The late Reverend Joseph N. Floyd SR was a stone cold to the bone country boy, born off the shores of South Georgia. He is the offspring of a Cherokee mother and he described his father as a big red skin man. His height can be match to that of Mount Kilimanjaro, with a deep thunderous voice, and soft wide light green emeralds eyes. Catherine Barbara Floyd is a humble, beautiful Southern Belle, born in the Hills of Charlotte South Carolina. The union between them lasted 32 years and produced twelve children. They first crossed paths on the narrow back road of Lyons GA. My mother was visiting family in Vidalia Georgia; and at night, she and the other youngsters would sneak out when the adults were sleeping. On one such night, she found herself in the bushes at a shack called the “Jook Joint” where Joseph was the bartender. When I eighteen my father told me the story of how he felt when he saw my mother, he said, “when she walked in all eyes were on her because she was the most beautiful, long-legged, big hip gal he’d seen in them parts.” My mother’s account of the meeting was different she said that she thought that my father was “the dumbest, fouled mouth, red face creature she has ever met.” Later, she confessed that it was one of those love at first sight encounters, but it was a matter of not letting him know. They had a shotgun wedding because back in those days the rules of courtship were different from today, if a boy got the girl in the family way, they had to get married. Soon after their wedding, he enlisted in the army. In 1967, stationed at Fort Hamilton Army base in New York City, my father persuaded his beautiful and shy country bride to relocate from the country to the city.
After 32 years of marriage 12 children, 25 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren, dad was laid to rest. My parents battled through some bad storms, but they stayed together, their love and strength kept the family strong. My mother said that my father was her best friend. I admired how my mother was able to take care of her children, a husband, and all the family pets, as well as having a well-polished home, and still managed to find time to care for herself. There is no other woman in the world like her. She said looking back if she had to do it all over again, she would not change one aspect of her life.