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  • I had come to this part of town looking for a house. I had read a story about it in the newspaper: the town was planning to move it a few hundred yards to its left, to clear the space for a local congregation to break ground for its new chapel. The air was light, crisp; it was cool, and I was getting a little nervous as I turned down the curvaceous Rogers Road, entering this most established part of town. I had come to this part of town to meet the preservation society director for an interview. I would record him in the front yard of the decaying home. I was feeling jittery because I wasn't sure how the house would hit me- if it would just be sitting there, quietly sinking into the centuries-old earth, or if it would jump out at me, as I turned the corner, a stark contrast to the blocky, modular homes dotting the area around it. Alas, I made a hard right, and after driving about fifty yards, a mobile home came into view on the left, and just behind it, set back from the road, was the Lloyd-Rogers house, sitting peacefully as it had for more than 160 years. Here was a house with history. Its first owner, a slave owner, had fathered children with his slaves, one of which broke the cycle to become the home's owner. I pulled into a trodden-down grassy spot and shut off the car's engine, swiftly opening the car door. I was drawn to this house, this place of immense history, this place of blood and sweat and tears. Though, any feeling of discomfort from the heartache that might have been sustained here was displaced with the laughter of the children of a bygone era, climbing the poplar trees out front, running across the wide-planked pine floors of the front hall, sitting on the porch out back. I could feel the years of wear, the years of care, this graceful home had endured. Secrets made, secrets carried, stories told, old-timers grown old. It had become a place of remembrance, that people had changed, and amends had been made. As I stood in the front yard, feeling the hazy air and listening to the peepers hiding in the tall grass, I closed my eyes, and heard the home whispering ever so faintly, 'don't forget me.' I recorded these sounds, and I played my story on the radio, hoping that someone would listen, that someone would hear the house as I had, a gracious witness to a haunting past.
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