Archive for August 2011
Tonight, here at the site of the former Atkins Porter School, we shall carefully examine living specimens of the Alexander, Moody and Smith clans to see what they can tell us about the histories of our families! (July 9, 2011. Atkins Porter School. Paris, Tennessee)
Picking up pieces of ourselves, putting them together very carefully, and placing them under the microscope of our collective knowledge and research material is what we do in early July every year to collect information about ourselves in order to pass more of us along to those who come after.
July 8th, Thursday, brought ideal weather for Ronald’s and my drive through some highlights of our childhoods still attached to ragged wisps of history far beyond our little clan. First off, came the country sausage biscuits he bore with him, bare naked except for generous tomato slices. Then out US 79 to Dover over in Stewart County, with a detour through a section of the old 79 between the lake (Kentucky Lake) and Dover which was generally acknowleged, in our youth, to be the crookedest road in West Tennessee and the meanest – took a lot of lives and almost took even more lives of would-be daredevils eager to stuff their machoism in a gas tank. Fort Donelson National Battleground/field where the rebels’ defeat is enshrined in canon, log cabins and artificial ridges of the batteries they’d hoped would keep the yankees at bay. Both sides were desperate to control the confluence of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. One major reason the Yankees won.
Something about the area from the lake to Buchanan to Puryear to Jones Mill to Cottage Grove tasted a whole lot like home to that little homesick kid who in 2011 for so many years had been neither little nor a kid.
As we drove by “the point” at Paris Landing I was flooded with memories of day trips with my siblings and my dad and step-mom to the lake and swimming with my brother Jacky until somebody almost literally dragged us into shore. Swimming, one of the few things in live that Jacky and I loved better than eating, better even than hotdogs! Had to shake my head to remember I was driving by with Ronald and not en route with the family in the 1940’s.
Here’s Stewart County where Aunt Mona’s (Granduncle Willie Hopkins’ wife) came from. Aunt Mona who never smoked or dipped, who died of lung cancer.
There’s Clayton Town where Aunt Margaret and Uncle Telous lived back in the 40’s. It was in the front yard of their little house set back off the road that the picture of Granddaddy was taken as he sat on a quilt one quiet Sunday afternoon, the one Grandmother kept on the mantel for years and years.
From Teetotalling to Making Wine for the World! Paris (TN) Winery (Day One). (Paris TN. July 7, 2011)
Paris (Tn) Winery and Vineyards; Aunt Margaret; School pal Ralph Parker: