READER: The island was our own little world.
NATASHA DEL TORO: Sapelo Island, seven miles off the coast of Georgia.
Cornelia Walker Bailey's family has lived here for nine generations.
CORNELIA: Our community was never integrated.
We wanted the culture and other stuff to stay intact.
DEL TORO: But will the next generation stay?
"Sapelo," on America ReFramed.
♪ PEOPLE: Four, three, two, one!
♪ Come on!
♪ (cheering) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (birds chirping) (panting) (grunts softly) Oh, my thing!
(panting) (grunts) It's so hard pulling up this net on mud.
MARCUS: I caught little baby shrimps!
(birds chirping) (object drops in bucket) MARCUS: I got some!
(water splashes in distance) Any manner of step could be a cause of death.
There's some fish jumping right there.
I'm gonna try it one more time.
If I can't catch anything, I'm done for the day.
I'm going home.
Well, we might as well head on home, then.
We may have no fish, but we have some oysters.
(water splashes) MARCUS: There go some right there.
JOHNATHAN: Get that big one right there.
- This ain't nothing in it.
Some right here, no?
(grunting) - I wish I could get that one right there.
You got cut?
Let me see.
- Let me see!
- (gasping) - Let me see!
It ain't bleeding that bad.
Now stop being a wimp.
Boy, I got cut when I went in the marsh the other day.
I ain't cry like a baby, did I?
(birds chirping) All right, we're going home.
Oh, excuse my language.
Sorry about that.
(birds chirping) (fence rattling) CORNELIA: Good afternoon, family.
Hi, Mom, hi, Pop.
CORNELIA: The Geechee people, which I'm one of them, the majority of us came from a group of people in West Africa called the Gizis.
This is Frank's mama right here, this is Miss Catherine.
FRANK: All right.
CORNELIA: Well, Julius is my husband.
We call him Frank.
He's a pretty nice fellow.
He's more quieter than I am, naturally.
I'm more outspoken, he's more reserve.
Now, wait a minute, now.
Frank, that tree is resting on your grandmama's headstone.
CORNELIA: We who live here and who've been here, we're binyas.
A binya is a older person, a wiser person, versus a little child, who's a new person, who just come here.
So it's a wisdom thing, as well.
I've been here, so I know.
And so you would be a comya, and I would be a binya.
♪ ♪ READER: The island was our own little world.
Back then, in the 1950s, I roamed freely with my brothers and sisters, exploring the wilderness.
We all believed in signs and magic, especially the old folk.
A shooting star was a sign of a birth to come.
A rooster crowing at the wrong time of day, a screech owl hooting at your door, these were sure signs of death.
If a rattlesnake slithered into your dream and then back out, you made damn sure to kill one when you woke.
Our ancestors were brought across the ocean and forced to work the land.
When freedom came to them after the Civil War, they knew they had to make the land their own.
They built a church, a school.
They established five small communities on the island.
Their spirits were in our lives, always.
By the time I was born, our communities were very much alive.
But it was not to last.
Over the course of my life, I watched our communities vanish, one by one.
Now only one remains.
(birds chirping) (boy mumbles) JOHNATHAN: Where's my slingshot?
- What are you doing?
- So it'll stay, Marcus.
- I noticed you took some of my bullets.
- Nuh-uh, I only took one.
(kitten crying out) A kitten!
- I didn't run him over, I know that for sure.
- Pick him up.
- I don't know if he got rabies.
(kitten crying out) He gonna ride in the back.
- Aww... (kitten crying out) Aww... - I hope I didn't run him over.
You might need to put him back in the woods where the mama at.
- The mama probably ain't nowhere around here.
Mr. Tracy got a cat, so I probably could take it down there.
- Yeah, we'll take him there.
(kitten crying out) Let's go.
(engine running) Give it a little gas, boy.
MARCUS: Well, I like to ride bikes, I like to ride horses, I like to ride four-wheelers.
I like to do all that stuff.
Outdoors person, yeah.
JOHNATHAN: Marcus and I are different, but where we're the same, we both like crabbing, we both like hunting, and we both like fishing.
And we both love oysters.
MARCUS: So my brother Johnathan, he kind of crazy, like, he likes to copy me on everything I does.
He can't help it.
♪ ♪ (laughing) Whoa!
CORNELIA: We adopted the kids through foster care.
We raised a whole lot of kids.
It was, like, 20 of them altogether, total.
And not only do I love the boys, but they're the next generation.
- Hey, it came undone!
CORNELIA: So they're it.
JOHNATHAN: Cornelia and Frank, they're great parents to me.
And I like that.
Oh, I put it the wrong way.
We're not perfect, but the parents are not gonna take care of these boys.
And the selfish part of me want them to stay, because I want them to help keep my community going.
(laughs) (projectile hits branch) Missed his (muted).
(crowd cheering in game) (man speaking in game) (crowd cheering) (JJ grunts) JJ: I just tend to stay inside, 'cause there really be nothing to do.
(knock at door) (game continues) (Marcus mumbles) MARCUS: I need something.
- Go, go.
MARCUS: You always act like this.
- I'm just saying go.
JJ: Me and Marcus have the same father, but me, Johnathan, and Marcus have the same mom.
(game continues) I love my brothers to death.
I would give up my life for my brothers, but they just, the things that they do is just...
The way they, like...
The way they treat certain people is just not fair to, like, the people who do everything they possibly can for them, like, try to help them out.
(motor running) It's lifting it up.
Oh, you want me to take it down the catwalk?
(motor stops) Look, Johnathan, let me see it doing the catwalk!
Stop, Marcus, because they gonna think it's fire.
JJ: Marcus, um, he was being bad at school a little bit.
My grandparents get calls from the school about him.
I kept telling them to change, because I'm supposed to be the older brother.
I'm supposed to, like, encourage them and inspire them.
JOHNATHAN: Try to gonna get the other one!
Try to gonna get the other one!
JOHNATHAN: Try to gonna get the other one!
Being the grandson of Cornelia and the grandson of Gra, of Julius, it really, like, it really put something on my, on my name, 'cause being a part of their history, that legacy, on Sapelo is just...
This is kind of, like, cool to me.
She wrote a book about her whole life over here and what her mother and father did, and what my grandma and my grandpa's mother and father did.
She put her heart and soul into making that book and I really, I really look up to her for that.
♪ READER: Growing up on Sapelo, I was surrounded by a belief in Root.
Papa was no stranger to it, though he looked to natural causes first.
Mama, on the other hand, was a whole-hearted believer.
She warned us children not to eat tiny green pears because they weren't ripe.
Of course, it wasn't long before my brother and I started eating those pears.
By sundown, I was sick-- real sick.
My folks tried all the remedies they knew: the leaves of the beautyberry bush, sweet gum twigs, life everlasting.
My fever was only getting higher.
A little before daybreak, I died.
The church bell spread the word.
Death had its own ring, loud and slow.
They hurried to bury me before the buzzards came around.
But then, a little voice inside Mama spoke up.
She fetched Grandpa, who worked the White Root.
God knows what he did.
But Root brought me back.
I survived a little taste of death.
From then on, the elders looked at me like I was different.
This is my horse, Dixie.
JOHNATHAN: This man rides wild horses all his life, since he was six years old.
Do you need help, Marcus?
- But I ain't touching your feet now.
- (clicks tongue) - She gonna buck you off and I'm gonna laugh.
- This is how you sit on a horse.
Really grab her mane like this and hold on.
(murmuring) Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
(exhales) That's how you stay up.
(film music on television playing faintly) (film music playing) MAN (on television): What did you do to him?
MAN 2: Now the hunter knows what it is like to be hunted.
TRACY: I just like the Western movie on account of the horse and the guns.
You know, we used to hunt a lot.
We pretty much self-govern, and that would be the simplest way to put it.
(people talking in background) MARCUS: All right, give me both hands.
TRACY: There used to be 60 kids.
- Both hands.
TRACY: Now we got five or six at the most.
Because Cornelia's got three.
MARCUS: Get back on the table-- oh.
- I told you.
(Johnathan laughing) MARCUS: You ain't tell me nothing.
TRACY: I think Cornelia's a beautiful person.
She trying to help the community stay alive.
Right now, ain't nobody just like her.
(children talking in background) Another thing I like about her, she built like me.
She's straight up.
(people laughing, talking in background) CORNELIA: Our community was never integrated.
We wanted the culture and other stuff to stay intact.
(fire crackling) (people murmuring in background) (child singing softly) ♪ (talking in background) ♪ (people talking in background) ♪ (talking softly) CORNELIA: We always were comfortable knowing this is the Black community of Hog Hammock.
And when the first outsiders bought property here, we're going, "Uh-oh!"
You know, a little warning bell went off.
(machines whirring) (hammering) There's a lot of people waiting in the wings with their checkbook handy.
But-- there's a but to this-- the culprits is my own people.
Because they're the one that's selling it to the other folks.
(hammers pounding, machines running in distance) LLOYD: You hear the sound of new construction in the background.
(saws grinding in distance) Which is a new sound on Sapelo.
Cornelia is about the same age as I am, and was obviously here on the island when I first visited.
And Cornelia was saying, "I know who belongs on Sapelo, "and if you're white, you don't belong.
"We'd love to have you visit, but when the 4:30 boat leaves, you ought to be on it."
I came to Sapelo in 1973 with scientists from the University of Georgia studying carbon flow in the salt marsh.
CORNELIA: When they first came, we used to call them the mud people, because they was always in the marsh, in the mud.
And we'd be going, "Gee, what are those people doing in that marsh all the time?"
Scientists aren't always the best communicators, and, you know, we get caught up in our little world of learning more and more about less and less, until you know everything about nothing.
The saying about the live oaks, they live 300 years.
It takes them a hundred years to grow, a hundred years to live, and a hundred years to die.
MARCUS: Heeyah, heeyah, heeyah!
JOHNATHAN: Where you goin'?
(birds chirping) MARCUS: Y'all see 'em?
- I see me one.
- You see 'em?
JOHNATHAN: Somebody coming, Marcus?
(birds chirping) Come right here, you see him right there?
- Oh, I see him.
Let me try to cast over there.
- You can't cast way out there.
Come for it, Mama.
You got him?
- Yeah, he comin'.
- He still on?
- He popped my line.
- He popped the gator hook?
- Nah, he popped my line.
- Oh, big (muted) alligator!
- That's big!
Look how big that (muted) is!
- Let me get me a piece of meat.
- You need some help, Marcus?
- (straining): A little bit.
- All right.
Let me reel my thing in, set it right there.
- Don't fall in.
- All right.
- Hold on, let me tighten it up.
(birds chirping) (reel buzzing) (singing) (chainsaw roaring) All right, you ready for the chainsaw?
CORNELIA: We are trying to get some economic, a good economic base going.
And one of the thing we're working on is the Red Peas project that will help us do that.
JOHNATHAN: We started up planting some red peas.
I built my own little garden.
We're trying to keep that going for the hope of my grandma, so we can keep this whole place alive.
(birds chirping) CORNELIA: So now we have to wait and see what comes out of it.
I'm not looking for failure, I'm not looking for anything except some kind of progress out of that, yes.
♪ READER: If the elders said a blessing had been put upon you, you had to fulfill it.
That can be a heavy burden on a child.
A heavy burden.
I didn't really know what they expected of me.
I didn't wanna see spirits or the future.
I just wanted to be a normal little kid.
The only signs I wanted to read were the kind that Papa could read, the ones from nature, like when the tide was right for fishing.
One day, when I was five years old, Papa and I were walking down the road.
It was the time just after sunset the old people call Dusk-Dark.
Anything can happen in that moment when you're between two worlds.
I was staring into the woods.
Papa asked me what I could see.
"Nothin'," I said.
"Aww, I know you see something, child."
The easiest thing was to just go along with it.
I said, "Yes, sir, Papa, I see something."
He was happy then.
He didn't ask anything more.
He was sure I had the power.
(birds chirping) JOHNATHAN: Down, set... Blue 42!
(pounding keys discordantly): ♪ There was an old lady ♪ That lived in the wood, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ ♪ There was an old lady that lived in the woods ♪ ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ There was an old dog that lived in the woods ♪ ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh (holding final note) Dear Lord in Heaven, give us this day on Earth and forever and ever and ever until I die.
♪ FRANK: Good morning, Luna!
♪ Good morning.
♪ LUNA: Hey!
(hand slaps) JJ: Oh!
(punch lands) JOHNATHAN (laughing): Ow!
♪ (drumming on seat) ♪ (brakes hiss, door opens) All right, kids.
♪ ♪ (singing) MARCUS: Well, now I go to behavior school for my behavior.
But I don't like it that much.
But I'm starting to do better.
(birds chirping) (clicks tongue) CORNELIA: Now, don't you go over there and show off to them folks' city kids.
Them city kids, don't let them on the horse.
They be run and hurt themselves.
MARCUS: Yeah, I know.
- So don't go over there.
MARCUS: I ain't going over there.
- Please don't.
(R&B song playing) (people talking in distance) SHARRON: I had a small little birdbath and my little froggies I got from a garage sale.
I put it up here to put in my little rock bed right here, and I had my rock bed over there, but-- in that little clearing right there-- and since it's on somebody else property, I moved it and put everything right here.
Every time I look at this, I'm, like, man, man, oh, man.
How is this gonna look?
How big this house gonna be?
It's gonna be 1,400 square foot.
(exhales): It's, it's a shocker that we have to... You know, we'll be having neighbors that close to us, but it's life.
You know, you're used to seeing the scenery such as this pine tree right here, or this oak tree over here, or what-have-you or the hedges or the bushes right there and all.
And then, all of a sudden, you know, there's something that put, a structure that's put up and cleared it and you can't see it anymore.
So it's sort of, like, mm, man!
(laughing) (talking indistinctly) (birds chirping) JOHNATHAN: Don't mess with that black one now.
You saw it the other night when he, when he bucked me off?
He went... (makes sound effect) JOHNATHAN: Watch out for snakes.
If we had a ball, we could have took this.
Why you trying to tow it?
- I ain't towed it.
- Huh, huh, huh?
- Hands off me!
- Huh, huh?
Don't touch nothing else on here.
You had no business going in that man's yard trying to tow a freakin' lawnmower when it's not yours.
Get mad and walk on... - Shut up!
- Get mad and walk on all you want.
I don't care!
(fire crackling) JOHNATHAN: He's pretty fun, but when he gets out of hand, it's pretty annoying.
Like the fight that we get in.
Man, this fire hot.
(birds chirping) (insects buzzing) (birds chirping) (dog barking in distance) JOHNATHAN: This chain too long.
It could fit around a giant snake.
- I don't think there's a snake with a neck that... ...wide.
- Well, them big anacondas in the... - No, the neck's still not that wide.
- (clears throat) - You know that and I know that, so... Sheesh.
- They mean no harm.
- Yeah, they mean some harm if you, if you step on it, if... - They mean no harm, but they just scared of you.
- Especially if you step on the tail and the head is ready to bite you.
Now, if you're lucky enough to step on the head and he's under you, you better hold that head.
(laughs): You better hold that head while you make a quick getaway or something.
Practice, practice make perfect.
The more you practice, the better you get.
- I'm gonna make my own store.
- Oh, okay.
- Just like me and Marcus did with that lemonade thing.
- Oh, okay.
- And made money.
(sighs): Oh, gosh, nothing to do.
- You can always go to sleep.
- Nope, but I can eat chips.
♪ (floor creaking) READER: When I turned 12 on Sapelo, my parents told me to stop wandering.
They told me I was no longer a child.
You'd get called a sinner if you didn't get baptized then.
There was a whole ritual to joining the church.
A dream from God was the key.
You had to choose a teacher to guide you toward the dream.
My teacher told me to find my own secret place to go seeking.
I picked a mighty oak off in the woods.
I began seeking beneath my tree each night at midnight.
In the beginning, my dreams were just about exploring the island or chasing armadillos.
Gradually, my dreams started changing.
Finally, I dreamed about finding an endless maze of roots.
I recited the dream to the deacons as best I could.
I was baptized in the creek that summer, but I never knew the meaning of that dream.
(birds chirping) CONGREGATION: ♪ All God's children got a race to run ♪ (man singing solo) MAN: Work it, work it!
(solo continues) MAN: Come on, come on!
MAN: ♪ You better run ALL: ♪ Run ♪ You got a race to run MAN: ♪ You better run on ALL: ♪ You got a race to run ♪ All God's children got a race to run ♪ MAN: Amen!
(applauding) PASTOR: Everybody!
We getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, I know that.
But guess what?
God is still around.
God is still alive.
(congregation murmurs) The Fourth of July is just one day.
And it's good to celebrate independence, you know, but I'm glad the Fourth of July is for all people, just as the Word of God is for all of you.
(choir singing upbeat tune) (song continues) (song fades, people talking in background) - Now, you know I need that.
MAN: Okay, get a picture with him, then.
- Yeah, so my son can have it on Facebook by the time we get to Brunswick.
(laughs) - Look at the camera, okay.
WOMAN: April, you got one?
(people talking in background) (birds chirping) (lighter clicking) That one ain't going anywhere, though.
(firework screeches, explodes) Oh, shoot!
You cutting me off?
You ready to die?
Get ready to die.
(laughs) (song playing in background) (song continues) (wind gusting, waves lapping) (talking in distance) (talking in background) ♪ Hey, hey, hey... (admonishing) Go that way-- like, that way.
♪ ♪ (dog barking) (firecracker screeches) (dog barking) ♪ (dog barking) (vehicle approaching) (brake engages) (engine stops, signal beeping) (woman talking on radio) Who got my fishing pole?
JOHNATHAN: Hey, you wanna lick my lollipop?
I think you left it over there.
You want the lollipop?
- Johnathan, we should use your pole.
FRANK: I say you better go get that good pole and bring it back in this yard.
- My pole's messed up.
Granddaddy, I'm not fitting to fuss with you.
JOHNATHAN: Marcus, it's a boy.
- I know.
JOHNATHAN: This will be a nice dinner.
CORNELIA: Johnathan and Marcus is different.
One is a follower.
One is a leader.
But together, they can be hell on two wheels.
(laughing) - (screams) - Tell him to stop.
(laughing) I love my family, but some of 'em, they get too stupid and out of control.
- (whispering) - Sometimes I feel like I want to...
Shut up with that now.
Don't worry about him.
Right here... - All right, watch out!
- No, bruh, stop!
CORNELIA: He tends to have these outbursts.
And when he have these outbursts, he tend to threaten people.
"I'm gonna run away from home and y'all never gonna find me."
"I'm gonna running in front of a vehicle that'll hit me."
So he threaten all of these dire things.
Meeting with teachers and counselors and psychiatrists and psychologists can be taxing when you're in your 70s.
MARCUS: You wanna ask your granddaddy.
(yelling): Anyone will know I am tryin' to help you!
Man, be quiet!
CORNELIA: They wanna stay here, they don't wanna really stay with their mom, but they gonna have to give us a break so they're gonna have to straighten up their, their action tremendously so they can stay.
Bruh, stop hittin' me.
(rapping): ♪ Yeah, you see me, also running by my sniper ♪ ♪ You ain't never run out with no hustle in your life ♪ ♪ I'm from 1800, I'm a hot boy run on... ♪ - Got to go to the bathroom.
(rap continues playing on speaker, Marcus rapping along) Yeah, just tie it through there.
BOY: And then I want Marcus to-- huh?
- Tie it through there.
(song playing on speaker, Marcus singing along) (song continues, car horn beeps) - Ow!
MARCUS: I scratched my elbow.
Actually, I crashed my bike.
(song playing on speaker, Marcus singing along) (new song playing) 17, 18, 19.
(train horn blows in distance) 20, 21.
The reason I end up over here is because I was getting in trouble a little bit on Sapelo, and I needed to come over here to calm down, rest my nerves.
I do stupid stuff like breaking into people houses, doing stupid stuff.
But really, I don't do that stuff on purpose.
I do it because I be so bored on the island sometimes.
It gets very bored when no one wants to play with me.
(child talking softly) JANETTA: All right, Zaquan, move.
MARCUS: Being here for the last two weeks made me upset because I miss my hometown, Sapelo.
Well, I never been away...
Wait, let me see.
Yeah, I have been away this far, but... Not with crazy stuff going on like shooting around here nearby.
People shooting their guns nearby, scaring the crap out of people.
Pow, pow, pow, pow!
And we, and I jumped on the floor and went to, and hide in the closet and lock the door.
And that's when the shooter walked right here by our window and stood, and then he kept and jumped the fence.
Get back in there, y'all!
(kids talking inside) Well, I think about changing all the time.
But it never works, but one day it might work.
So I gotta keep on dreaming that it works.
WOMAN: Oh, my God!
I would never do... (people talking in distance) (talking in background) Yep.
- (inaudible) is comin'?
- They comin' for you.
If you don't quit being bad.
I'm Janetta Bailey.
I'm the daughter of Cornelia Bailey.
I first interacted, entered Sapelo at a year old.
I'm adopted into the Baileys' family.
Um, right now I'm 32 years old.
I became related to most of everybody on Sapelo once I got adopted into the family, and going to school with kin people, back and forth on the ferry every day.
(music playing, people talking in background) CHILD: Hey, get up there.
Here, take this rag right here, and wipe the screen of that TV, Za...
I meant, Johnathan.
Flick the rag, flick the rag.
Okay, now do it again, that's the dry side.
You ought to-- this is my bathroom, get out of it!
ZAQUAN: But Mom... - Get out of it!
Don't put the rags back on the floor.
JANETTA: That closet better be done!
- Oh, yes, ma'am, it's done.
My youth years, I was pretty much just like Marcus, you know, very active, very outgoing, very... whew!
The things that's he's doing now, I did it, too, so... Brown, I need-- baby, bring me a cup full of water.
This is some-- this ain't even no water in here.
- Give me that, and I'll put some water in it.
- Just a little bit.
- You use the same rag to clean the sink with, to clean the refrigerator with!
- Don't try me.
- You're not supposed to!
- Don't you keep trying me!
I'm just kiddin' around.
(laughing) You're the only filthy thing in here!
Well, Portia is my papa, and... How do I get along with her?
Well, me and Papa get along very good.
We get along as a team.
We never fight.
We never yell at each other, we never argue.
We never... cuss each other out.
We never... ...bully each other or nothing.
Me and Papa are just great.
(train brakes screeching) (train horn blows) Well, my dad, Jermaine, he's a great father to me, too.
I wish he would come pick me up sometimes on the weekends and we just hang out.
Like, I don't get to see him that much no more.
Because he working all the time.
He has a busy, busy job, he gots to work day and night.
I see my father way different because, that I could see him better than my brother's dad, 'cause his dad doesn't really care about my brother, 'cause every time we come over there, and we come to see him, he's not there.
Every time we go to see my dad, he's there.
JJ: Johnathan hasn't seen his dad since he was born.
So they really don't get, none of us get to see our father.
It's just, it's crazy because, like, how would you bring us into this world and not be there, like, to take care of us in the long run?
It's, it's... Where were you when I was, like, growing up over here?
Like, where were you when I graduated from Todd-Grant?
Where were you, like, when I got my first A.P.
It kind of struck me, like, to my heart.
Like, my dad just didn't care about me no more.
(birds chirping) My grandma, she's, she's the one who took care of me since I was born.
When my mom and my dad couldn't.
♪ READER: I remember a time when my parents were especially worried for our future on the island.
One night, there was a gathering at our house.
Folks started getting worked up about all they'd endured.
After a while, though, feet got to tappin', hands started clappin', and a stick began bangin' on the floor.
(faint rhythm tapping) We called it a Ring Shout.
It wasn't done much by the time I came along, but I was lucky enough to see it go on deep into that night.
(singing, rhythm playing) - ♪ Oh, read 'em, Uncle Johnny - ♪ Read 'em - ♪ Read 'em, yeah - ♪ Read 'em - ♪ Read 'em, John!
- ♪ Read 'em, oh, read 'em and let me go ♪ - ♪ Oh, read 'em, Uncle Johnny - ♪ Read 'em, read 'em!
- ♪ Read 'em, John - ♪ Read 'em, oh, read 'em and let me go ♪ ♪ One by one ♪ Two by two, three by three, and four by four ♪ ♪ Take all the (inaudible) and read 'em ♪ ♪ Oh, read 'em and let me go - ♪ Oh, read 'em, John!
- ♪ Read 'em, read 'em!
- ♪ Read 'em, hey - ♪ Read 'em, oh, read 'em and let me go ♪ - ♪ You read, Uncle Johnny!
- ♪ Read 'em, read 'em - ♪ Read, Uncle John!
- ♪ Read, Uncle Daniel - ♪ Read 'em, oh, read 'em ♪ And let me go - ♪ Oh, read 'em, John!
- ♪ Read 'em - ♪ Read 'em, I tell ya - ♪ Read 'em!
- ♪ Read 'em, John!
- ♪ Read 'em, oh, read 'em and let me go ♪ - ♪ Oh, read 'em, boy!
- ♪ Read 'em!
- ♪ Read 'em, I said - ♪ Read 'em - ♪ Read 'em, John!
- ♪ Read 'em, oh, read 'em, and let me go ♪ ♪ One by one, two by two, three by three ♪ ♪ And four by four ♪ Take all the (inaudible) and read 'em ♪ ♪ Oh, read 'em and let me go ♪ All right, my mom's coming.
But, and I already ran it by Marcus.
If he get back to Sapelo tomorrow and to acting like he ain't... - We been talking to him about that.
- I figured you was reading him the riot act.
- I told him if I have to come back to Sapelo, this, if I have to come back to Sapelo, it ain't goin' be pretty.
'Cause he ain't gonna act like that over here, he ain't gonna act like that over there.
- But I wanna live till I get to be 100.
That's a long time from now.
- Yes, ma'am.
- My mama gonna make it there and past that, too.
- And Uncle Shadrack Hall, my great-great-uncle, was 112.
So, so, we stick around.
- I don't know what's gonna happen to me if she go any sooner.
- I told the good Lord all I wanna do is see that them three boys finish high school and start doing something for themselves.
Marcus can kick around and cuss you out and carry on and threaten you, and ten more minutes later, he wanna hug and kiss like nothing happened.
♪ (birds chirping) ♪ FRANK: That's an angel fish.
- You can eat 'em?
- Yeah, they're good to eat.
(stone splashes) (crickets chirping) (pan sizzling) Anybody got a lighter?
(Cornelia laughs) I need a lighter.
CORNELIA: I wish I won't catch you smoking.
Nobody in this house smokes.
I don't smoke, Granddaddy don't smoke.
But I think, I would, I think, giving you a chance, you would smoke.
- Yeah, I would.
You admit it.
(chuckles) Don't smoke, it's not good for you, okay?
Now all's I need is three dollars.
- If you'd tell me what for.
- Thank you!
- And bring my change back, bring me, bring me a bag of regular chips.
- And if there ain't no regular chips, bring my money back.
(pan sizzling) Bacon is good?
- Uh-uh, I had a piece earlier.
Where did you get that from?
- From Mama.
- You took her do-rag?
She get her another one.
Janetta can be very, very charming.
She can charm the fruit off the tree.
She was Janet when she stayed with us, and then when we adopted her, we changed her name to Janetta.
She was a foster child.
We had her since she was a year and two months.
♪ (birds chirping) Marcus is like a carbon copy, like we're looking into a mirror.
The voice, the words, everything, the action is the same thing his mom used to do.
I mean, identical.
MARCUS: This gonna be my extra pole right here.
JOHNATHAN: Nah, we should just bring one pole.
- Don't film this, don't film this!
Don't, don't put, don't put it on it!
(singing and chanting) (stops singing) CORNELIA: Marcus have a vivid imagination.
He would make things up where they sound and look so real when he's talking about it.
He came home, "I don't wanna go back!
"Somebody burst into our house "and pushed the door open and came in with guns and said "they were gonna shoot me and shoot her.
"And they were coming to Sapelo and they were gonna shoot you all."
And, I mean, he carried on and for a minute there, I got a bit nervous.
And then I calmed down and I realized that no such thing happened.
That was his excuse for we not sending him to stay with his biological mom.
(rattling) (imitating boat motor) ♪ MARCUS: She's my grandmother, and...
I hope she hurry ups and get better so I can help her out, and take her to the club on Fridays.
(laughing) I took my grandma to the club!
(laughing) (wind blowing softly, thunder rumbling in distance) (birds chirping) For me, like, for me to hear that my grandma, she's gone before I even got to say goodbye, something like that, I just, that's gonna hit me real hard.
I'm, like, I'm not gonna be the same for, like, a while, 'cause if I lose my grandma, it's gonna affect me heavily.
I just don't want that to happen right now.
JJ: I'm deeply worried about my brother, because I don't know what might happen the next day.
I want my brother to do good in life.
I want all my brothers to do good in life.
- Come on, Dixie!
(raining heavily) (thunder rumbling) (rain continues) (thunder rumbling) (wind howling, rain pelting) (thunder claps) Moo!
(talking in background) MARCUS: I'm about to catch a ride with my grandmother on the speedboat-- bye, Ayden.
(seagulls squawking) ♪ ♪ MARCUS: I do not wanna feel that go near me!
♪ ♪ ♪ (people talking in background) ♪ (motor grinding) JOHNATHAN: Stop acting slow.
(motor whirring) (motor stops) BANKS: Good job, Johnathan!
That's about to come out that basket.
JOHNATHAN: Oh, oh!
BANKS: Boy, come on here, that ain't nothing but ants.
- That's not a ant, Papa, that is a big old spider.
The seed got mixed up, and so you got light-color seeds and dark-color seeds mixed up.
And so trying to separate them the best I can.
I don't think, to be honest with you, I don't think these boys gonna continue no Peas project.
It would be nice, but nah.
- I might.
- You might?
- Marcus won't mind it, that's for sure.
- Now, that'll be great.
That's a surprise to hear you say that.
Mean you'll plant it and pick it, shell it, dry it?
You do all of those?
- Okay, we'll see.
(leaves rustling) BANKS: So you want him back before 12:00?
He can help me, you know.
What kind of machine do you run?
- You don't run no machine.
- You don't know to ride no mower.
- What mower?
Blower, the weed eater, he let me do the big old plow, and all that.
Where your mother at?
- In Brunswick, in Arco.
But my mama, my mama used to get in trouble, but she don't get in trouble no more.
And she got her a job at the, um... - She done changed, yeah?
She, she work at, she work at Strike Zone.
She got three jobs, she got at Strike Zone, she work at McDonald's, then she work at the, um, what you call it, the, um... - She work at the McDonald's in Brunswick?
- She work the Mc... - McDonald's where?
- On Altama.
- I go there all the time.
- You don't never see her?
- Yeah, she work in... - What part she work in?
The kitchen department or... - She work in the kitchen department in the back.
- Become a new person.
- There go your horse.
- That's a nice horse.
- Yeah, but I'm thinking about selling it.
I don't know yet.
- For how much?
- How much?
- I don't know, sell it for $200.
(laughing) - But I sure got to... - Put that right over yonder, against that oak tree.
- Oh, over here?
- Yeah, I got all that over there.
- That's good enough, yeah.
- I'll say.
Bought you some gator tail.
- Why thank you, sir.
Thank you, Mr. Doc!
- Mm-hm, appreciate it.
- Yes, sir.
Call on me if you need me, um, again.
Don't crank it up enough (inaudible).
Let me try that real quick.
- It ain't.
- Let me try it, move, move!
- It don't wanna crank now.
I think I ran that bit too much.
- This is my new brother!
- I love my brother!
I love my brother, I love my brother.
- (giggles): Yeah, let's go.
(engine starts) ♪ (shouting indistinctly) ♪ (engine sputtering) (engine revving) ♪ (shouting indistinctly) (engine revving in distance) (insects buzzing) SHARRON: I guess they got the house almost finished now.
Just little final touches to it, and voilà, new neighbors.
(people talking indistinctly) MAN: You decide where you want its face to be, okay?
- I want his face to be here.
- Look it around, look it around, spin it around.
- Mine gonna be set up like this, so... - Get to know it, so, now let it go and see how it naturally wants to sit.
You just don't wanna cut... - I think you cut through the back.
- That's fine.
- (laughs) - It's got to, see this edge?
This edge is what keeps it from sinking-- all right.
- (humming) - Hold that.
- Can we, like, fry these?
- Oh, yeah.
You just, you know, like, you just... Well, I've never tried fried pumpkin, but I like what you're thinking there.
- That's sort of a different... - Y'all can't see this, y'all got to stay over there.
WOMAN: It takes a little while.
Oh, there you go.
MAN: There it is.
WOMAN: There ya go!
(laughing) MAN: Head is on.
JOHNATHAN: Ooh, that looks so cool!
MAN: You like it?
MARCUS: Yo, wow!
WOMAN: What do you think?
JOHNATHAN: Let's take it outside.
MAN: All right, here.
Look at my pumpkin, Granddaddy!
MAN: Whatcha think?
MARCUS: Look at my pumpkin!
FRANK: Hey, hey, don't get so excited, son.
(man laughing) WOMAN: Don't get so excited?
It's a jack-o'-lantern!
MAN: All right, that's one.
(people talking in background) - Yeah, put it on.
MAN: You a ninja?
- Put it on.
MARCUS: Halloween is something, like, a thing that little kids do, like, they play, they have fun, they get candy, and all that stuff.
But I just go just to see the fun, scary stuff that they have.
I don't believe in no such thing as ghosts.
- This is starting to scare us, stop scaring!
(kids talking, laughing) MARCUS: I seen that string, I went whoop, ah!
(talking indistinctly) - Oh, my God, here's Spider-Man.
CHILD: Thank you.
(talking and laughing in background) MAN: All right, Wonder Woman.
♪ READER: Whenever us kids were going out after dark, Mama and Papa would tell us to be careful not to follow a jack-o'-lantern.
Now, I don't mean a pumpkin.
Our jack-o'-lantern was a ball of glowing light, hanging in the air, a living being, full of mystery.
It would lead you astray and get you hopelessly lost in the woods.
Mama saw it, Papa saw it.
A lot of old people had seen it.
♪ After I'd grown up, we could sense a change coming.
You could almost smell it in the breeze sweeping the island.
Scientists were invited to live on Sapelo and study the marsh.
When we Geechee told them about the jack-o'-lantern, they explained that we'd been looking at a ball of methane gas that gets illuminated over a low-lying damp area like the marsh.
Nobody ever saw a jack-o'-lantern on Sapelo again.
Once you put magic under a spotlight, it disappears.
(birds chirping and hooting) The day we had to rush her over, it was kind of sad, because she couldn't breathe, and I had to hold her hand and tell her she will be all right, she'll be all right.
But next couple of days, she died, and I said, my, my luck failed.
My luck wasn't right.
My luck was bad.
JOHNATHAN: Some, um, filo... Milofibrosis or something, and it make her rib, her, um, liver swell up, and her goblin thingy, whatever you call it, swell up.
And they was gonna cut it out, but they couldn't.
SINGERS: ♪ Yea MAN: ♪ I see'd the sign SINGERS: ♪ Yea MAN: ♪ I see'd the sign SINGERS: ♪ Yea, Lord, time gonna die ♪ MAN: ♪ Sign in the big tree - ♪ Yea - ♪ Sign in the big tree - ♪ Yea - ♪ Sign in the big tree - ♪ Yea, Lord, time's gonna die ♪ - ♪ Loose horse in the valley - ♪ Yea - ♪ Loose horse in the valley - ♪ Yea - ♪ Loose horse in the valley - ♪ Yea, Lord, time's gonna die ♪ - ♪ Tell me, who's gonna ride him ♪ - ♪ Yea - ♪ Tell me, who's gonna ride him ♪ - ♪ Yea - ♪ Tell me, who's gonna ride him ♪ - ♪ Yea, Lord, time's gonna die ♪ ♪ (waves lapping) ♪ ♪ (insects buzzing) ANNOUNCER: That's a good play by the guys on the defensive side... ANNOUNCER 2: Good work to pick up seven yards there.
That gets them into a third-and-one situation.
ANNOUNCER 1: You know what really fires up offensive linemen?
When the guy that is carrying the ball... (game audio continues) ANNOUNCER 2: And again, yet another touchdown as they just add to their totals.
ANNOUNCER 1: And now we've hit that stage of the game, partner.
(JJ mumbling) Plus, the controller's broke.
Well, I got a controller.
JJ: Still, I don't wanna hook up... - Wow, you don't even want me to play, with your own brother.
ANNOUNCER 1: But that doesn't necessarily mean that the defender's bad.
They're not gonna make 100% of the tackles all the time.
FRANK: That man going back there, no trespassing, private property.
MARCUS: I don't care, Papa.
I wasn't doing nothing bad, just trespassing.
FRANK: If that man that catch you back there fires a shot at y'all behind... - Getting on the man's boat and then fishing... (screaming): I ain't try to break nothing!
I didn't slam the door too hard!
He come in here, I told him to leave me alone!
JJ: That's your granddaddy!
He the one who raising you!
And what's this gonna lead to?
Where you gonna go?
Huh, where you gonna go?
MARCUS: I am tired!
FRANK: Come on, I'm tired, too.
Come on, cool it now.
(Marcus sobbing) JJ: Man, calm yourself down, bruh!
- Ah, let me get out here, now.
MARCUS: Nah, he out here raising sand talking about, "Oh, y'all like to lie and steal and do stuff and all that."
Nah, he out there raising sand.
Just make me upset, Mama.
I wanna come home!
JJ (faintly): Y'all getting worse.
Granddaddy always doing this.
(sniffles) But JJ, he don't get on JJ like that, but we just like going fishing.
We outdoor kids, me and Johnathan like doing outdoor stuff, like going fishing, just doing stuff.
But you know how Granddaddy is.
Like Grandma said, Granddaddy old-fashioned.
He don't understand like we do.
(Marcus sobbing) FRANK: I'm sick of drama.
I had enough drama all my life.
I got enough things to worry about as it is.
You ain't allowed, bro-bro.
(talking indistinctly) Hey, dude, you're not allowed, dude.
- Not like I care, anyway.
- Being a grandma's baby for a minute?
- Yes, and I'm hot.
Can I get some of your milk?
- No, don't bother him and that milk now.
I just calmed him down a little bit.
JOHNATHAN: So where I stay at, it's not really where I stay at, because I can't hang around this.
It's called the projects.
People be selling drugs.
I do not do that, I swear on my grandma.
I'm not used to being out here.
Like, I'm used to, like, being in lots of dirt.
This is a bald cypress tree.
You can see the red roots and everything.
You can see it got nice, clean water so it can stay alive.
Nice pretty red roots.
I'mma plant it at the house, and name it after Grandma and all that.
I'mma, that's what I'mma do with it.
(exclaims) - (chuckles) JOHNATHAN: When I get home from school, I usually go in the house, watch TV, then get on my phone.
Then when it's time to go to bed, I charge my phone up, and we set out for the next morning, and have a great day and go to school, and learn science, math, language arts, all kinds of stuff.
Feeling separated from my granddaddy and my brothers does not feel so good.
Does not feel good at all.
GIRL: Let me try and hit you.
JOHNATHAN: Hold on, gotta get up there first.
(giggling) (birds squawking) MARCUS: Having him not here anymore is kind of boring, because I don't have nobody to play with or nothing and stuff, so... Can you place it over?
Can you see it?
They said, um, I got to stop stealing and stuff, or they put me in juvenile jail, so they put a ankle monitor on me.
I feel a little difference in myself, sometimes, by taking my medicine.
I'm working on going back to school all five days a week.
Well, this is our little speech what we got to do and come in in the morning.
Good morning, class.
My name is JerMarkest, um.
My name is JerMarkest.
My target behavior is staying on task, following directions, and my target behavior is listening to all staff and follow all directions.
♪ ♪ MARCUS: She's watching me now.
Whatever I do, like, bad, she's watching me.
♪ (birds chirping) (feed pouring) Calm down.
(clicks teeth) It's okay, girl, it's okay.
It's okay, girl.
It's okay, girl.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
(horse bristles) Whoa.
(grunting) Ho, ha!
Come on, come on, I said.
Come on, hyah!
I got more power than you, though.
Bet on that.
(birds chirping) JOHNATHAN: My brother, JerMarkest, he got anger problems.
So one day, he had got a BB gun.
And then he was threatening people with it.
And now he's not here with us.
He's up in Atlanta, Arkansas, whatever you call it, in a juvenile detention.
But he'll be back in a couple of months.
So I just hope that he'll come back with a better attitude.
He just can't act like that, because that's gonna make him run up the wrong road.
Either he gonna end up in a graveyard, or in jail for life.
♪ And about my grandma passing away...
It kind of feel like half of my heart is gone.
Like, it's only a little piece still in there, but, like, a chunk, like, this big is gone.
(grass rustles) ♪ These kind of nets, boy, I tell ya.
(net rattling on deck) Ain't nothing you can do good with these nets.
Should have brought the pole.
Time for you to go back, buddy.
♪ ♪ ♪