Every time I make this shrub — especially cherry shrub — I think about my great, great grandfather — on my mother’s side — grandpa Frank.
I bet it was a night like this — around midnight — when grandpa Frank ran away. Looking up at that moon — so huge and so full — it was probably, nearly, almost close enough to touch — if he reached for it — if he stretched — a little. And with all those stars so bright and so big — I know it was easier to see — just had to be.
Maybe he planned it that way — maybe he didn’t — don’t know for sure — but either way — my great, great, great grandfather Ambrose owned a lot of slaves — fathered quite a few — including grandpa Frank. It was a crazy, tangled business — that Kentucky plantation.
Eventually — grandpa Frank went back to that same plantation — back to his father, Ambrose — who then hired him to run the plantation. Grandpa Frank was always good with money. He could read and write. His father taught him — early.
Grandpa Frank was in charge of the slaves — on the plantation. He even bought some of the slaves — for his father — for the plantation. It was a crazy, tangled business — but grandpa Frank knew it well. He married one of the slaves — on the plantation. She was my great, great grandma Lucinda.
She liked strawberries. He liked cherries.
Bet they were married on a night like this — around midnight — somewhere — on that Kentucky plantation — moon so bright — stars so big — it was probably even easier to see.