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This column was written by my grandfather, Y.C. Nance, in June 1963 and appeared in the Union Springs (Ala.) Herald. My grandfather was the Bullock County extension agent and his column kept readers up-to-date on what was going on with black farmers.

I’ve written about the writing gene that runs in my family. The last time I was at my grandma’s house, I discovered evidence of this gene: my grandfather’s writings.

My dad showed me a pile of yellow, tattered newspaper clippings. They had come from the walls of another home in Union Springs (the owner had repurposed newspaper as wallpaper). The woman who runs the historical society happened to see the clippings and recognized my grandfather’s byline among them. She gathered as many as she could and gave them to my dad.

These clippings are almost 50 years old and some crumble at the faintest touch. My dad and I were trying to think of ways to preserve them. I suggested contacting an archivist. His response: “That’s why I asked you. You’re the closest thing to an archivist I know.”