit since I was a little boy.”
“Child, you need to stop. Let’s hurry and get home. I know you hungry. I fixed all of your favorites; fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, greens, plenty of salad. I fixed a ham too and we got some peach cobbler, apple cobbler, chocolate cake and homemade ice cream. Of course you know I made rolls and we got some sun tea.”
“Momma, you must have been up for days doing all of that cooking. You didn’t have to do that.”
“Yes, I did. My son was coming home. I know you ain’t had food like this since you left. I was so excited I wasn’t gon be doin’ no sleepin’ anyway so I might as well have put my time to good use. Of course, you know everything we’re havin’ is home grown. We ain’t gonna eat a thing that’s been brought in a store. Now, when have you had that kind of meal?”
As they walked along arm in arm they remembered that Joe, Sr. was behind them. They stopped and looked around and he was strolling along a few paces back carrying both duffel bags and the lost hat. Joe, Jr. rushed back and said, “Daddy, I’m sorry. Let me take one of those.”
Joe, Sr. laughed and said, “I told you I can carry these bags, you go on and talk to your momma. She’s been waiting for this day for a week.” The three family members walked together talking and laughing along the way. The pace had to be slowed a little so Joe’s Mom could keep up with them. Margie Goodman was a petite, pretty lady who stood a little over five feet and weighed barely one hundred and ten pounds. She also had a dark complexion and straight black hair that easily reached the small of her back. Her features were delicate and her brown eyes were almond shaped. Joe, Sr. always said she was the prettiest girl he had ever seen. Regardless of her slight build and delicate appearance she could, if necessary, work in the field right beside her husband from sun up until sun down. Thankfully she seldom needed to go into the fields because she certainly had enough work of her own to keep her occupied.
When they reached the house, Margie said to the two men, “You sit on the porch and catch-up while I finish dinner. Your brother should be here soon and we’ll eat as soon as he gets here.”
As the two men followed instructions and sat in the two rocking chairs that were on the porch, Joey asked his father, “How is Lonnie? Is his illness any better?”
Big Joe looked at his son closely and said, “No, son, he’s not better. In fact he seems to get worse as time goes on. He wheezes something awful and has a bad cough too. He’s got medicine that he has to inhale and that seems to help for awhile but not long. The doctor said he needs to get away from this farm. It’s hard for me to imagine that the land that I love makes my son sick. I was going to arrange for him to stay in town once he graduated from high school. I thought he could find some kind of little job there and see if he got better. But, your momma doesn’t want him away from her. She said if he has one of his spells while he’s by himself it could be real bad. Son, I don’t know what’s gonna happen to him.”
Big Joe then leaned back in his chair and began to rock and look off into the distance. Joey sat silently, not wanting to disturb his father’s thoughts. While the two men were contemplating the issue at hand, Lonnie could be seen crossing the field headed toward the house. Joey got up and began to walk toward his brother. He walked because he did not want his younger sibling to attempt to run. Lonnie was a slimmer, frailer version of his father and brother. His features and coloring were very similar and even though he appeared sickly, he was more handsome than the other two men. When the brothers were face to face, Joey gently hugged his brother and said, “Come on up on the porch, Lonnie. Sit with me and Daddy while Momma finishes dinner.”
Lonnie walked to the porch with his brother and sat on the porch. The three men engaged in conversation for a few moments before Lonnie began to cough. He said, “Big brother, I can’t stay out here too long and I’m really tired. I need to rest before dinner. I hope you understand.”
Joey stood to hug his brother again and said, “Yeah, I understand. We’ll have plenty of time to visit. I ain’t going nowhere for awhile.”
After Lonnie entered the house, Joey looked at his dad and witnessed an expression of sadness in his eyes that he had never seen. Once again the two men were silent both engaged in their own thoughts. Soon, Big Joe looked at his son and began to speak, “Joey, you know we got plenty of land here. I know you’re a man now and you don’t want to live in the house with your folks. We can build you a house of your own anywhere on the land you like. What do you think?”
Joe chose his words carefully, “Do you need more help with the farm, Daddy? Because if you do, I’ll be glad to pay for an extra hand but I really don’t plan to live out here anymore.” The two men made direct eye contact and Big Joe said softly, “I see; what is your plan?”
Well, Papa I’ve saved almost all of my money while I was in the army and I want to go into business for myself. First, I want to do something I’ve been thinking about every since I left.
“What’s that, son?”
“Papa, I saved enough money to spend some of it on myself before I start working on my business. I want to go to the city and buy a brand new 1929 Buick right off the showroom floor. I got a picture of it in my bag. It’s a six cylinder Marquette that will carry five people. I got me enough money to pay cash; $995.00!”
“Is that so, Joey? Who saved that much money?”
“Oh, yes sir. I got that to blow and enough to start my business and carry me until I start to make money.”
“That’s good son. You didn’t spend any money in all of those years?”
“Very little, sir; Uncle Sam supplied my clothes, food, shelter and transportation. I didn’t need much more than that.”
“I’m proud of you son, tell me more about the business you want to start.”
“Well, sir. I’m going to start a cleaning service. I figure I’ll move into town; maybe into a rooming house that provides room and board or maybe I’ll rent a small house. But either way I ain’t going to spend too much money on food and housing because I want most of my money to go into my business. I know it will take some time to get enough customers to make a profit and I don’t want to run out of money. I’m just going to blow enough money to buy that car. But, if you need me to give you money to help run the farm, I will.”
Big Joe waved his hand toward his son and said, “No, Joey. I don’t need your money. I just thought it would be nice to have both of my sons on the farm again. But, I understand you are a man now with your own plans and your own dreams. It sounds like you’ve thought this one through. I don’t see any reason it won’t work. A 1929 Buick, huh? My, boy.” Big Joe leaned back in his rocking chair and lit his cigar. He held the box out to Joe who said, “No, Daddy. I don’t smoke.”
“Oh you don’t, huh? Do you drink?”
“No, Sir. I couldn’t save money smoking and drinking.”
“What about the gals? Did you spend any money on the gals while you were away?
Joey smiled sheepishly and said, “Now that’s another thing, Papa. A man’s got to spend some money on women. Ain’t no way to get around that one.”
Big Joe chuckled and said, “You right, son. If you find a way to keep your money from a woman, I want you to tell your ole dad that trick. But, you didn’t find a woman you wanted to bring home, Joey?”
“No, I didn’t. I think Momma would be awful upset if I brought someone home you looked different and couldn’t even speak English.”
Big Joe laughed aloud and said, “You know you right, son. You know you right. There are plenty of pretty girls around these parts; women yo momma will like.”
Joey agreed, “I think so too, Papa.”
“Seriously Joey, I need to ask you something.”
“What is it Daddy?”
Big Joe leaned forward and spoke softly, “I know it will take some time for you to get your business going but I’m wondering if you can take you brother to live in town with you. You remember I told you the doctor thinks it will help him to get out of the country. I think your mother will be okay if she knew he would be with you.”
Daddy, that’s no favor. Of course, Lonnie can go with me. He can work with me and I’ll find a place that’s big enough for both of us.”
That’s good son, but I don’t intend for you to take care of your brother. It will be a while before you make enough money to pay him wages but he doesn’t need to know that. I will give you money to pay him until your business gets going good.”
“Daddy, you don’t have to do that.”
“What did you call me?”
“That’s right. I’m your daddy and Lonnie’s daddy. He’s your brother and he’s not your responsibility. I want him to think he’s earning his own way because he’s a man. It’s bad enough that his body won’t let him do everything that men his age can; do but it ain’t no reason to hurt his pride. A man has to think he can take care of himself. You understand that, Joey, because that what you want to do.” There ain’t no harm in him thinking he’s earning his own living. It’s good for his pride. Do you understand?”
“Now let me tell you one more thing. It’s okay that we gonna fool Lonnie. It’s for his own good. But, don’t you try to fool me.”
Joey was confused and said, “I don’t know what you mean.”
“I mean don’t you try to pretend you’re making enough money that you don’t need me to pay for Lonnie. When you get on your feet and can afford to pay him, then you let me know. Do you hear me?”
Joey was amused by his father’s accusation but knew better than to express his true feelings. Instead, he tried to muster a serious expression and said as solemnly as he could, “No, sir, I won’t try to fool you. I’ll let you know when I can afford to pay Lonnie.”
Big Joe peered into his son’s face. He knew the young man well and could see the amused expression he was so desperately trying to cover but he could also see the respect his son had for him and the older gentleman knew he could trust his son to keep his word. He said, “Okay then. We got a plan. Now we just have to make sure your mother agrees with the idea. I know Lonnie will be glad to go to live with his big brother.”
“I sure am proud of you and I’m glad you are back home.”
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