While cleaning out his childhood home, Nashville’s J. Ronald M. York discovered a box of letters and news clippings that uncovered a long-held family secret. For several months in the fall of 1955, Ron’s father was held in the Dade County Jail awaiting trial on charges of sexual abuse of a minor. During that time, Ron’s father and mother wrote daily letters to each other.
After the death of his father, Ron discovered the saved letters and clippings held in a box. Ron had uncovered a secret that his family had held for close to sixty years. His new book, Kept in the Dark, publishes those letters and follows Ron’s journey toward finding out what happened to his family when he was just three years old.
Ron has graciously agreed to talk to me about his book.
Question: How did you begin to pull the story together of what happened to your family?
J. Ronald M. York: Once I came to terms with what the letters revealed, I wanted to know more. The newspaper articles helped explain the charges, while the letters gave me insight to what my parents were going through. Still, there were blanks and even a couple things they had code words for that needed to be explained. I checked with the few remaining people connected although no one would know the whole story. However, those bits and pieces of information gave me leads to follow in my research. Google and Ancestry dot com became my closest friends. Continue reading