Mr. Ben Affleck’s being told that some of his ancestors owned slaves and then his attempted cover-up, which never works but is kind of understandable, got me to thinking about the southern part of my family.

Were slaves owned by my half-southern family? Who knows? I kind of doubt it. It would have been a long way back and I don’t think my ancestors on either side have been here long enough. First of all, my father is a Campbell, the “fuckers who killed the McDonalds.” His parents emigrated from Scotland and he was born in Canada and raised in San Diego. My mother’s people could have possibly been wealthy 5 or 6 generations back, but if they had money they lost it so it serves them right if they held slaves.

In my mother’s family, the Hackler side was a haughty and preening bunch. Aunt Rosa Lee, my maternal grandmother’s sister, who was part Indian I’m almost certain, lost her mind in her 50s and lived for 25 years curled up in a fetal position in a nursing home in Wytheville, Virginia. The Livesay side of my mother’s family was just plain hateful. And mean. Though one of them, my great-great grandfather, died in the Asylum in Marion, Virginia. Madness on both sides. Whoopee.

On Dad’s side, come to think of it, his only sister, Viola, went to bed when she was in her 50s, most of it spent at the Cloisters of Mission Hills in San Diego. I don’t know what was wrong with her. Some whispered she was felled by a broken heart. I do have a picture of her wrapped up naked in a blanket of sea weed with another naked woman, both of them splashing in the surf.

So if the southern half of my gene pool owned slaves, I have no historical record of it but then I haven’t been asked to go on that television show where Mr. Affleck learned of his slave owning ancestors.

I had a nanny named Nanny from the time I was born until I was 10 when my parents divorced, and she was black, and was a surrogate mother to me (not my sister, another story there). I used to drive with Momma to take Nanny home about 20 minutes away and as often as not we went into Nanny and her husband Arlee’s house where Momma always had a shot of moonshine with Nanny and Arlee. I think I might have had a nip or two as I got older.

Anyway, this whole business with Mr. Affleck got me thinking about Nanny and Arlee Thompson.

c. 2015 dhc llc

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