— Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) —
Celebrated author Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga on January 7, 1891. Her parents, John Hurston and Lucy Potts met here, at the Macedonia Baptist Church. but moved to Eatonville, Florida where Zora grew up. Through extreme dedication she secured higher education at Howard University, Barnard College, and Columbia University. Her first novel, Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), based on her parents lives, is set partly in Notasulga. Hurston's masterpiece Their Eyes Were Watching God, appeared in 1937. She published two other novels, Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939) and Seraph, on the Suwanee (1948); Two books on culture and anthropology, Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938); and an autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road (1942). After long neglect, Hurston's literary reputation blossomed two decades after she died in Fort Pierce
Florida, on January 28, 1960.
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No, he couldn't leave Notasulga where the train came puffing into the depot twice a day. No, no! He dropped everything and tore out across the fields
and came out at last at the railroad cut just below the station. He sat down upon the embankment and waited. Soon in the distance he heard a whistle,
"Whaooom!, Wahup, Wahup!" And around the bend came first the smoke stack, belching smoke and flames of fire. The drivers turning over chanting "Opelika - black - and - dirty! Opelika - black - and - dirty." Then as she pulled into the station, the powerful whisper of steam. Starting off again, "Wolf coming! Wolf coming! Wolf coming! Opelika - black - and - dirty, Opelika - black - and - dirty! Auh-wah-hoooon" into the great away that gave John's feet such a yearning for distance.
From Hurston's Jonah's Gourd Vine