by Terry Thornton
No look at my life and of the "assurances" which makes me the person I am today would be complete without a consideration of my brother, my only sibling --- Sherman Thornton.
My earliest teacher, my constant childhood companion, and my protector during those early years was almost two years older than I --- and we were reared together in the small village of Parham, Monroe County, Mississippi. Growing to adulthood during those years when the way of life of the rural South was changing completely, we share a common heritage although most individuals who know us both say we are totally different as individuals.
Sherman will be celebrating his 72nd birthday in a few days --- and rather than talk about our common background and shared experiences, I will attempt to summarize him in a photographic essay --- nine pictures of him (some with me) which gives insight into our mutual heritage.
Here is Sherman Thornton, my brother. (Click images for a larger view)
Sherman Thornton and dog --- before I was born he had pets. This picture taken on the east lawn of Thornton house at Parham looks across the pasture and the Bannie Parham land on the hill. The pine tree on the distant ridge is at today's Guy Parham Road.
Sherman and pet on the newly finished porch and addition to Thornton house at Parham --- the walls nor the floor had yet been painted. The porch continued around the corner beyond the twig chair.
Sherman and cat --- and the family dog was just behind him. And I was sitting beside him in the uncropped version of this picture mad because the cat had just scratched me.
"General" Sherman of the army and lowly sailor Terry of the tricycle brigade at Parham.
One of the few studio photographs of the two of us together --- and I (on the left) didn't like getting my picture made.
In 1957 Sherman and I left Parham for the Army --- basic training at Fort Jackson South Carolina. This is the last photograph made of my father, mother, brother and me before I left Parham. From left to right: Sherman, Terry, Garfus, and Letha Thornton.
Sherman standing on the front lawn of the house we grew up in --- probably made mid- to late-1960s.
My favorite photograph of Sherman --- 2000 at Mulate's in New Orleans.
The most recent photograph of Sherman (right) and me was made in 2008.
For other essays in this look at my hill country assurances, click
Terry Thornton and Parham
Garfus Sherman Thornton
Letha Hollingsworth Thornton
Class of 1957