There’s a few things I can still remember:
I remember catching my first fish. it was at Lake Wanda Reita.
I remember my first day in school. They had to tear Sandy Hammond away from her Mom, but she was ok from then on.
I remember every person who lived in every house in my neighborhood in 1958. Jake Woods family lived next door, then the Ardens, and across from them lived Van Buren Rice. Across the street was Frank Watts and family. Up on West Pine was Paul Rosser, Flossie Mae, Dale, Annette, and their older sister…Paulette? was it…?
And on the next street was my Uncle Curly, The Floyd family…Sloppy and Doris, Nancy Jim, Susan and Jimmy. The Barfield family, Jan and her sisters. Across from them, the Haygoods, with their boys…Mark was my age, then Randy, I think. Mrs. Rush and Marilyn. The Collettes, Joe and Ruth, Johnny and Jimmy and Marsha. Up on the hill to the North, The Caheelys, The Sprayberries, The Hawkins…with John and Jim. Just around the corner was Dennis and Don Durham and their folks…then the Langston family. I could go on and on. I know I left some out too. The Styles a little further down, and the Webb twins.
I reminisce as I walk that area. Then I walk West Hill, and a lot of those people are now there. Not more than a block from where they lived. Time goes by quickly.
Anybody who grew up in a little bittie town knows how I feel about walking these streets. It’s past and present all rolled up in a ball, and for people like me nostalgia just sometimes overcomes me, and stops me in my tracks. I’m 65, but I’m 6 sometimes too. But there is also still a future to live.
By the time I get back home, I’ve gotten it all pretty much out of my system. I’m back in the present and ready to press on. And I know why I stayed here. For the memories. To give my kids a chance at the same, not too bad small town raising. Its getting a lot different now, but I can’t complain too much. (although Paula might tell you different) Its still home, and that’s where the heart lies.