by Cindy Hester
Everyone needs a sense of continuity. I am reminded of this each time I get within a few miles of my home town. I forget how much it means until I drive past a structure that used to house a store containing my favorite toys, or whenever pull into the driveway where I spent so many childhood days learning and growing. I have come to treasure the weekends I get to spend with Mom in Livingston more and more. These trips have more often than not become journeys down memory lane. Most of these trips Charlie likes to go out to the cabin at the farm during the day for a little quiet time, so Mom and I are free to roam wherever our sense of adventure happens to take us.
We have traveled to relative’s old home places I visited as a child. We have frequented buildings that once held family owned businesses where I was fitted for new clothes and shoes, and others where I was allowed to choose a toy or candy whenever I behaved. We have driven past churches where my Dad held revivals, and stopped to reminisce beside Bold Springs Baptist church, the little country church where my grandfather pastored for over 40 years. This is the very same church my parents grew up in, where they were later married, and where my father is now buried.
Many of these relative’s homes now stand vacant and and overgrown with weeds. The businesses I remember have long since been converted into restaurants and antique malls, or law offices and such. Many of the churches where my Dad held revivals have moved on to newer buildings, and the people I remember being members at Bold Springs Baptist Church have gone to be with the Lord. It is amazing, however, that within a second, in the deepest recesses of my heart, memories come to life.
Driving up to Aunt Agnese and Uncle Tom’s old home place, I hear the laughter of children, and the voices of my grandparents.I hear the slamming of the screen door by the garage and see my Aunt Gertie walking over to visit from her house next door. Driving past old buildings downtown, in my mind I see H.B. Davis clothing store and Perry Brothers. I can almost smell the fresh popcorn and see the small toys separated out in their little glass bins lining the aisles. I hear the laughter and talking of neighbors as they gather on main street to watch Christmas parades. I remember the smell of the wooden pews and the old Heavenly Highways hymnals from which we sang those good old southern gospel songs at so many revivals. I see myself, my cousins and my friends running and playing tag before church at Bold Springs while all of the men sat on the porch of the fellowship hall and Sunday School rooms talking about their livestock and gardens while the women sat inside sharing tips on canning and jelly recipes. I remember Aunt Ramona leading the children’s choir in songs like “Deep and Wide” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” signaling that it was time for services to begin.
Dad always wanted to write a book entitled “Simpler Times”. During his last days we discussed the possibility of a joint effort in doing so, but we did not quite get our project off the ground in time. My time spent reminiscing with Mom has been so precious to me that I am going to dedicate the next year or so attempting to share memories…for myself and for many of you who may remember the same types of special times as well as those of you who are way to young to know of such happenings. I hope you enjoy reading each excerpt as much as I will enjoy writing it. These writings are dedicated to both my Mom and Dad for giving me such priceless memories to share.