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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Persistence of Rural Memory

As a kid, what stories did your mom or dad tell you over and over about when they were growing up? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 347).

I can’t remember a single story my father told me about growing up in Holt and nearby Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

My mother lived on a farm in Jasper, Arkansas until moving to Florida at about the age of 12. She told us of those early years in rural Arkansas. One story described a time of terror.  The children had to cross over a river to get to school. They rode in a small boat to do so. One day when they were in the middle of the river, the young man who regularly guided the girls across released a heretofore hidden black eastern racer to thrash and slither about the boat–as any energetic snake would do.  A more tranquil memory was when she and her younger sister Virgie used to play house on a big smooth rock shaded by trees. This was at the edge of the field where Ollie and Tom Peake (their parents) were working. The girls younger brother Monroe was conscripted as the “child” on which to lavish directives.

There is a commonality in my remembrance of the past and that of my mother’s.  Our most vivid imagery of growing up years is reserved for rural (as contrasted to urban) areas.

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