A simple shake of the head by a secretary would send

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Unformatted text preview: to be on the lam, had an American name. During my second visit she had explained that she had been raised in an Italian home, right there in Ford County, but it was a very long story and she was saving it for later. The first seven had all been valedictorians of their classes at Burley Street High, the colored school. Each had earned a PhD and now taught in college. The biographical details filled pages, and Miss Callie, rightly so, could talk about her children for hours. And so she talked. I scribbled notes, rocked gently in my chair, listened to the rain, and finally fell asleep. Chapter Twelve Baggy had some reservations about the Ruffin story. "It's really not news," he said as he read it. I'm sure Hardy had alerted him that I was considering a large, front page story about a family of Negroes. "This stuff is usually on page five," he said. Absent a murder, Baggy's notion of front page news was a hot property line dispute being waged in the courtroom with no jurors, a handful of half-asleep lawyers, and a ninety-year-old Judge brought back Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html from the grave to referee such matters. In 1967, Mr. Caudle had shown guts in running black obituaries, but in the three years since then the Times had taken little interest in anything on the other side of the railroad tracks. Wiley Meek was reluctant to go over with me and photograph Callie and Esau in front of their home. I managed to schedule the picture taking on a Thursday, at midday. Fried catfish, hush puppies, and coleslaw. Wiley ate until he had trouble breathing. Margaret was also skittish about the story, but, as always, she deferred to the boss. In fact, the entire office was cool to the idea. I didn't care. I was doing what I thought was right; plus there was a big trial around the corner. And so, on Wednesday, May 20, 1970, during a week in which there was absolutely nothing to print about the Kassellaw murder, theTimes devoted more than half of its front page to the...
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