THE THINGS WE REMEMBER Andy Hollifield 11-26-17
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
I don’t really have anything real deep and spiritual but just some pleasant memories. While my memories probably won’t do a thing for you, maybe they will stir your memories and bring a smile to your face. I am finding as I get older that my forgetter works better than anything else. My eyesight is getting a little worse with time, my bones and joints have been failing me for years, but my forgetter is working better all the time. I never was much of a note taker but I have found that I am getting better at being a note maker. I have to make notes for everything I want to remember and then make notes to remind me to read my notes. It probably isn’t all that bad but at times it sure seems like it. If I keep getting worse, I will eventually forget that I have forgotten everything and I guess then it won’t bother me. I know I am exaggerating a bit but I don’t really want to talk about all the things we forget but rather the things we remember that bring a smile to our faces and a moment of laughter and joy to our hearts.
I was talking with my mom on Saturday about some of the things that we remember. Have you ever stopped to realize that some of the most insignificant things often make the most treasured memories. During a season that causes so much stress, I figured it might do some of us good to have a laugh or two. What better way to have a laugh than at some one else’s expense as long as no one is hurt so I figured I would share some of the things I remember, some funny and others just totally insignificant.
One of my memories that was totally embarrassing took place when I was a real young kid, probably around 6 or 7 years old. My uncle Bud and aunt Vicki took my brother Jim to Ghost Town in Maggie Valley. I don’t remember too much about that , I think I remember my younger sister Robin going but I am not sure. If she did, she was only a toddler at the time. The one thing I do remember is the cool, pale green, straw, cowboy hat that they had bought me. My uncle Bud had bought Jim and me a bicycle that we both shared and learned to ride on. Shortly after our Ghost Town trip, I remember Bud and daddy and Jim standing out in the driveway one day and I wanted to show them a trick. I was told once that everything I did was a trick or at least that was what I called it. I had my new cowboy hat on and my cap pistol without caps, and hopped on the bike and took off down the driveway just clicking away in the air with my cap pistol. The last thing I remember was turning my head to see if they were watching me. The next thing I remember was picking myself up out of the briar patch behind the old chicken coops. That wound up being a funnier trick than I planned on but not for me. Once they knew for sure I wasn’t seriously hurt, they all had a gut busting laugh at my new trick.
I can remember living on the dirt part of Garrison Branch Rd off of Monticello Road in Weaverville prior to Hwy 25/70 being built. I was probably around 3 then. I remember seeing flashing red lights all over our driveway one night and mom told me that the barn near the house had caught fire and burned. I also remember living off of Elkwood Avenue on Elkmont Place, I think is the name of it, just above Woodfin Baptist Church when I was very young. I think Jim and I were both toddlers. We sat and watched trackhoes and road scrapers working moving dirt way off in the holler below our house. I imagine they were building 19/23 then and that great distance was probably about 50 yards but it looked a lot longer to our little eyes. I also remember when Jim and I were “exploring” under the house that we found an old iron. We decided we were going to fix it for mom. Of course we never did get it fixed because we didn’t know how and besides that, we couldn’t play with outlets. It is the thought that counts isn’t it?
I remember the first bike I had that was all mine. It was a gold-colored bike with high-rise handle bars and a banana seat that I think Uncle Bud or dad or my uncle Carl picked up at the dump. It had hard sand tires on it and I rode it until the tires were wore down to the rim. One of my funny experiences took place at a family reunion in the mid ’70’s on Aiken Rd. in Weaverville on the land where Thermo Fisher now sits. There was an old two-story house there then that we had previously lived in. I remember my cousins lived there at that time and they had borrowed a little Suzuki trailbike from their neighbor Kurt. Everyone was taking turns riding it down the driveway about a quarter-mile to the road and back. I remember wanting to ride and as I got on it my dad asked if I knew what I was doing. I assured him there was nothing to worry about right about the same time I had let the clutch out and revved the motor. I still had the front brake on so in the blink of an eye the bike spun out right under my cousin’s husband’s big blue Cadillac. Needless to say, my ride was over in a lot less time than it took dad and all my cousins and uncles to quit laughing at me. I also remember a couple of my cousins sampling some moonshine that one of them had acquired. It was clear and looked like water but just a few minutes after drinking it, one of my cousins, who was already fair-skinned, turned red as a beet in the face and I was afraid he was going to die right on the spot. These were the same cousins that had told Jim and me that they had found some pennies up in the woods that Indians must have dropped when they rode through and even showed them to us. At 5 or 6 you can be convinced of just about anything. We had to wait until we were a little older before they would let us go Snipe hunting. Never did catch any of those critters.
I recall when the original Star Wars movie was new, we were going to see it with our friends brother at the old Dreamland Drive-in on Tunnel Road. We were playing football in the backyard when one of us threw the ball and hit a bee’s nest on the house. I’m not sure if I threw it but I know who was closest to it. I got stung several times and had to take Benadryl. I remember very little of the movie because I was in la-la land from the Benadryl.
There are a lot of childhood events that may not seem like a big deal at the time but years later are among your most treasured memories. Things like riding on the gas tank of Bud’s motorcycle and also listening to him play Wildwood Flower on his electric guitar. Listening to my uncle Carlos sing Tanya Tucker’s song “Queen Of The Silver Dollar” right after it was first released. The Halloween when my aunt Vicki told me there was going to be a witch hiding down at the little house (shed) and going to jump out and scare me when I came up the sidewalk to trick or treat. She was right but she hadn’t told me it was going to be her. I probably wasn’t even in school yet so I started crying and ran as fast as my little short legs would carry me to tell Uncle Bud. They said I was so mad and scared that I wouldn’t stop crying until Bud had given her a whipping. My regular source of getting the wits scared out of me was their dog Toby. He was part German Shepherd or German Police or something. He wouldn’t bite a biscuit but would have probably tore any body’s arm off if they tried to bother me or Jim. Toby would either be out of sight or laying quietly as I started up the sidewalk. Right after I got too far up the walk to turn and run, he would get behind me and give a real low-pitched bark. My grandma swore till the day she died that Toby just loved to scare me and would go off grinning after he had. I didn’t know because I was always too busy trying to get away.
Little things like that are what make up the substance of our lives. Sometimes it does us good to take a stroll down memory lane to a time when life seemed a lot less complicated and sitting on the porch talking to each other or neighbors was a way of life for most folks. I hope that you have been able to take a break from reality and maybe even had a good laugh or two at my expense, believe me you won’t be the first. Maybe you have even took a little trip down your own road and got a little grin or a laugh just remembering something from your past. Anyway, I hope you have got a chuckle or a grin out of reading this. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!