The Front Porch
I started thinking about front porches. Yep, not something that is a conversation topic at dinner every night, but growing up in the South a lot of us older people can remember when the front porch, and in some cases the back porch, was an important and useful part of the house. The front porch today is an architectural component, like a dormer, but with little utilitarian usage for many.
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A few days back I bought a new Lew’s bait caster reel and on the box was a special bonus offer: a free new Buck Knife. Never one to turn down anything free, I set about getting the free knife ordered. When it arrived, it made me think about the good ole days at Sandy Point where just about every male carried a pocket knife. Today, I don’t suppose they could go on school grounds with a pocket knife without being arrested and you can’t get through security at the airport with one. I don’t know anyone today that carries a pocket knife but then maybe more do than I would imagine.
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Greyhound and Trailways
Greyhound is a registered trade mark of the Greyhound, Incorporated
Greyhound and Trailways are not exactly household words these days. I would bet that no one in my neighborhood, unless they were in the Army many years ago, has ever been on a Greyhound or a Trailways bus. Like many things that once were an important item or service in days past, the big interstate buses have been replaced in the lives of most of us. Cars, mostly, did that for the closer-by locations and airplanes took over the coast to coast and major destinations.
I would also bet that most people are not aware that there is a bus terminal in Marietta, Ga for Greyhound. I looked up a ticket from Marietta to Bozeman, Montana ( in case I want to go fishing ) and the trip is about 55 hours and 20 minutes and cost from about $234 up.
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Model A Ford
The first car I remember was a Model A Ford. It was not the first of the cars my mother and father owned when I was small but I don’t remember them. I think they had a 1936 model when they got married in 1940.
What is the first car you remember? That might require a considerable amount of thought for many of the younger folks. Many families today trade cars fairly frequently and have multiple units at one time. In this country, we went from parking the cars in the yard to single carports, dual carports and then on to double, triple, and now, in some cases, four and six car garages. Some wealthy families have a “stable” of vehicles and you just go eenie meenie miney moe.
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I can’t remember the first phone book I saw. I also don’t recall the first phone we got in Sandy Point, either. I don’t know when I first heard of yellow pages. I do know that there were no phones there when I was little and it would have been after electricity was brought in about 1946 +/-. Mr. Smith got a phone up on the main highway (US 80) and I think my grandparents used that phone on some occasions. I think they also used a phone at the courthouse. But no phone service was available on the back roads for a while.
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A Place None of Us Want To Be
Irrelevance is not a city, so far as I know. But it is a place in time. It is a condition. It is a “state of mind”.
Looking back at Sandy Point, I see in my memory’s eye that a lot of what was important back then is now deemed irrelevant. Take the old farm bell as an example. That ole bell was truly old and not some reproduction to fool antique buyers. Everybody was an antique buyer and user back in those days. Most didn’t even know it.
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Scoundrels at Work
Back in Sandy Point, back in the day, they used some words that are not in common usage today. The old folks seldom used bad words and usually never in the presence of kids. One word that hangs in the back of my mind, though, is scoundrel. For my grandparents, on both sides, the word scoundrel had a special place.
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Life’s Hardest Jobs
Back in Sandy Point there were a lot of hard jobs. The options for doing them were small. Fire wood had to be cut, animals fed, land plowed, crops planted and cultivated. Peas picked and shelled and canned. Yards were swept (yes, swept-there was no lawn grass). Dishes were washed and dried by hand and floors scrubbed on your hands and knees. Repairs to home and equipment usually were done without hiring someone. Big jobs usually involved volunteers.
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For many years my family attended a small country church down in Sandy Point. There is a family history from both sides of my family recorded in old concrete and marble slabs spread across the cemetery. Many obliterated almost by time.
Originally established there is 1830 when some land was donated for the church there is a long history there associated with the Methodist Church, later called the United (Brethren) Methodist Church. The church that stands there now is a replacement for the original which was destroyed by a tornado in the early 40’s.
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Coats and Ties
Coats and ties may be a thing of the past for some. But there are many that would disagree with that supposition. You might get a lot of opinions on that.
A day or so back I attended a memorial service for a young man that grew up in my neighborhood. About a month before that I had done the same thing for the son of my cousin. Two young men gone at 36 years old. These were occasions that I felt I should wear a coat and tie to although I have seldom worn either these last few years. Not everyone agrees about the importance of coats and ties anymore.
As I walked across the busy street from the parking lot to the service, along with several men who had gathered there, I could not help but overhear them talking and one guy reached in his coat pocket and pulled out what looked like a church bulletin.
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