This is a story beginning more than eighty years ago. The author has a story to tell as she was not born in slavery but felt enslaved during her childhood. "The Way it Was (not the way it is)," meaning you lived in poverty, you were poor and did not know it. You lived in the northeast section known as "Newtown" [in Harrisonburg, Virginia], you stayed in that section of town, you had three grocery stores run by local residents, three restaurants, Tea Room, Barber Shop, Ice Cream Parlor, Pool Hall, Dance Hall, five churches, your own colored school. You stayed there; you had gardens to raise, livestock to take care of, many children to raise in a peaceful, Christian neighborhood where everybody knew everybody.