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Rose Mary Oxford Rucker

      I was born on March 25, 1950 in Orlando, Florida on Vineland Road, which has since been renamed, to Goldwyn Avenue.  I am the third child of my mother’s and only girl.  My father’s name was Otis Oxford and my mother’s name is Rosetta Hill Oxford.  My father was born in Parrott, Georgia, March 7, 1908 and my mother was born in Osceola County, Florida, June 18, 1926.  My fraternal grandparents were Mance and Sarah Oxford from Parrott, Georgia and my maternal grandparents were Alex and Mary Raye Hill from North Carolina.  My grandmother Mary was Black and Cherokee from Raleigh and lived on a Cherokee Indian Reservation and my grandfather, Alex was from Fayetteville.


      My parents met here in Orlando and were married.  I can remember Orlando when Kress Department store, had  “Colored” and “White” drinking fountains and when we I rode the bus with my mom we had to go to the rear of city bus.  Well, I am sure that this was not a welcomed thing to my mother and aunt Arie because every since I can remember those ladies learned how to drive early.  I spent the first 2 years of my life on Lee Street near downtown Orlando, where most of the streets were not paved.  Then we moved to Lake Mann Housing Projects where I lived unit I was 8 years old.  At age 8 we moved to Johnson Village where my mother still has a home.  I attended Griffin Park Daycare for a while and then I attended Mrs. Davis’ kindergarten until she sent me home one cold morning by myself for a nickel for milk money.  My mother placed me in Lake Mann Homes Daycare and from there I went to First Grade at Holden Street Elementary, I truly enjoyed waiting on the bus and riding to Holden Street; something I had always anticipated since my older brother Lester and Ernest (my mother had 2 sons from a previous relationship, Lester and Ernest), were going there, I tried a few times to go with him, but was unsuccessful.  My 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade years were spent at Washington Shores Elementary, my 5th and 6th grade years, I attended Eccleston Elementary.  I went to Jones High for my 7th grade year and then a new school was build in my community, called Carver Junior High, we only had two wings at that time, but the administration staff was marvelous educators.  My 8th and 9th grade years were at Carver.  I attended Jones High School for my 10th, 11th and 12th grade years where I graduated in 1968.  I furthered my education at Valencia Community College, Orlando Vo-Tech and Mid-Florida Technical Institution.  My aspirations are to continue college with interest in psychology, religious studies, world history, African-American history and Christian Education.


       It was such a joy to grow up near my first cousins, Monroe, who was older and into sports and gone away to school a lot, Vera, Evelyn, who were my big sisters (Vera was more of the “other momma” image), Lawrence, and Mancefield my other brothers.  Evelyn and I were so rough; we could do what any boy could do, and Mancefield showed us the ropes, except Evelyn wasn’t good at playing any kind of ball.  It amazed me that she was always into beauty pageants, when she got older with her being so tomboyish and all.  I was always into the student government type of things.  The way the area was zoned where we lived was kind of peculiar, we lived in the city and my Aunt Arie lived on Vineland Road in a rural section, with sulfur water, this was cool and still is cool as far as I am concerned.  They even had Caucasian neighbors I stayed at my aunt Arie’s as much as I stayed at my home.


      My first visit to Parrot, Georgia was at age 5 when my grandfather Mance died, I remember getting to walk among chickens, and baby chicks, seeing how chickens lay eggs, how peanuts and watermelons grow, walking the clay roads with Vera and Evelyn and having one of the best breakfasts ever.

     My walk of Faith was definitely put into action when my brother, Ernest went to Viet Nam, I was sixteen.  I trusted God to introduce him to people and experiences that would benefit his life and bring him home safely.  He sent me the most beautiful oriental kimono and of course I did not realize that silk should have been dry-cleaned and I washed it well it shrunk and so did my heart.  Ernest told me not to worry that it was okay.


     I was engaged at age 17 and later married at age 19 to Harry Douglas Rucker. This union produced Elgin, Terri, and Harry II.  We now have 3 grandchildren, Elgin Otis, Terrena-Rose Synclair, Reigis-Rose and one step-grandson, Justin. 

     As I reflex back on my life I could have done some things differently, but I never regret my life as a mother.  I have been employed in the administrative aspect all of my life.  I am now employed with Children's Home Society of Florida, a child welfare agency as part of the administrative support staff.

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