"My mother grew up on a farm with her six siblings. They grew their own food, and I believe there were cotton fields, too. After graduating from high school, Mother went to work at Barrow Manufacturing, also known as the pants…

"We descend from the William Harris Homestead, which is on Highway 11, and which is one of the largest intact plantations remaining in Georgia. My mother’s great-grandpa, William Harris, lived in the house, and then my mother’s grandpa, John Lewis…

“I don’t remember my daddy, he was killed in the coal mines. And my mother, she remarried when I was ten or eleven.”“She worked for a while in a dress factory, but she was everybody’s maid whenever they wanted to do something in the family. They’d…

“I was in my teens, my early teens then. And then Mother remarried and took my two older sisters and I into Chicago. But I left school at fifteen, and I like to say that’s when I really started learning. I know school people don’t like me to tell…

“It was the regular twelve weeks infantry training that all military personnel are required to take when they enter the service. It included all types of calisthenics, all kinds of weapons training, all descriptions on all types of guns, and…

“His mother and father passed away by the time he was eleven years old. So, he was raised by his grandfather. He had two brothers. He was the oldest of the three. Grew up during the Great Depression down in the rural south, and they were farmers. He…

"They had applied for immigration, and they had quite a low quota number, but it seemed like people that had higher quota numbers were being called to immigrate, and they weren’t. And eventually my grandmother [father's mother] figured out that…

"Finally, four countries relented-- that was France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Belgium. Right. And there were 28 people that were allowed to disembark in Havana, because they had the documents. Twenty-two of them were Jewish, but the rest…

"So slowly, but surely, they pulled up their anchor. They were headed for Florida, because they were hoping the United States would be more compassionate. When they got to the coast of Florida, or close to it, they could see the lights of Miami, and…

"They got there on the 29th, I believe, of May. And everybody was very excited. They packed their suitcases. They had brought them on the deck, and they were awaiting permission to leave to go to the land. And just 24, or maybe 48, hours prior to…