Preserving and re-energizing memories


At left, My father's typewriter

Readers: A dear friend wrote, asking if I remembered the old steps that led from the North Main Street area up to Riverview Park. These steps were constructed sometime around the turn of the 20th century, and the Hagoods took me on a walk up that hill many years ago. The following is my response to my friend.

My new fav quote is: don't be afraid to sit awhile and think. I'm sitting on the shaded porch as I write this, enjoying a lovely breeze, and thinking.

Yes, those stairs. I can feel the energy of the past tugging at me. Always have. I can stare at old photos over and over, each time seeing something new. And those people, just like you and me, with heartaches and woes and joyous joys. And it all fades, unless it is written down. It breaks my heart to see photos with no names. To most people, history is buildings and wars. To me, it is stories, three dimension. Heat and cold, wet and dry, cigar smoke and outhouse stench. Hogs and "beeves" corralled along Main Street. Mothers burying their babies. Peonies on Decoration Day. Families taking care of their old. And old cemeteries plowed over for highways and hog lots. Invisible nameless negroes, and today's descendants who still find family stories too painful to publicly share. Think of all the random thoughts that pop through your head each day. A certain song and who you were with when you first heard it. A place. Grandma's sweet rolls. Daddy's old car. A picture. A certain perfume. All take us back to where we began. That's where I'm at when I sit awhile and think.

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