Slater Huff

This photo of Slater Huff Jr., taken by Andrew Goetz, is a featured image in Larry’s new Living In A Rich Man’s World video.  Mr. Huff was born July 6, 1924 in Packers Bend, Alabama, which is located on the banks of the Alabama River.  Most of the folks who live there are direct descendents from slaves who grew cotton on the King-Garrett Plantation.  When the State of Alabama refused to build a bridge across the river to their small rural community, Slater’s father built a ferry of his own to take people across.

As Mr. Huff shared, “ I started helping my dad run the ferry when I was nine.  When I was twelve I could operate it all together.  . . My dad taught me how to work—how to plow and how to pick beans and cotton.  I always liked to be around my Daddy because he needed me.”

I met Slater Huff in 1997 when I worked at the local school in Packer’s Bend honoring community elders.  Mr. Huff’s song is called, On The Banks Of The Alabama River.  Here’s a few verses written with 5th grade students:

On this side of the river
To get across the current comes south
Had to go north on up the river
To drift down, to get on out
On the banks of the Alabama River

We had different types of motors
A Chevrolet, a Nash , a Dodge
A propeller, a guiding rudder
A stern wheel that drove like a car
On the banks of the Alabama River

And when my daddy would holler
I knew he needed me somehow
Both him and I on the river
Both making it to high ground
On the banks of the Alabama River

Copyright Larry Long 1997/BMI
All rights reserved

Slater Huff Photograph by Andrew Goetz
Copyright Andrew Goetz 1997
All Rights Reserved

*This photograph of Slater Huff Jr. by Andrew Goetz is a featured image in Larry Long’s new Living In A Rich Man’s World music video.   Living In A Rich Man’s World sound recording is also featured on a soon to be released collection of original works by Larry Long entitled, Walking Like Rain. Produced by Melvin James. It is now available, as a single, on iTunes and other online digital distribution channels.