“Big George”


Hear the narration:

This text will be replaced

Having met this giant of a man when my family first arrived from New York, “Big George Crookham” was a welcome guest in our home. I can remember listening to his teachings and following him through fields and deep into forests searching for plants, insects, reptiles and artifacts. Big George believed that students should learn through observation and experience. As I grew older, Big George would take me on trips through the country side to collect specimens and he taught me how to respect nature and all types of people. My love for reading, exploring nature and collecting items from nature continued to grow, as did my appreciation and respect for Big George. My father valued education, however, he did not approve of me studying natural science as he thought that religion was the answer to all questions. Unfortunately for my father, I felt differently.

Big George, like my family, opposed slavery and aided enslaved people during their escape to freedom. As the years passed, both he and my family were targets of pro slavery neighbors who vandalized our property and harassed us. When it became too dangerous for us to stay where we were living, my family was forced to move. The most difficult part of the move for me was saying farewell to Big George. As I said goodbye, I had to hold back my tears, vowing never to forget what Big George taught me.