Elderly woman with white hair and glasses

Rose Pinckney was born on January 11, 1938, and was the youngest of three children. Her father, John, worked on a farm, and her mother, Mildred, took in laundry. Money was scarce, so they also rented out one room of their tiny home to anyone who needed a bed for the night and breakfast in the morning.

Everyone in the family, no matter how young, was expected to do their part. When John built a chicken coop in the backyard and bartered to get them six hens and one rooster, it became Rose's job to collect the eggs each morning. Her older sister, Ruth, fed the chickens, and her older brother, Johnny, kept the coop clean.

Mildred planted tomatoes, green beans, and potatoes, John planted rows of corn, and the kids helped tend the garden. The money that came from selling the eggs and vegetables helped the family buy the things they couldn't make or grow themselves.

The kids worked hard at their tiny farm and were rewarded each Christmas when Santa brought them a small treat like hard candy or a hair ribbon.

When Rose was nine years old, she was gathering eggs early one morning when one of their renters approached her at the coop. He asked her to walk with him to the edge of the yard because he lost his watch. He gave her a butterscotch candy to help him to find it.

When they got to the tree line, he put his hand over her mouth, picked her up, and carried her into the woods where he molested her. Before he could complete his rape, Rose felt a small twig with her scrambling hand, and she jammed it into his eye. She ran off, screaming.

John was in the cornfield when he heard her screams and then saw her running out of the trees nearly naked. He ran to her and covered her with his shirt as she told him what happened. John and Johnny headed for the forest.

Father and son returned home in time for breakfast. Rose had breakfast in her parents' bedroom because she was afraid the renter would return for the morning meal he'd paid for.

But the renter was never seen nor heard from again, and the Pinkneys stopped renting out the room.

Rose married Daniel Jenkins in 1958, and they had a daughter, Margery, who was born in 1969.

When Daniel passed away in 2019, friends and neighbors noticed that Rose was becoming more forgetful. At first, they attributed it to grief and aging, but when she was found wandering in the woods near her home, Margery realized it was something more serious.

Shortly after that, Rose moved into the Yoknapatawpha Acres nursing home, where she has since been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

 

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