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May 31, 1939
Edward J. Bacon (Negro)
160 Berry Street
Athens, Georgia
Brickmason
S.B.H.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S THE MATTER

Fred Ham's reddish brown cottage in the Lickskillet
community might readily be identified as the home of a craftsman
skilled in the use of brick and mortar. The paved walk that
traverses the narrow space between the cement-floored veranda and
the street is flanked by small brick-bordered flower beds. No
steps are needed to mount the veranda, for its elevation is barely
sufficient to prevent water from collecting on the floor.

A radio, going at full blast, drowned the sound of my
vigorous knocking on the door, but somehow I attracted the attention
of a man - a mulatto - -who was reading a newspaper as he lounged in
a chair just inside the screen. There was the inflection of inquiry
in his voice as he said "Yes, mam?" I attempted to explain the purpose
of my visit, but my voice could not compete with the rumble of
a passing train. "Come on inside. Miss," the man said. "Maybe we
can hear better in here 'specially after I turn this radio down a
little. My name's Fred Ham," he added by way of introduction.

The chair proffered me was one of a mahogany suite consisting
of a divan, two rocking chairs, a straight chair, and a library
table. The worn imitation leather upholstery was supplemented by
extra cushions with gay covers of coarse red net, which reminded me
of orange sacks. The matching tapestry covers on the library and

1859

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