Updated on Wednesday*:
(Links at bottom of page)
We are excited about beginning a new series, “If
These Walls Could Speak.” As we searched for ideas, stories and
memorabilia, we were struck by the undeniable truth in words from
Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath,
“How will we know it’s us without our past?”
Many houses in our county still stand today in
testimony of the people who called them home. As you drive the curving
roads and pass these old homesteads, you can’t help but ask: Who lived
there? When was that house built? Who built that house? What were the
people like that sat on that porch? Does anyone live there now? These
are just a few of the unending questions that we, too, have wanted
answered--and hope to do so in this new series.
Think on this for just a moment. Maybe you aren’t
interested in old buildings and mothball tales, but everyone has a
memory or two of someplace that has been significant. Imagine yourself
again as a child. Where did you feel safest, warmest, and most loved?
Did you sit on a swing on grandpa’s big old porch or eat homemade
applesauce in grandma’s kitchen with the wooden spoon she sometimes used
to keep you in line? Was there a room that your family gathered in at
Christmas, where gifts were exchanged or carols were sung?
Each time I walk onto my grandma’s front porch, I
see her snapping beans from one of her old straight back chairs that she
painted hundreds of times. (Those chairs now sit on my porch with a
fresh coat of red paint that Gram would have loved.) I know too, that
when I walk into her kitchen early in the morning, I can still see her
making a cup of tea and cinnamon toast. The warm glow of the sunshine
dances through her tufts of white hair. I still remember the drawer
where Grandpa would hide his Heath Bars and Twinkies that he would share
only with me. I can still picture him sitting at the table and putting
warm applesauce on his bread.
Grandpa and Grandma are no longer in the old home
on the hill, but then again, they are. Her soft, wrinkled hands will
never leave my memory, for they combed my knotted hair, fed my empty
stomach, disciplined my haughty spirit, and wiped away my tears. His
strong and sharp features will always be a part of my memories, too, as
I see him resting for his afternoon nap and walking the fence line to
keep the cattle from the apple tree. He was so handsome, and she so
lovely. Every bit of that house is her and him. I remember Grammy much
more, for she was with us longer, but to forget either of them would be
unthinkable. Their home is just an old house to some, but to me it is a
treasure, a miracle, a piece of the people I will love forever.
Don’t let your heritage be forgotten. Preserve the
heritage of our county. We hope this new series will give you the
ability to appreciate it well into the future. To some, the old
structures may seem like ruins of briars and broken boards, but to the
families that once called them home, well, that makes them castles of
com-memorations and mansions of memories. We seek to hear the tales in
the walls and to know the stories of old.
We begin this learning experience with the links
listed below as they become available.
The Jarvis Home
This Week's Editorial:By Helen Morris:
Calhoun County Map