Randolph was clearly divided into three sections. There was the wealthy “East Side,” the poor “West Side” and the colored “North Side.” Since the south side of Randolph was bordered by Onahatchee River, there was no room left within the city limits for Randolph’s two trailer parks. They were located on the edge of the town, unwanted and unnoticed, on what I called the “Out Side.”
In the middle of all these sides existed the only world I knew: Randolph. With the exception of the Double Door Cinema Theater and Skate Whirled, there wasn’t much to do for fun. The High Beetle Mall contained a shoe store, a dentist office, a dry cleaners and a bowling alley, but it was closed on Sundays. In fact, the only things opened in Randolph on Sundays were its nine churches and four drive-thru restaurants. If people got hurt, they went to the Randolph County Hospital. If a driver got a speeding ticket, he went to the Randolph County courthouse. And, if somebody died, he went to one of Randolph’s two funeral homes (one for dead white people and one for dead black people, although all the bodies were buried side by side in Randolph’s Rolling Hills Cemetery).
Because of where Meadowbrook Acres and Paradise Gardens trailer parks were located, zoning laws sent all the trailer park kids to the wealthier East Junior High school. Last year there had been several heated arguments about changing the boundaries for the schools. Some of the parents wanted their kids separated from us trailer park kids, demanding we be bused over to one of the other two junior highs. A group of these angry parents marched in front of the Court House and The Randolph Times ran a picture of an enraged mother holding a sign that read, “Take the (White) Trash OUT!!” The school board discussed building a special school outside the city limits specifically for the kids from Meadowbrook Acres and Paradise Gardens, but no one could agree on who was going to pay for it.
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