Excerpt from “Chapter 2 – Kemper County”

The Jolly Roger: An Airman’s Tale of Survival in World War II by William C. Atkinson

Excerpt from “Chapter 2 – Kemper County”:

It wasn’t unusual for young James to fall asleep lying in the furrows of the warm, plowed earth. He felt comfortable and secure nestled between the rows. Just as he was drifting off, he was startled to consciousness by his father’s loud voice.

“Keep up, Bilbo! It’s nearin’ dark and I’m a-lookin’ to finish this ’ere row ’fore your Ma calls us to supper.”

Bilbo walked along behind the plow mule his dad was driving picking up dirt clods that were overturned in the process. According to his dad’s instructions, he was crumbling the large clods in order that the earth would be smoother for planting. He had grown to love the smell and the texture of freshly plowed dirt and took his job of crumbling dirt clods seriously.

“Bilbo!” It was his mother calling…right on time. “Time for supper and bring your Pa along, too.” Bennett Atkinson gave his son a nod toward the cabin. “Run on up and wash your hands. Tell your Ma I’m puttin’ up the mule and I’ll be right behind ya.”