America declared independence as a free and self – determining republic from Great Brain on July 4, 1776. America celebrates Independence Day for 237 years this July 4, 2013.
Clyde Harrison Crawford, Jr. of Fountain Run, Kentucky and Betty Jane Underwood from Scottsville declared independence as a free and self – determining family from the families of their birth on July 4, 1951. Clyde and Betty Crawford of Gamaliel, Kentucky celebrate 62 years of their own Independence Day this July 4, 2013.
Clyde and Betty Crawford are my parents. I am their first-born 61-year-old son. My parents live. We live from Kentucky to Arizona from each other. This is a glimpse.
Betty Jane Underwood
My mother was born bi-racial when the condition had other than politically correct notion. She was born to a single mom, Gwynola Underwood, who lived with her parents, Hubert and Hallie Underwood also known as Papa Hubert and Mama Hallie.
My mother’s father was not talked about when I was a child but I always wanted to know who the white man was who came to Granny Gwen’s house every Saturday when we would visit. He knocked. My grandmother would open the door to him. He would always hand to her a brown paper sack and be on his way.
I would not know who he was until one day mom was reading the paper when she just began to weep. Dad consoled her and we went to the farm to work. On the way, Dad told my brother and I that mom had read that her father had just died.
Her father had not been a father to her. He had been the white man who owned the farm my mother’s family sharecropped. He was the same man at the door every Saturday of my grandmother’s house who never spoke to my mother, only to my grandmother. Mom grieved this loss and I felt only anger.
Clyde Harrison Crawford, Jr.
My father was born to schoolteachers, Clyde Harrison Crawford, Sr. and Maude Estil Crawford. Both had been teacher educated at Kentucky State College in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
My grandmother has been born a Lee of Northern Kentucky in the hamlet of Bethel. My grandfather’s origin was the same as my mother. Nobody really knew he was a colored man until he showed up with my brown grandmother and their children.
My grandmother taught grades 1 – 4 in the two-room colored school of Tompkinsville, Kentucky. My grandfather taught grades 5 – 8 in the two-room colored school of Scottsville, Kentucky. My mother was his student.
My father was born with cataracts. An experimenting doctor destroyed one of his eyes. He told my grandparents he believed he would get it right on the second. They thanked and told him no. My father has been legally blind all of his life.
My father would be the Valedictorian of his class at the Lincoln Institute in 1948. He would return home to work the family farm. My grandfather owned hundreds of acres of his own land and houses.
Clyde and Betty Crawford
My parents have always been hard working. They raised my brother and sisters in paradise. On the land we lived, we grew everything we ate. It was there in the forest trees, the waters of the, or on the hoof.
We worked hard growing tobacco, corn, and cane. We grew enough garden to feed many families.
My mother worked the fields as hard as any man. When the agricultural life was not enough by itself, my parents both got jobs beyond the farm. My father was also a pastor like my grandfather.
My parents have produced 5 children (2 sons 3 daughters) with four undergraduate degrees, four graduate degrees, a pastor, three teachers, and a nurse. Their down line includes 12 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
July 4th, 1776 and 1951
When Independence Day is celebrated July 4th across America, our family celebrates independence twice. We celebrate and honor the red, white, and blue. Yes, we do.
We also celebrate the day two became one. We celebrate and honor our patriarch and matriarch, Clyde and Betty Crawford. This is their 62 Anniversary. God Bless America and this day of Crawford Celebration.