The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 1:59 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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Church Records

By Linda H. Barnette

To a genealogist, church records are important sources for research. There is generally a history of the church as well lists of people who were baptized, confirmed, members along with records of church council and committee meetings. In the old records, there is also discussion of members being expelled from the church along with the reasons. In any case, I am fortunate to have a copy of the records from Sandy Creek Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Tyro area of Davidson County where my dad’s family went to church and are buried.

The church was started by a group of German immigrants who came to what is now Davidson County in 1773 when it was still a part of Rowan County. The first pastor, C.E. Bernhardt, served from 1787-1788. According to the deed, one Adam Schweissguth, now Swicegood, and his wife Mary Cathron sold to Henry Clemmons and John Gobel, trustees, “the land for the German meeting house known and designated by the name Sandy Creek meeting house, on the waters of Sandy Creek.” Thus the church was generally called Sandy Creek even though its official name is St. John’s Lutheran Church

The present building, known at St. Luke’s, is located almost a mile from the original building, not far from the cemetery. The first 2 buildings were destroyed by fire, and all that remains are the stone steps and the iron gate leading to the oldest section of the cemetery.

Many of my ancestors are mentioned in the church record book: Gobbles, Becks, Copes, Swaims and Hartleys. Five generations of my dad’s family rest there, the oldest one being Thomas Heartley, 1762-1842 and the most recent my grandfather O. H. Hartley 1886-1968.  His burial was the first time I had ever gone to the cemetery. Years later when I was working on our family history, I went there many times. Now I go at least once or twice a year to honor them with remembrance.

The picture shows the Hartley family’s section of Sandy Creek Cemetery.


By:  E. Bishop

Recently, I had the opportunity to help out a friend while he and his family went on vacation for a week.  All he requested was to feed the chickens, gather the eggs and make sure his two hogs had plenty of water. These small chores brought back a load of childhood memories for me.  Some pleasant, some not so pleasant.

While gathering eggs, I had to make sure I wore closed in shoes. The last time I did this, all of the hens wanted to peck my red polished toenails. It was fun gathering the eggs and listening to all of the clucking. As a child growing up on a farm, we had free-range chickens without knowing that was the healthiest way to raise chickens. And we always needed to look where we were walking.  I’m sure glad we don’t have to kill any for our Sunday dinner now.

The two large floppy- eared hogs (maybe Lop-eared Blacks?) were in a pen farther out in the cow pasture where a large container of water stood. We (my husband and I) had to go through the cow pasture (with cows close by) to get to them. I have not been in a cow pasture or around hogs in a long time, so I was a bit nervous about this. Everything went just fine though, and it was a thrill to see the hogs enjoying fresh water from the hose (actually trying to drink from the hose) and watching them dive into the mud puddle they had created. Hope they enjoy themselves for a little while longer because we all know we love that bacon.

Chickens, hogs and cows used to be a staple for any farm such as the one I grew up on.  And everything that could be used from them usually was, as in the case of the pig—everything but the squeal.  Pigs were one of the earliest animals to be domesticated, some saying starting out in the Near East, China and Aegean Sea and brought into Europe by agriculturalists.  They were primarily raised for food and pork remains the most widely consumed meat worldwide today.

Feral hogs were brought over by early settlers and somehow now have become a nuisance in a lot of places.  Free-range livestock management practices and escapees from enclosures have led to a feral swine population explosion.  Some sources state that it only takes a few months in the wild for a hog to turn feral. It is scary to think about; feral hogs have been spotted along the Yadkin River in Davie County.  Hope some of those hunters looking for them like wild bacon.

You do know that bacon is not a health food, right?  Why do we see bacon added to every conceivable dish in the American diet?  A little-known fact is that bacon contains umami which produces an addictive neurochemical response.  When cooking, bacon breaks down to create taste compounds that are sweet, buttery and salty.  It’s no wonder we love it so much.

The View from the Cheap Seats

By Katie Bell

I first heard the expression, the “nosebleed section” when I went to a hockey game as a young girl.  I thought it meant I might get hit in the face with the puck, but as we climbed the mountain of stairs to get to our seats, I realized that was very unlikely.  So I figured it must be because of the high altitude, thin air and my pounding heart rate.

I didn’t mind, though.  I could still see Steve Yzerman from row Quadruple Z.  I watched his every move.  I saw the shirt he wore under his jersey, which was the same one he wore in the poster hanging on my wall.  I could study the details of his warm up routine.  I could hear the whistle blow, the siren sound of a goal being scored. The seats in the back row were cheaper, but I didn’t mind. The roar of the crowd was arguably louder from the top of the arena.

appreciate and respect the opportunity for a bird’s eye view.  The long walk and hard work it takes to get a view from afar.  The panorama allows for a more comprehensive survey of the surroundings.  What might I miss if I was sitting down in the front row?

As parents, we punch our tickets for a front row seat to our children’s growth.  They shed all their layers and the different hats they wear all day when they are with us.  They can sink into the couch or their beds, turn off their public persona and relax.  We are observing our children through a magnifying glass.  We closely inspect whether they are active enough, need new shoes, and are ready for school.  But we don’t always get a chance for a broader perspective.

Lately, I’ve noticed my children building relationships with other adults in their lives outside of the family.  They have “inside jokes” and shared experiences with their teachers, coaches and friends’ parents that allow their light to shine outside of my shadow.  I’m not able to make adjustments to ensure they are being polite, inclusive, and safe.  I’m not there to say “good job” or “maybe you should.” They are just being, which enriches their personalities.  It’s as if their father and I are holding the mirror, but what our children place in front of it is purely them. All of the values we try to instill are best practiced by our children when we aren’t around.  We won’t truly know if our influence on them sticks if they remain glued to our side.

As an elementary school educator, I get to know students in a way that is different from a parent’s perspective.  It is a view from the cheap seats maybe, because their parents have the investment of raising them, especially through those important and challenging toddler years. Then the parents hustle off to earn a living, entrusting the school staff to hold the mirror for their children all day.  When the reflection gets distorted, we help them make adjustments. Then we hand the mirror back to mom and dad at the end of the day for them to notice any changes that might have happened on our watch.

Educators build rich relationships with their students, but sometimes hardly know the parents that have been growing them, the light from which their child’s reflection shines.  From the cheap seats, we watch the students replicate as they grow into bigger versions of themselves.  It is sometimes a strange thing though, when we see a student with their parents in our everyday lives.  We have shared hours with these children outside of their parents’ wing, we hold conversations with them, and the parent might think who is this person that my child just ran to hug.  Adults with the common bond of a child, yet we may not even know each other’s first name.

It is a special thing to be a spectator and cheerleader, especially in the lives of children as they grow. To be one of their many fans, all rooting for them to win!  I might not always be in the front row, especially as my own children grow up.  But I am always grateful for the view, even if it is from the cheap seats.