2016 Sophia Allison – “Family” Family Shorty Portee sits in front of his house to relax after a day of work. His niece Key recently relocated to Durham, NC, with her two daughters and are living with him until they get situated. “You re-adjust to make sure your loved ones are alright.” Shorty’s nieces Patrice, left, and Sophie, right, play in front of their new home. Patrice laughs as she repeatedly says, “Sophie’s chicken, Sophie’s chicken,” to her sister. Shorty taught the girls how to plant flowers. “If you re-root what do you do? You re-establish yourself,” he said to them. Patrice holds her favorite flower in between her fingers. Sophie has a mild case of autism but a kind spirit and infectious laugh. She often says “Uncle Shoooorty,” making her voice deep with a hint of a southern drawl. She giggles and Shorty winks at her. Patrice often thinks about home and references Caruthersville, MO. She now lives in Durham, NC., with her sister, mom, and uncle. She misses her friends and hopes to make new ones when she starts school in a week. Shorty takes Patrice, Sophie, and Key (their mom) fishing. Shorty’s favorite thing to do is fish and enjoy the tranquility of nature. He often gets annoyed with Sophie when she doesn’t pay attention while fishing, but he makes sure to give her a wink so she knows he cares. Shorty’s fishing rod, beer, and container of worms remain close to his side as he fishes. Shorty takes a moment to himself after returning home from fishing. He uses the kitchen sink to run water over his head. Key, Patrice’s mother, does hair the night before her first day of school. “Look at that moon,” Shorty says while sitting on his front porch at night.