In my previous blog, I asked myself what does legacy mean? For me, it was finding anchors based on love for others, special places, and somehow, my place in it. To be specific, it was the love for my girls that pushed me along my first steps. I guess the next step is to figure out how to express, in some way tangible, that which you hold dear. In layman’s terms, do something.
For me, a few things had to be true about doing something. One, the expression had to have the intent to bring value to others, and not just myself. Second, it had to be a good example for my girls. And third, it did have to click with me and have elements that fit who I am.
So, what did I do? With the help of an attorney and with the cost of a bowl of cheddar ale soup from Free State Brewery and an ale, I, along with the other founders, started Lakeview Conservation Alliance, a 501(c)3 non-profit. It was a good compliment to the Lakeview Club’s entity, a fraternal organization, in that we could raise funds from sources the club could not. As well, we could allocate funds toward conservation and preservation.
Along the way we have had some fun. One memory will always stick with me. I was with my then 11 year old daughter at the Lakeview Lewis Crowder Cemetery (a Freed Slave Cemetery adjacent to our land and part of the greater Lakeview area & history) and she was taking pictures of some of the graves. We came across a grave that had engrave U.S.C.T. It stood for The United States Colored Troops. It was a branch of the United States Army founded in 1863 to recruit, organize, and oversee the service of African American soldiers during the American Civil War (1861–1865). My daughter took a picture, and on our website wrote (remember, 11 years old):
The person who lies here fought for the union in the Civil War. He, like everyone else here, was African-American. (I am just guessing it was for the Union Army… It was be… well… not very smart to be in the Confederate troops…)
She is now at Kansas University studying, amongst other things, History. I cannot say I have anything to do with this. Walking the cemetery, hiking the forest (some pre-settlement) and learning histories, I know both my girls have an anchor and connection that I lacked at that age. I’ll take that as a win.
PS: Langston Hughes spent part of his life at Lakeview with his grandmother. His grandfather, Charles Langston, had a homestead along the shores.