|Courtesy of Pinterest|
The mill was in operation before the Civil War and in fact the original structure was burned then. It was rebuilt and burned again at a later time to be rebuilt again and remained in operation until it closed in 1996. Does anyone remember the quote from Gone With the Wind; You can tell your grandchildren how you saw the old south disappear one night"? I'm watching the old south disappear again. Not the one from the quote, it's gone long before my time though stories were handed down of those times through my maternal grandmother. This is my story of the old south that I remember as a child and some thoughts on the new south that will come.
I remember when the neighborhood had a corner grocery, You could get fresh local produce there and it had a butcher counter in the back. I can still see the shadows of the elderly ladies back then. I can still see them speaking to old friends as they shopped and making their way back to their homes in the mill village or down Falls Road into the surrounding neighborhood. They were always with a brown paper bag of fresh food for the table and more often than not a grandchild in tow. They almost always wore aprons and their hair was neatly rolled into a bun at the backs of their necks. I remember walking down Ridge St. behind Miss Katie, my stepfathers mother returning from Hayes' or Capps' grocery. I remember the smaller children in the neighborhood playing on the sidewalk and brother tugging anxiously at his grandmothers hand wanting to run ahead. Chuck was always impatient, he wanted to run, he wanted to fly. He used to run to meet my mother beneath an old oak tree that is still standing. I held him in my arms for the last time beneath that same tree.
Beside the river there are trees with initials carved so long ago that they are mere scars now. Initials of lovers through the generations that vowed to love forever. Some of them would marry and raise their children here. Some were parted by war, never to meet again in life. Some loved for a time and parted ; only to be reunited as friends They shared their first and last kiss here beneath these old trees but even though their paths sent them in different directions the love remained. Ghosts of innocent first love. Love that would become more of a family love and community love and their children would play together beneath the trees beside this magical river.
|Picture courtesy of Pinterest|
These waters have borne many secrets and much sorrow. But it is the laughter and the hope, the many prayers and dreams shared here that I remember most.
Blessed be from all of us here at Mysticwood Primitives