Dateline: A Family Outing to Miami Beach, mid-1930’s "Paul’s Safari Into Miami’s History"

 

“OH, LORD, It’s Those Dang Crocketts Again! Lookit! Even Miami Beach is not Safe Anymore!”

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Numerous generations have congregated for a lovely visit to the beach. R to L, starting with back row: Great-grandfather James (“Pap”) Crockett, of Humphreys County, TN (named after family friend Jesse James, whose horse he was given the great honor of walking daily as a child. The Irish detective Pinkerton was hot to capture or kill the murderous robber, but never succeeded because such local support helped him “step into the life” of just another mud-covered Tennessee Farmer. Once in that role, he gambled, sued, and carried on generally doing whatever else an individual of that time and place would do, assuming he had little shame and less fear.)

Beside him is his wife Maggie Hampton Crockett, my namesake, and also that of my nephew Jackson Paul Hampton Cole. My cousin Patrick entrusted me with her “friendship quilt” following the death of my Aunt Bettina a couple of years ago. It hangs in my upstairs home office:

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Back to the photograph. Next, to her right stands her son, my Grandfather, Bruce Crockett, “the luckiest man in the world,” joined by the singular star of his night skies, Annelise. The brunette on the left, I believe, is my Grandfather’s sister Beulah, having joined the folks for what must have been an adventurous excursion down to Miami.

(Hanging by Maggie Hampton’s quilt , by the way, is a scythe hand-turned by my Grandfather Crockett for use out in the fields, a precious heirloom which I’d starve if I ever had to actually use! )

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Last but not least, we have the fearsome four, themselves! Oldest and youngest, Betty Jean and my father Jerry, stand conspiratorially together, and finally Jo Ann and Marjorie. Everybody looks swell in their swim suits, huh?

A good time was had by all. May they all now rest in peace. And may I say, Thank you, God, that we still have my Dad here among us? He is the last of his tribe now, and, with Mom, the first of ours. In our hearts, now and always.

Thank you.

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