Monday, August 15, 2011

Precious Memories

Notes from conversation with Garnette Green early 2010

Grandpa (Cecil) French was a member of the Baptist Church after they had moved to Twin Branch (from ASCO hollow). [Atlantic Smokeless Coal Co.] The company store was between home and church.
He was impressed with this little Baptist church. His family tried to talk him into attending a church that was closer. There was something special about this church. Once he had made up his mind, he would not be swayed.
One day he announced that he had been saved and was going to be baptized at the Pineville Baptist church. So they gathered the whole family and walked over the mountain to see Cecil get baptized in the creek.
It seems there was a bend in the creek that made for a deep hole that was big enough for swimming. When a big rain would come and the hole was deep enough, they would gather the church down by the swimming hole for the service.
Mom still remembers taking the shoes off her little feet and nervously trying to make her way down the narrow, stony path that led to the river bank and people behind her coaxing her to move along “It’s OK, just keep moving, Garnette.”

Grandma Bishop [Garnette’s gma] would come calling my grandma, “Ethel”, from around the bend you could hear them coming.
“Could Garnette go with me and Margaret?” (Margaret worked at McDowell Co. Board of Education and married Louis Handson?).  Mom believed that she was a safety measure.  
“If someone saw the two older women with a child then no one would bother them.” So she was often asked to go along.
She loved attending Sunday school and church. Sunday was her favorite day of the week and she always looked forward to going to church. [I think it was the music that so fascinated her.]
Grandma Bishop had a beautiful garden that Mom loved to walk through and play in.  Mom remembers her making the best salmon patty’s in the afternoons.

One day Margaret and Stella came to ask Grandma French (Mom’s Mom) if Garnette could go with them to the movies. “It’s a wonderful movie, everyone is talking about it. They say you’ve got to see this movie.”
And so, with her Mom’s permission, my Mom walked with her aunts over the mountain 8 miles to the town of Davie to see the new movie “Gone with the Wind”.

Mom’s Aunt Bertha married Wesley Perkins. They must have done pretty well for themselves as they have the distinction of the first family in ASCO hollow to own an automobile.
Every Saturday they would ask Mom to watch the children (she was very much in demand as a babysitter – well known and trusted). She would watch over the children so that Berthie and Wes would take her Mom and Dad (Cecil and Ethel) into the town of Davie for weekly groceries. The Company store was OK for necessities but for real groceries, you had to go into town.
She wanted to prove that she could do a good job so that one day she could go into town with them.
Mom loved these afternoons watching the kids because she got to listen to the radio on the porch and swing in the garden. It was there that she heard and fell in love with Country music but especially the Bluegrass music. She loved Bluegass music.
She remembers pushing the garden swing as high as she could get it to go while listening to the music and watching the kids run and play and throw stones into the creek. These are among her dearest memories.
The kids would beg their Mom to let Garnette stay and at least have dinner with them. They would plead, “Please don’t send her home”, even though home was just a short walk away.

One of her fondest memories was her 13th birthday. That day her father took her on a very special adventure. They boarded a bus in Twin Branch for her very first bus ride into the town of Welch where he treated her to a movie and bought her a new dress at the dress shop. And, I believe, there was some ice cream involved as well.
She cried as she told me that was the most wonderful gift … a day with her father… as Daddy’s favorite.
I think every kid should have that feeling at least once in their life.

Thank you, Mom, for sharing these wonderful memories with us.