The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 10:13 am Thursday, May 30, 2019

“I Can Do This”

By Marie Craig

When I am faced with a difficult task or situation, I think about my ancestors.  I went to the dentist this afternoon for a routine cleaning.  I’m not real crazy about doing this, but many are the times that I’ve had serious things done there, like crowns, extractions, and root canals.  I fortify myself with worse situations faced by an older generation.  My grandmother told me that when she was a young woman, her teeth were so bad that she sat in a straight chair with somebody sitting on her and had all her teeth pulled with no numbing.  I can do this, I tell myself.

When my sons were born, I had lots of attention and anesthetics.  I’m sure my grandmothers wished for this luxury.  I can do this.

When my husband traveled with the Forest Service for weeks at a time, I thought of my great grandmother left at home to take care of children and the farm while her husband and oldest son marched off during the Civil War.  Luckily, they marched back at the end of the war.  Homecomings are special, particularly during war.  I can take care of two boys and a small house and no farm.  I can do this.

I foolishly dreaded buying groceries years ago.  My bad attitude said, “We’ll just eat this up, and then I’ll have to do it all over again.”  My dad lost his job during the Great Depression, and for a while, money was scarce for them to buy food and clothes.  I’m fortunate to have enough money to buy what I need.  I can do this.

Losing a husband who was only 55, was tough.  My dad’s parents were so devoted to each other.  He was tall, and she was short and 13 years older than him.  He had promised to take care of her, but she was getting more and more confused and angry.  Reluctantly, he agreed to her living elsewhere.  That’s the first time I ever saw a grown man cry.  I never had to deal with an old husband who was losing his marbles.  I can do this.

Knowing the stories of my family has been a big help as I trudge along through life.  They all had life so much harder than I have.

“Historical Tour”

By Gaye Hoots

Recently some of the Renegade Writers Guild members went on a trip to the Bullhole in Cooleemee. I had heard numerous stories about the Bullhole when I was in high school but had never seen it, even though I lived in Davie County all my life. A few days later, I read of a tour the Senior Center planned to several historic sites in Davie County, including the Bullhole. I signed up for the five-dollar tour.

The morning of the tour, we met at the Senior Center in Mocksville. Linda Leonard and Charles Crenshaw were our tour guides. Charles is a schoolmate of mine, so I sat with him. He is a retired history teacher and gave us the history of the places we visited.

The Clement Plantation in Mocksville is a beautifully restored home. One of the owners gave us a tour and information about the house and former plantation. She was very kind to accommodate such a large group. A former high school teacher of mine, Mrs. Pat Latta, was on our bus and remembered me from her ninth-grade civics class.

Liberty Cemetery was another site where the history impressed me. When the Revolutionary War was beginning to become a reality, there were divided loyalties. One group, led by Samuel Bryan, remained loyal to England while another group supported independence. Richmond Pearson led the group wanting independence. The two settled the disagreement the way I would like to see all political disputes settled. The leaders of the two opposing parties met on the grounds of Liberty Church and engaged in a fistfight. Pearson won, so without any bloodshed or loss of property, the dispute was settled.

The highlight of the trip, for me, was the tour of Cooleemee Plantation. I had been on the grounds when the Hairston family lived there but had never seen inside the house. Mr. Spurgeon Foster was kind enough to give us a tour and history of the home even though it is in the process of being restored. The winding mahogany staircase spans three stories and is spectacular. The mansion is not yet open to the public but hopefully will be once the work is completed.

The Cooleemee Plantation is tied to the town of Cooleemee as Jesse Pearson, son of Richmond Pearson, sold the property to the mill owners in Cooleemee for the mill site. Jesse Pearson owned Cooleemee Plantation but sold it to Peter Hairston who built the house. He kept the name Cooleemee, which comes from an Indian word Kulimi, meaning place of the white oaks. The plantation remained in the Hairston family for over 200 years.

Our next stop was the Bullhole in Cooleemee. Some of us hiked in to view the dam and stream. The view was worth the walk. There was a museum nearby with a history of the mill that sustained the town for many years. Many ballplayers from that area played for the elementary school and Davie High School. Some got scholarships. One of my classmates, Grimes Parker, returned to teach and coach. After retirement, he participated in a summer youth program there.

Lunch was at Sagebrush in Mocksville where the history lessons continued. Then we toured Joppa Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Davie County where Daniel Boone’s parents and brother are buried. Mr. March of the Marchmont Plantation and his wife are buried there. Linda Leonard gave the tour and shared its rich history.

This tour was the best five dollars I have ever spent, and I am looking forward to more trips with The Senior Center.