Saturday, January 23, 2010

hurdle mills

i don't think i've been back here in the last 4 years when there wasn't something hanging over this place. my memories make me prejudice to, and judgemental of, my history here. when i see it now. i see decay in all forms and very little sustainability. it's not just related to the objects, either.

i don't live here. i'm not following in the footsteps of my dad's family and the 231 years of history they have here. it's just not my place. the old country store i used to get mountain dew out of the glass bottle for $50 cents is now gone. the pool has been filled in with concrete and there is a storage building built over it so more junk can be hoarded and left unused, wasting in the darkness. the fields lay unplowed, growing nothing but resentment in it's soil. early 19th century farm houses are abandoned and have porches falling in on themselves.

i remember sneaking upstairs in the house my father was born in and peeling newspaper off the inside of the attic ceiling that was used as insulation back in the war and reading the headlines and news from the mid forties...

the stearmans and airtractors, or what's left of them, lay rotting in decay. grass grown up through the holes in the fuselage where my grand daddy used to sit while he sprayed all the fields in this county and more. this same stearman where, as an 11 year old, he told me to hold the stick while he ate his bologna and mayo sandwich mixed with motor oil from the rotary piston engine...

i'm not that old. it doesn't seem like it was that long ago. what happened here? my memories are raw and still feel fresh, but eyes show me something else.

is this what's happening to america?

it's like this place just outgrew itself and nobody stayed. folks are growing old and dying, but none of the children have any interest in this place. no cable tv here. it's "an hour ta town". tobacco farming died, as it should have, but nobody wanted to farm anything else. industry left soon after. people stopped working hard and working together. now, it's a modern day ghost town. those who remain are the fortunate few who can still afford to pay the taxes or those who are too scared to leave because it's the only place they have ever known.

i've noticed the field behind the old church is overrun with headstones, but the pews are emptier when the preacher gets up to speak. they'll be adding another permanent resident to the field on sunday, and that's what brings me back here...

what happens now?
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1 comment:

AJW said...

Hey brother, great post. Good luck with everything back in NC. Hope all is well.