Renell of Oakenwaldt Avenue
Renell Adams? Why, everyone knew Renell Adams and adored her! Well, everyone perhaps, except Mrs. Monroe; but more about that later. A spunky, perspicacious, and enthusiastic little eight-year-old girl who lived on Oakenwaldt Avenue, Renell always took time to speak to neighbors and passersby as she walked, ran, or played up and down the street. Far different from many other typical eight-year-olds her age, Renell showed a genuine affection and concern for older adults and would often stop to ask how they were feeling and to inquire about their day. If they did not feel well, Renell would gently assure them that her family would pray for them during her family's nightly prayer that evening. And later, as promised, Renell would not forget to mention that person's name during her family's evening prayer. For Renell, it seemed that October 31, 1958, would be no different than any other festive Halloween night. After returning home from a fun-filled evening of trick or treat, Renell was careful not to violate the family rules, so she did not eat even one bite of the massive treasure trove of candy she had collected. Eager to have her candy checked by her older siblings or her father, Renell anxiously anticipated devouring one of her favorite pieces of candy before taking a bath and going to bed. But suddenly, a horrendous, devastating tragedy happened! And all the joy, energy, and tenacity typically overflowing from the rambunctious Renell came to an abrupt halt as the eight-year-old literally felt her world turn inside out and come crashing down. The reader only needs to fasten a seat belt as the journey begins into the real-life, often breathtaking adventures of Renell Adams of Oakenwaldt Avenue. From the time spent with her grandmother--one of the highlights of Renell's life--to her typical day-to-day experiences with family, friends, and neighbors, Renell's childhood aptly embodies the African proverb which this author steadfastly maintains had its origins on Oakenwaldt Avenue. It truly does take a village to raise a child!