Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Mornings Crowning Glories: A Book Review

By: Harold Michael Harvey

I had been watching the mail box daily. I was expecting a copy of Mariana Titus', SUNDAY MORNINGS CROWNING GLORIES. It seemed like it would never arrive. I had seen glimpses of it on a social network site where I was introduced to the eclectic work of Mariana T. We had talked while she was preparing to leave Santa Barbara for Nevada, or perhaps, she was leaving Nevada for Santa Barbara, or maybe she was leaving Franklin, Louisiana for Nevada. I can not seem to keep tract of the wondering toes of Mariana T.

Then one day I opened the mail box to find the package I had been seeking for weeks. It was January 22, 2009 and as I opened the covers of the book, I found the inscription: “I wanted to sign the book with the election date. It’s a book about some friends back home.” This explains why I had not received the much promised book until two days after the Inauguration of Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the United States of America .

Back home for Mariana is Franklin, Louisiana. A town where time ever marches into infinity, yet when one considers the timeless values imbued in the townspeople, one gets the impression that time stands still in Franklin.

There is something magical about Sunday mornings below the Mason-Dixon Line. And nothing expresses that magic in the air on Sunday Mornings like Colored Church Ladies adorned in the Crowning Glories atop their heads.

I have seen every Sunday morning since October 21, 1951. I was five days old and just home from the hospital. It did not take me long to learn there was something special about Sunday mornings on the middle Georgia farm where I lived with my extended family. On Sunday mornings the men did not get up and go outside to farm. The women were the first up on this day. The ladies were busy getting breakfast cooked and laying out clothes to wear to church. The children could sleep late until awaken by the smell of sausage and the coffee percolating in the coffee pot atop the wood burning stove.

After breakfast, the magic would start. The ladies of the house would get the children dressed for church and then they would put on clothes never worn for any other occasion. But before walking out the door, each lady had a special hat to wear. My mom and her sisters usually kept their hats under the bed in a hat box. They would pull those hat boxes from under the bed and pick the one that was right for their Sunday outfit. We then would walk to church and get caught up on the weeks events.

No matter what racial slights had been endured during the week, when the ladies of the family put on their hats its was as if the weight of the world had been lifted and they were queens for the day. After church service, we would walk back home and the first thing the ladies of the family would do was to take off their hats and put them back up until the next Sunday morning.

Mariana’s journey back to Franklin, Louisiana to honor the ladies of the bayou, evokes memories of my on childhood in a simpler time period. It is an excellent edition to my coffee table collection.

She takes the reader inside Mount Zion Baptist Church, Saint John Baptist Church of four Corners, First Union Baptist Church in Garden City, Shadyside Little Jerusalem Baptist Church, New Mount Horeb Baptist Church in Oaklawn, Charity Baptist Church, New Providence Baptist Church in Centerville, New Saint John Missionary Baptist Church, Mount Zion Baptist in Katy,Nazarene Baptist Church in Pleasant Hill, First Baptist Union Church in Garden City, and Free Will Baptist Church in Kramer.

Through Mariana Titus' lens, the reader senses the spirit of hope and the strength of the women who give vibrancy to "Sunday Mornings, Crowning Glories."

Open the covers and discover SUNDAY MORNINGS CROWNING GLORIES.

Colonel Possum Publishing Co.
P. O. Box 41503
Santa Barbara, Ca 93140

(c) April 5, 2009


TenFeet2Hands said...

Interesting Michael, noteworthy southern struggles are usuallly interesting reads. My opinion.

Delcano said...

It sounds quite interesting. Moreso cause my mother's family is down on the bayou and I have lots of precious memories like you do.

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