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Life at Oaklawn: A scary confrontation

Life at Oaklawn: A scary confrontation

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I remember another time growing up in Cabarrus County, that involved my daddy being in a dangerous situation.

I must have been about 13 at the time and was helping in the store.

There was a Black tenant farmer living down below the barn in what we called a “shotgun” house. There was a hall in the middle, with rooms on each side.

This man came to the store and asked my daddy to step outside, he needed to talk with him. When Daddy went outside, the man stuck a hawk bill knife toward my daddy’s stomach and told him that Mother had been rude to his wife over something. He told Daddy that he would slit his stomach open. I stepped out the door to see what was taking place and Daddy shook his head, letting me know to go back in the store.

After about 30 minutes or so, the man headed back down the road to his house. Daddy came in the store and told me about the man having a knife to his stomach and telling him that he would “gut” him right there.

Things went fine for several days and, as I was out in the store yard, another Black man, Jim Parks, came by in his car and told me to get back in the store as something bad was going to happen. I went in the store and told Daddy what Jim had said, and we went behind the counter and just waited.

The tenant farmer came back in the store with a knife in his hand, telling Daddy that he was going to kill us. Daddy pulled out a pump shotgun and racked a shell and told him to come on if he thought a knife would be stronger than a bullet.

There was another customer in the store, and he ran around the counter and tried to take the gun away from Daddy. As I have said, Daddy was a big man, and he told this man to let go of the gun unless he wanted to get shot along with the tenant.

It was a standoff for a while, but the tenant decided he did not have a chance against the shotgun and left, muttering that he would get Daddy sooner or later.

We did not have a phone to call the sheriff’s department, and Daddy sent me over to Poplar Tent Road to use a phone to call the police.

When deputies got to our store, they could not find the tenant but told Daddy to swear out a warrant against him.

Daddy swore out the warrant and soon the man was in jail. He was found guilty of attempted murder and sent to prison.

His family moved out of the tenant house, and we never heard from any of them again.

There were bad people back when I was growing up, just like today.

I was raised to respect my elders as well as the police, and feel that this is part of the problem we are facing in this horrible time for our country.

If you have no respect for laws or the police, who are you going to call when you need help?

I also do not understand why people want to change the names of schools or buildings. Is this not part of history?

I would like to suggest that the schools be named for the streets or roads where they are located. This should solve all the problems that people seem to have today. This should make everyone happy.

I heard on the news that there would be new history books coming. What are these going to teach the students? If part of history is not included, did this mean it did not happen?

I hope all readers had a wonderful 4th of July and are grateful for the United States of America.

Please pray for our country. We are all Americans, and history cannot be erased or changed.

Bobbie Cannon Motley’s family has lived at Oaklawn, in the Cannon Crossroads community, for generations. These are memories of days gone by, before all the development in western Cabarrus County.

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