Long ago, my grandfather was the editor of a weekly newspaper in a very rural county in the Virginia mountains.
There was a time that Virginia used chain gangs of prisoners to clear brush and cut the weeds by the sides of rural roads. There’d be a dozen or so prisoners literally chained together, and a bored looking deputy with a rifle or shotgun.
We’d drive slowly by and stop by the deputy. My grandfather would ask if he could give the men and the deputy each a cigarette. The deputy would say yes, he’d pass out the cigarettes and chat with the deputy.
The men would get five minutes break from a summer’s heat, and the deputy would get some conversation.
I was very very small, then. I asked my grandfather why we did that. He said “They’re people, too.”
To Be Continue
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