Milt, our daughter Sonja and I were greatly blessed to attend an outdoor Sunday morning Worship Service on July 4th. It was at Griffin’s Beach hosted by Washington’s Church of The Very good Shepherd.
The wonderful sermon was about the independence we have in Jesus Christ. It was just one of people messages that aided guide the congregants into wanting at the liberty we have spiritually in Christ Jesus and also focused on the simple fact that independence is never free of charge. There is usually a price and in some cases it expense the lives of those people who sacrifice so another person else can be totally free.
Just after the support was more than, I walked around to the water’s edge, took off my sandals and stood ankle deep in the river even though remembering that this river was section of Washington’s maritime underground railroad and the function it played in so lots of people’s quest for independence.
Standing there, so a lot of memories from my youth came flooding back again. Griffin’s Beach was the heartbeat of the Black community. On the Fourth of July, hundreds of people today came to this beach.
My loved ones, alongside with many many others, would come right here on the Fourth and it was like a Black local community reunion. My sister Lena and I performed in the drinking water with scores of other youngsters. We ate excellent picnic lunches introduced from property and the fried crabs my parents purchased at the seaside. It was enjoyment to run among the parked vehicles to see how a lot of out of state license plates we could find and often it would be easy to place at minimum a dozen.
The beach front was the location for baptisms of innumerable generations of area church-goers as properly as annual homecoming situations.
There were always family reunions, weddings, class reunions, birthday events and all kinds of social gatherings. The kids performed all forms of online games, performed in the river, swam and experienced a superb time. The adults danced, fished, crabbed, played cards and drank all sorts of ‘adult beverages.’ The elders sat all-around and reminisced about existence on the river and how it had modified. They talked about how Washington had transformed, shared tales about their ancestors, and usually outlined how independence was found just beyond the river.
For lots of of us, Griffin’s Seaside was an essential section of our lives.
After graduating superior university, I moved to a number of states in the north, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and no make any difference exactly where I lived, if I instructed someone I was from Washington NC, they’d say “Oh very little Washington? Did you go to Griffin’s Seaside?”
As time alterations all factors, persons and destinations, time changed Griffin’s Beach front as effectively. It was sold by the spouse and children who owned it. The gentleman who purchased the land and seashore released himself to me at the assistance. I was deeply blessed to know how he honored the history of the seashore as he shared with me how he came to purchase it. I enjoyed conversing with him and as I turned to go home, I walked absent thankful for my new pal and him currently being a different url to the heritage and memory of Griffin’s Beach.
Leesa Jones is a Washington native and the Co-founder & Govt Director of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum.