"Seeing" things a little differently
I traveled with a friend of mine to his home town today. He grew up in a small southern country town that looks as if time has stood still. It is a friday afternoon and there are only six cars in the parking lot of the only grocery store within miles. Main street has most of the local stores within a one block area consisting of a small post office, telephone company, gas station, hair salon, automotive shop, florist, etc. People are moving slower here and don’t even care what time it is
Some of you reading this will not understand this kind of life. You may have been born in the city and have never visited such a place. The trees are plentiful with vines that grow all the way to the top with southern moss hanging freely. Local residents have their own gardens, they spend countless hours growing vegetables and fruit ready to send home with you when you leave. Big porches adorn nearly every house welcoming visitors for a friendly afternoon chat.
I remember times like this when I was young although where we visited is a bit more country than where I grew up, it reminded me of a time when I was young. My parents: Roy and Barbara Howard, moved from midtown Mobile in 1961 to Tillman’s Corner which is located south of the city. Many of their friends were asking them “Why are you moving way out there?” No one could understand why they would want to move so far away… or so it seemed at the time. (its actually just a few miles from downtown.)
My earliest memories of Tillman’s Corner is: Cloverleaf Plaza which only consisted of Delchamps, T G &Y, West hardware and Gaylords. We had the local elementary school, one gas station and a donut den which had the best donuts ever. I lived on a dead-end dirt road which had trails through woods leading to Halls Mill creek. I spent countless hours roaming, playing and exploring these woods as a child. It was a wonderful way to grow up. We ran around in our bare feet having dirt clod fights with the neighborhood kids.
Days were longer and the summers seemed to last forever. Times have changed in Tillman’s Corner over the past 45 years. The City of Mobile has moved in and around us, there are businesses everywhere, busy intersections and you can’t find a place to park at the local Walmart. Restaurants are everywhere and you have to stand in line for everything.
I enjoyed visiting this small town today with my friend, It gave me the opportunity to recall how things were long ago for me. It was a simpler life, with plenty of time on our hands. I hope some of these small towns never change. This is history in the deep south, For many towns like Tillman’s Corner, it is changed forever, bustling with busy people who are always in a hurry and too busy to just hang around and waste some time.
It is only fitting that I give my parents a big thank you for the simple childhood memories that I will always cherish.
Do you have any fond memories of your childhood? Do memories flood back when you see, hear or smell anything familiar?
For those of us who do have fond memories of our past it can be refreshing to step back, remember our roots and know where we came from. Then forge ahead into the future while living in the present moment. Always be appreciative of who we have become.