Dad's parents bought a farm from Blair heirs. It was a part of my great-great-Grandpa Joseph Blair's plantation. He owned approximately 1,500 acres in the Clear Creek area (now Mint Hill) in rural Mecklenburg County.
A few years before my brother and I were born, tragedy struck. Dad's father and older brother died only a year apart. It was a blow to my grandmother. Dad didn't like farming, so after he and Mom married and had my brother and me, they opened a restaurant in Charlotte. Granny was obliged to use tenant farmers to keep the farm going.
I would go out to the farm to check things out with my grandmother. Riding in the wagon and being lifted to ride old Jake, the mule, to the watering tub was lots of fun. One day in the barnyard, our dog was chasing chickens, and they spooked old Jake, who took out after me. My helpless, horrified brother froze in his tracks when I ran, stumbled and rolled underneath the mule. I survived unscathed.