“I have never had any delusions of being a skilled writer or of ever writing a book in the hopes that it would be published. Twenty-five years of newspaper reporting and seeing feature stories published with my byline have pretty well satisfied my writing ambitions, but I have long felt the compulsion to share my memories with my children and grandchildren so that they might know what my life has been like, to share some of our stories, to learn a little about their ancestors, and to remind them to hold on to their own memories, to treasure each day and each year. They all add up to a total life story.

“In writing my own story I have relived each year of my life, have recalled long forgotten friends and events and have reaffirmed my belief that no one has enjoyed life more than I, and no one had been more blessed. Of course there have been sad times, tragedies and heartache, all of which helped to make us maybe a little stronger and more able to face whatever may come. But the good times of growing up in a big loving family in a small town, knowing the wonderful love of a mother and for too brief a time a daddy, and then having a devoted husband and two wonderful daughters and four precious grandchildren have made the remembering worthwhile.”

These are the last words of Sara’s original memoir, completed in 1990 and never updated, despite our pleas that she do so. Tomorrow, or soon after, I will finish Sara and Russell’s tale for those of you who do not know “the rest of the story,” and soon after that I hope to put Sara’s Civil Rights memoirs online at this site.

In Sara’s day, when a newspaper story was complete and the writer was satisfied, that would be indicated by the notation: -30- . It meant the job was done and done well. You will still see it at the end of a journalist’s’ obituary, a quiet tribute from one professional to another. So from this writer to the one who taught me all I know of the craft, thank you. Thank you. I hope I’ve honored your memory.



About sec040121

Hello....I'm in possession of a priceless collection of memoirs and memorabilia left by my mother, Sara Evans Criss. She was a native and lifelong (88 years!) devotee of our small town, who covered this peculiar and volatile corner of the world for 30 years as the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Greenwood bureau chief, a job that started out with debutantes and high school football and wound up spang in the midst of one of the twentieth century's most enduring social upheavals. This blog is dedicated to her memory and the legacy she left behind, both for her family and her community.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to -30-

  1. Nancy Webb Phillips says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your mother! I have enjoyed reading every word. I am looking forward to the other posts you will write. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s