I write this letter in an effort to close a long-standing memory that has followed me since I was about 10-12 years old.
It begins as a member of the Junior Choir at Bull Street Baptist Church in Savannah, where I was a member. Our choir director would often take us on weekend excursions to various Christian-based activities across the state and along the way, we’d sing and occasionally, he’d tell us stories.
On one occasion, we all got the tale of the Surrency House... of which I am sure the locals in your area are not only quite familiar, but maybe even a bit tired of, as well. So, let me state that this is not going too far down this path... but it is where it begins.
I don’t recall the entire story but I do know we were all, as kids, just a little spooked.
Sometime after that, probably within a year and somewhere around 1967-69, I was traveling with my Mother and one of her closest friends on a drive to Waycross to pay a visit to a specialized care-home of some type, where a pair of dear acquaintances resided. As it happened, my mother was not a licensed driver so her friend would be behind the wheel the entire distance... and while she was not a terrible driver, she was not very good with road maps. The result was that along the way, we somehow found ourselves in Surrency.
I recognized the name right away from that story our choir director shared and was somewhat excited about actually being there. We stopped at a small store/station to get directions and while they were inside, I sat in the car, gazing out the window in search of ghosts.
Just as we were pulling out to get back on track, I saw a pick-up truck going down a dusty, dirt road carrying what appeared to be several boys my age in the back. Suddenly, one of those kids tumbled out of the truck bed. The truck came to a quick stop, the driver got out, picked the child up from the road where he had fallen and then sped off.
Both my Mother and her friend were praying out loud for this child as we pulled out of town to finish our journey.
The memory of seeing that boy (pretty sure it was a male) falling to the dusty road and bouncing/rolling along as the truck came to a stop, has been far more haunting than any ghost story imaginable. For roughly 48 years, I have often wondered who it was that I saw and hoped and prayed that they came out of it okay. Of course, back in those days and at my age, there weren’t many resources for that kind of information so... it has just always occupied a quiet corner in the closet of life’s memories.
This morning, I saw the name ‘Surrency’ in relation to another story not connected to the town in any way but, as always, that memory was still there and began nudging me to write this letter to someone, anyone.
So, in closing, I’d like to reach out to the community of Surrency and to whoever it was that I saw that day and wish them well and God’s blessings.
Thanks for letting me bend your ear,