By Alma Hudson
Checkered Fences, fiction based upon a true story by Alma Hudson, takes us back to the 1970s. The time is right, but one of the main families in the story probably should have lived sometime about 2000 or later. They are a white family. Diane Jones, the main character, is an 18-year-old African-American honors student, but she was also working as a nanny for Jerry and Ann Shaw... Diane's mother also worked for the Shaws.
Diane had a strong, traditional family. In fact, her father had picked out his wife by seeing her hard at work in the fields, and claimed her as his bride. So, it wasn't a surprise to Diane or her mother when Diane's father started to bring home young, suitable men so that Diane could pick her husband.
Except Diane was not interested in getting married at this time. She wanted to go on to school, Her father made it quite clear that if she got herself pregnant out of marriage, that he would not support her.
Diane looks back on her childhood's happier times and knew she loved her father dearly, but there was never enough money and the children started working early. Christmas came and went, and there were never any presents. The only thing Diane ever received were taunts from neighborhood children about what they got! She also shares the type of discrimination and fear she faced as a young girl at school, only to come home to fear her father when he got drunk and abused her mother. Until she got brave enough to speak back to her father, to prevent his beatings.
So when her father crudely told her about sex and what the boys would want from her, it wasn't surprising that she decided she didn't want anything to do with all of that; so she got as much work as she could find in order to earn a scholarship or money for college.
When her mother told her about the nanny job, it seemed a wonderful opportunity. Not only was she hired immediately, but she was given extra money to take the kids out for lunches and she was given the keys for her to drive one of the family's cars. Diane was amazed how she was being treated, but she knew better, she continued to act professionally and kept a distance from the family as would most employees.
But then their son David came home; Diane and David were immediately attracted to each other. Diane, however, was the one who kept insisting that a relationship was impossible, while David just pursued her...
It was the 1970s, but, to this day, Diane believes that God placed David in her life for a reason, ending her book with 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8...Love never fails...
No, this isn't the usual kind of love story; or is it? Two people meet each other and fall in love. Should their race differences have kept them apart? Should their families have disowned them and forced tradition on their children? If these questions are those that you have asked, or if you just enjoy a romantic story, I recommend you check out Checkered Fences by Alma Hudson. There is a main answer provided her in this story. It began a lot earlier than the 1970s though...it began when the book of Corinthians was first written...
G. A. Bixler