A good many Blacks of Ithaca, New York, in the 1920s worked as domestic servants in the fraternity houses near Cornell University. When those Black citizens sought news about other Blacks, they often turned to The Monitor, a local Black newspaper. Inside its pages were mentions of weddings and births and social goings-on throughout the Black community. Simon Haley and Bertha Palmer, two Ithaca Blacks, stood out in the community. He was in graduate school at Cornell, studying agriculture; she was studying music at the Ithaca Conservatory of Music. They met, fell in love, and married. In 1929, Simon Haley began teaching agriculture, moving from Black college to Black college in the South. The Haleys had three sons, Alex, Julius, and George. Growing up, the boys would spend their summer vacations with grandparents in Henning, Tennessee, 50 miles from Memphis, with a population of fewer than 600 citizens.