Part Two: The happy and sad story of ancient Washington County, North Carolina
by Angela Perez
“Dad,” I said, “I need to get back to Raleigh.”
He was sitting at the kitchen table. He wrinkled his nose and looked down at his hands.
I had told him the day before about how the state of things around the town I grew up in affected me in such a dark and pressing way.
He got up and hugged me, and it made my bones sad.
“Oh, I’ll be back,” I said. “There’s a lot of beauty along these rivers and streets. An enormous story to tell. History to be restored. A community that cares, I think. I don’t know who they are yet. But I will.” I really should have mentioned that the chili-cheeseburger special at Little Man had always been my biggest draw to come home, but he didn’t seem to be in a joking mood.
“When are you coming back?” he asked.
“Soon, pop, real soon.”
I’d already put my luggage in the car earlier so I called for my dog Tater and he hopped in. As we backed out of the driveway, I saw my dad watching us from the back door as we drove off. He was waving.
Since last weekend, I can’t get Washington County off of my mind. There’s a calvary of ghosts in coveralls and homespun cotton dresses that’s been haunting me ever since. The spirit of that place is not a dream. But how will I fly this thing?
To read PART ONE, click here.
One more thing: this conversation isn’t verbatim, but you get the gist.