I grew up here in this little hick town; full time up until the 7th grade that is; then moving a lot after that.
My dad ran us outta there a FEW times, following jobs; just as my voice was cracking, funny looking hair was growing in funny places, girls weren’t stupid no more and just before I was supposed to go into town and get my diploma…
Now, I recollect that I haven’t seen this home…for almost lotsa years, if I’m recollecting right.
And here I sit….years and years later, amongst a G**D*** pandemic!
Weird is what it is.
Lots of echoes….and screams.
Things, they are a changing… 🎶
My little League field is still here but, I remember the centerfield wall was at least a mile farther back….had to be…, and the bleachers only hold tens of folks, not thousands of screaming fans like I remember .
The old Felder building where I got busted for shooting spit balls out our bus window at folks sitting across the square from my Uncle Keatons Barber shop. It has apparently been boarded up for a while now they tell me, and is probably haunted most likely, as old as it is….
I wonder if that old Coca-Cola cooler is still in there…waiting to bite my hand off.
Stephen King says it has a soul….
The high school is now the middle school.
I couldn’t even find the elementary school where it was supposed to be; all I found was a Dollar General and a Rite Aid…where it used to be.
There’s a big chicken processing plant just down the road from the square and my little downtown area smells like blood and guts when it’s hot and humid.
And, It’s hot and humid in South Georgia most days…It’s always like that in the hot months; March thru March.
It’s really bad at the Walmart, too; that smell.
Ooo OO that smell… (Skynyrd)
That big stinkin’ ass, smelly chicken killing corporate entity wasn’t here when I was little; or Wally world for that matter.
Piggly Wiggly, Kings…thats it…
We always used to go over to the old Cagles plant in Pine Mountain and catch them runaway escaped chickens and turn them into free range eggs and dumplings on the ol’Clark/e homestead.
Looking at the town square thru my 50 something year old eyes, nothing looks the same; it looks so small and poor,
Wow, Pete White’s is gone…He’s used to have a big US flag hanging out front by the road and not a sign on the door telling folks to pull up their pants and can’t wear hoodies or ski masks…
Used to didn’t have to tell folks stuff like that. Just common sense & courtesy….
Buckshot….he’s gone too.
Lived across the road from us in Mayhaw. Used to buy the rabbits from us that we’d shoot, running out of the grass like crazy while daddy was Bush-hogging around the hog pens.
He liked white women he said. “Don’t tell nobody” he’d say…. Grinning & wink’n. “Get me kilt”
He’d beat the dust off my ass if I told anybody.
It was “our” little secret.
He always call me that “Clarke boy” and I was taught to say “Yessir” not nigger.
He was a working man daddy said. White or black.
Wow, somebody still selling RC Cola’s….weird.
I love peanuts in my RC…
There’s kudzu growing and hanging everywhere and all the cars have that patina of Georgia red clay dirt roads.
Like most folks that go back home I reckon, I remember my home town being so much bigger back then…full of wonder, people and noise; stuff to do, places to go.
It’s impossible to believe that it’s been lotsa years or so since I explored those dark jungles and the mysterious shady dirt roads of my childhood home, or graced those shiny, echoing halls in my huge elementary school; a different world indeed.
Always smelled like cooking bread rolls….🍞
Still makes my mouth water….
On our farm there was a whole wide world full of hostile Cherokee Indians, Revenuers and damned Yankees.
Yep, it’s different now…
I don’t like this world anymore.
I have to social distance…
I have to sanitize my hands & wear a mask…
Anywho, It’s still relatively quiet mind you but, a different kind of quiet; nobody on the street.
Everybody looking at you out of the corner of their eyes, waiting for you to cough or touch something.
The really concerned citizens of the new world are probably in their houses under the AC on the computer writing a stupid blog or posting a GoFund Me for something newly earth shattering on Facebook.
A new fad.
Nothing much to do right now for awhile, I guess.
Not at this minute…
But, here in Early County, there’s trees, creeks, arrowhead hunting, bugs, mosquitos and shit….plus it’s humid as Hell, like I said. Just do it by yer self.
Summer will be here soon; should kill that virus they saying.
Man I hope so. Shit gettin’old quick…
Now though, when things change too drastic too fast, for me it seems, there’s more to fading & to reliving memories and the always memory triggered smell of blood, guts, paper mill & corporate invasion.
Thinking of which, don’t it seem like the killing of all these mom and pop shops is a silent affair; everywhere?
I wonder if my hometown remembers me like I do it?
If it does, I think it remembers me being smaller; that Clark/e boy?
You think my town feels old too….?
Do you think a town has a soul?
Me too…..& Stephen King.
And I swear to you, the ceiling in my old junior high, the new high school, is 3 feet lower…
Everybody says that though, when they get taller…and older, sooo…
Do you think that schools have souls?
Me too…and yep, that one guy.
I wonder if a town knows it’s dying like we do or think we are, most times?
The killing of mom and pops kills our towns.
“You got till noon to get outta town” said Walmart.
…and they left because no one came to the rescue.
I was gone….
Most were and still are.
I wonder if I’d stayed I woulda noticed any changes? Or kept some at bay…
Probably not. Maybe…
Be thankful for everyday.
This shit is getting crazy.