Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 146
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
equalled by the wide-eyed wonder and perfect
faith of the listener. Then we would dance (in
summer) under the grove of cedars, which stood
eight in a circle, where the robins built their nests,
and the young birds would peep over to look at
us. How we would dance! We needed no music
save that of the feathered songsters, and our own
little piping notes. Rhody and Betsy taught me
how to dance. I had never seen any one dance,
but they had. They had gone down to the quar-
ters on Saturday nights, and they would come
home full of enthusiasm about "how de folks did
dance, and Uncle Sambo played de fiddle, and
how Kizzy outstood all de rest." And how did
Kizzy dance? "Stan' out dar; we'll show you."
So I took my first lessons in dancing, with Kizzy
as a model, the principal steps being to jump up
as high as possible, crossing my feet, and occa-
sionally whirling around. Oh, the dear old days
with Rhody and Betsy! Were they really perfect
days? or does the long lapse of years throw a
golden veil of enchantment over the past? Yea;
they were perfect days, and a true history of
childhood life on a prosperous Southern planta-
tion, from the happy hours spent in paddling in
the branch, over which hung crimson canopies
of the long-drooping fusia-like flowers, which
Rhody and Betsy called lady's ear-drops, to play-
ing the piano in the parlor, where I delighted my
listeners, and particularly my dark-skinned at-
tendants, with songs of"Jocko, the Fifer's Son,"
"Hush, Miss Mary," and many others of a like
character. Frequently some of the family went
riding in the old-fashioned round-topped carriage,
which swung like a great ball above the wheels.
Perched high on his airy seat sat the driver, filled
with the dignity and importance of his position.
Then when he would flourish his whip, and the
horses start gaily off, how delighted I would be
to see Rhody and Betsy clinging to the seat be-
hind, their black legs keeping pace with the
horses, and they evidently more delighted with
the ride than the occupants within.
To return to my trip to Houston: On not-
ing the wonderful changes that have taken place
in Houston during the last forty-six years, it is
almost impossible for one to realize that the old
and new city is identical, yet there are many land-
marks that are recognizable. Houston, with her
large population, being a railroad centre, with her
public enterprise and cultured society, ought to
be a just source of pride to the people of the
state. She has among her modern acquisitions
extensive water works, a well organized fire de-
partment, and the electric light, whose scintillat-
ing brightness charms the eye, and gives bril-
liancy to the city.
During my trip to Houston I visited the
residence of Col. Nathan Fuller, which had been
the home of Mrs. M. J. Young for forty years of
her life. This lady, well known throughout Texas,
was the daughter of Col. Fuller. This was my
first visit there since her beautiful spirit had taken
its flight from the scene which she had once
brightened and hallowed by her presence. She
had been the companion of my girlhood, and the
cherished friend of my afterlife. Sad and tender
were my thoughts, as I approached the well-
known mansion, surrounded by its beautiful gar-
den, now glowing with its profusion of flowers,
amidst which a fountain threw up its diamond-
like spray, and sprinkled the grateful shrubs with
refreshing showers. I stood for a while by the
garden-fence, watched the goldfish, as they
floated upon the surface of the aquarium, and
sought the favorite flowers of her who had so
carefully tended them. All things seemed to speak
of her, and I almost expected to see her white-
robed figure moving along the garden walk. To
Houstonians this must be ever a cherished spot,
made sacred by the memory of her whose life,
spent in their midst, was given to noble works-
a blessing to all who came within her influence.
Mrs. M. J. Young
"Mrs. Young, being so truly a daughter
of the South, it need scarcely be added that she
was true to the traditions of her race in the late
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/18/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.