I have learned over the years that there is no greater feeling of accomplishment than to give something of oneself in hopes that others will benefit from that gift. The idea was planted in my being by my father's way of raising his children. It grew in leaps and bounds and, in fact, was magnified when actually I began to listen to stories about my family history. I took those stories passed on to by my father, mother, grandmother, and other family members to form a story about my Grandmother Gracie Hampton. It was her lifestyle, environment, conditions and timeline in which lived, that is the story's anchor, and my inspiration. And make no mistake, even though I have used the real names of the Hampton's family central characters, and most relatives, all words written as dialog in this book are mine and mine alone. I've adding my words as dialog, along with a few fictional characters to facilitate a story line of how it could have happened during the events noted. At times, it was a struggle to keep an eye on my purpose in life. God knows I have been distracted many times. Often, by my own misguided actions. Yet, I've always returned to my roots, the foundation of my upbringing, the unapologetic belief that I can not only survive but thrive and compete in any environment. I learned that from my ancestors. My youngest son, once remarked, "I'm not sure who I am." At the time, he was going through an identity crisis trying to find out where he belonged in life. My advice was simple, "Go look in the mirror. That's who you are and who will get you where you want to go." I hope this book helps others remember who and where they came from. Codis Hampton II
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