Down in the Holler’ …….and then some….

This is a post written by my mother “crazygrandma” on her blog in response to my Where the pavement ends post a few days ago. I am reposting it here because I don’t want to lose this family story and her blog I have no control over. Its more where she hosts it, is what I feel scared of the control issue not her. To read her post in it’s original blog please see CrazyGrandma on that evil place Blogger. 

Thank you mom for sharing it.

 My oldest daughter posted this pic in her blog. She said it reminded her of her childhood. Well, when I looked at that picture I had to look twice! It reminded ME of MY childhood. Kinda.

I was born in Spencer, West Virginia. Where is that you ask? Well technically it is a real small town (at least it was 20 years ago- now? who knows?) about 50 miles or so from the state capital , Charleston. Spencer also is quite famous for being the host to the state’s mental hospital (or “nut house” according to my mother). Anyway, when I was 5 my family moved to Florida so I really do not remember much about the town.

We returned for a visit when I was 8. I have faded childhood memories of an old wood farmhouse with a big front porch with a swing made from the back seat of an old car! I remember two dogs…big ones. Ruby and Perry. Ruby was very friendly and happy and loved to play. Perry, on the other hand, would sit and pee if you called his name. Guess which dog I would tease unmercilessly? I know, shame on me but it was soooo funny to see such a big dog act so scared-de-cat! I also can visualize my grandfather’s huge garden, with corn plants taller than me when I was 8. My sister and I would run through them playing hide and seek. We would walk more than a mile to my family’s pond. I do not remember fishing at the pond but I do vividly remember being shocked when I grabbed hold of the wire electrical fence used to keep out intruders. We had no running water so we trekked to the out house about 200 yards away. I wondered why it was so far away until I had to sit there a while…………….ew, ew, ew! At night before we went to sleep we all creep outside in the back yard and squatted since it was too dark to go to the outhouse! I also do not remember electricity and at night we had an oil lamp to play dominoes by! Now, let me remind you that I am not 100 years old. All this happened when I was 8 years old which would have made the year, 1959. Makes me half of 100 plus a few! Now for the road. We walked up and down a road similar to this one, past all the neighbor’s homes. Past the fields….gardens….cows, horses, barns and cemetery. Read on for the rest of the story.

Now fast forward to the year 1974. I had been married for four years and my mom wanted to go to her family farm to help her sister get it ready to sell. My grandfather had been long dead and my aunt wanted to move in with us in Florida. She had the farm sold so we needed to go pack up, clean up and throw away. I drove my husband’s new car (first Grand Am out). We drove all the way there. Lovely 6 lane interstates til you got to West Virginia. Then we got on state roads that were 4 lanes. When we got to Spencer the roads dwindled to 2 lanes- one coming and one going. We drove straight through Spencer and out into the country. After a while the road grew narrower and narrower until it was just one lane. When you met an oncoming vehicle you pulled over to the side depending on who was there first. Finally we turned off of the paved onto a dirt one lane road…..eventually we turned off of this dirt road onto what is called a “holler” aka, hollow. This is country talk for “very small road going to the end of the earth”. That poor car….so new and to expose the tires and springs to that bouncing on the road! Also take a look at the pic above cause this holler was just like it- two tire ruts! So we kept on driving (a whole lot slower)……past all the neighbor’s homes. Past the fields….gardens….cows, horses, barns and cemetery to the very, very last house at the end! Yep, my family’s old home… the end of the world! At this time it did have electricity (thank God) and did have a toilet……but you had to pour water in the tank before you could flush it!

That first night of what was to be a 6 night stay was all I could endure! I was 23 years old and just as scared as that poor old dog so many years ago! I was awake all night hearing every single sound and imagining that there were burglars and rapists running around outside. Here we were at the end of the world and who knows who would find us or when after the bad guys got us!!! I became nauseated and threw up several times. For the next week mom’s best friend, who lives in the huge town of Spencer, let me sleep at her home and I drove out to the farm to help in the day.

The funny thing about this picture is my daughter thinks it reminds her of her childhood….We never lived on a road like that BUT it turns out that all that throwing up I did while visiting my family’s farm was because I was pregnant with her and just did not know it at the time! Maybe that is why the road looks soooo familiar to her!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lucy
    Dec 01, 2007 @ 02:57:50

    I love this post. THanks for sharing… I can totally picture this house at the end of the world!


  2. Tiff@Three Peas in a Pod
    Dec 01, 2007 @ 10:21:35

    LOL! I love this! That was a great story. I love hearing other people’s memories!


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