Tale of the Palmetto: The Story of Emma Lakes

Bushes Palmettoes Utility Pole Numbers

By Delbert H. Rhodes


The 1940s

She begins this day as any other; early breakfast, attending other needs of her home and family, and then into town for afternoon shopping. Lately, she has taken in boarders, a man and a woman, strangers to town, but a loving caring woman she welcomes them; she welcomes everybody.

Her neighbors warn against the two: saying that she should not permit strangers to live in her home; the neighbors are uncomfortable with these people. (These people are different they talk funny; with a strange accent.)

A strong-willed woman and fearless, maybe her Seminole heritage has something to do with her strength, she sidesteps worry and wary, telling her neighbors that she is alright.

This day the three venture into town and occasion a few shops for goods. Unknown to the dear woman, and close by, one of her young relatives sees her accompanied by the boarders.

As the young girl shops, she pauses awhile, staring at Mama. Something feels wrong, but the girl ignores her senses, something she would live to regret.

The killers dumped the body of Emma Allen-Lakes by the roadside, out near the local beach. Beaten and discarded like trash, Mama would live her last moments in the arms of Palmetto bushes.

A proud loving woman who loved her family, friend’s, neighbors and townsfolk; she is disrespected, dishonored, disgraced and then thrown away.

Mama’s death symbolizes a heartrending, and pitiless end for a descent-loving person who helped everybody; and an inhuman act, by two people she welcomed, and treated as family and a warning to all caring to love too much.

The police locate the murderers, and then free them; issuing an order that they leave town.

Emma Allen-Lakes, her family and all who loved her are forever without justice.

Sad to say: The outcomes indicate the mindset of the time; after-all, she was “just a ‘Seminole squaw.'”

Mama was my maternal (maternal) great, great-grandmother.

Copyright © 2011 Delbert H. Rhodes

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