Tiny Vignettes from a Tiny Town Remembered by a Tiny Little Girl
I was born in a North Carolina city so small, at the time, you could blink while driving down main street and you were already outside the city lines. OK, that’s gross exaggeration but it was pretty small. My dad, a newspaperman, worked for the local paper and a lot happened there— from bootleggers and tobacco farmers to lightening striking! So much happened there that my dads stories from the paper were picked up nationally all the time.
In fact it’s where my parents met. My mom was traveling through putting on plays from town to town and went to the newspaper office to get some publicity. My dad was smitten enough to hold her up, engaging her in a conversation that interested her enough to stand up another man she was meeting for a date. My parents were a phenomenal match and during those early days spent hours just being together walking, talking and falling in love. 29 days later they were married.
Though I was only four years old when we made the drive to the southern tip of Florida to relocate I definitely remember a few things.
Like how to count money. A man demonstrated for me by placing a pile of pennies on a tabletop and one by one slid them into his hand to show me one- two- three- four- five. I still think of him to this day when a similar opportunity arises.
People are friendly. My mom would stroll me down the main street sidewalk and people would stop and say hello, coo over how cute I was, and I liked that! In fact, seem we had a drop in, drop by route and the habit of having a route stayed with me over the years. There have been periods in my life when I developed routes and “visited” with people. Never seems to be enough time these days for that but it’s something I’ve always appreciated.
My mom cooked on a cast iron skillet, which I still have to this day. Early on in my parents marriage they didn’t have very much and my mom told me a gypsy woman she befriended gave her the frying pan. I love that it has such a colorful history.
My dad used to take me out on news stories with him and once took me to the location of a giant backwoods still that had been raided by the police. He even photographed me holding a jug standing next to the huge thing!
One night the fireflies arrived and the town went crazy with delight! Suddenly the entire open and spacious area behind our house was filled with the neighborhood, each person young or old was holding a jar to catch the fireflies with. Each jar had a lid with holes poked through too so the fireflies had air to breath and they would fly around inside it. Running around and catching them was the fun part. It was a magical sight to see them all flitting around like tiny fairies holding a lightbulb. I’ve never witnessed such a sight again but I still hope I do someday. Everyone was so happy and alive, filled with a kind of joy that is still so beautiful in my memories of that amazing night.
Have you ever looked ahead on the road on a scorching hot day and saw what appeared to be a water mirage? I did, for the first time right there in that little town.
I was a very independent little girl and felt a sense of freedom to roam, which I did. There still a lot of that little girl left in me. The wonder, the friendly ways, the sense of history and interest in the news of the day. I often think we are born who we are but we definitely are shaped by our experiences too. Goodness I’ve had loads of those, haven’t you? #30dayblogrockstar