Banner Mountain Girl #11

On Banner Mountain, I stand looking at the house, now empty, with brush around it, deserted, falling down. I see the well still covered. I listen for sounds of laughter. Echoing from the past, the sounds ring in my heart. In a flash of memory, someone’s drawing water from the well—and as I look at the house, I wish I could be a child again and put my bare feet into a creek. I wish that I could feel the sun upon my back as I walk barefoot down a dusty road. That I could touch velvety moss in the woods and hear dry leaves crackling.

And draw water from the well.

I wish that I could hear the whippoorwills across the hollow on a warm night. And that I could sit on the front porch again with Mama, Daddy, my sister Yvonne and my brother Bill. Just sit there, not talking much. Then wander into the yard, trying to stay cool. Wash my feet in a pan of cold water and go into the house and go to bed. And see again the morning sun on the tall, thick yard grass, and look at hollyhocks that Mama planted beside the fence.

Draw water from the well.

Watch Mama milk Old Jerse, and later help Mama churn butter in an old-fashioned churn with a dash. Watch Daddy plow the fields. I wish I could once again trade a warm egg to the peddler for bubble gum. Meet Piggy, the mailman, at the mailbox to see what delightful cards, catalogs and letters he would bring. Read again the letters from my best friend, Inez, that Piggy delivered the same day by hand-canceling the three-cent stamp. See Mama sitting in the shade of the peach tree, shelling beans, then stopping to read a letter from my brother when he was overseas during the war.

I remember growing up, and, with Inez, Doris, and Lois Jean, watching for the boys to go by. I remember pie suppers and boys collecting money to buy the cake for the prettiest girl. I recall dinners on the ground, the taste of coconut pies. People visiting. Children playing and laughing. Time unhurried. I cannot be a child again, but I’m thankful for Banner Mountain – whippoorwills, picking cotton and drawing water from the well.

~© Freeda Baker Nichols


14 comments on “BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 11

  1. Martha says:

    Freeda, so sorry to hear you are unwell. Sure hope the problem is found and fixed quickly. I hope it it nothing very serious. Keep us posted.

    I love all your Banner Mountain Girl posts…..and I wanted to tell you I know who “Piggy” is! Hugh P. (Piggy) McKnight…right? We lived close to them in Shirley and I played at the house. Reba Hugh put up with me.

    Take care of yourself. Hope the next news is better.





    • Martha, yes, Piggy is Hugh P. McKnight. I think the spelling is different though. I interviewed Mrs. McKnight for an article and she told me his name was spelled Piggee. His middle name. I bet you do have good memories of your childhood at Shirley. I love writing about my memories and so glad you like to read my posts about them. I will keep you up to date on my health issues.


  2. Coy and Charlene Lackie says:

    What a beautiful post. I can identify with much of this on Magness Creek in Southeast corner of Faulkner County. May the Lord continue to bless.


    • Thank you! How did you find my blog? I don’t recognize your name. If you’re not a subscriber, I’d love to have you subscribe to follow my posts.


      • charlene lackie says:

        What caught my eye was my mother grew up until 16 in western part of Van Buren County , she was born in 1909 then when I read something about it you were in the eastern part but I could identify with it growing up in 40s and 50s in southeastern Faulkner County. I will be ordering your book.


        • Those were the “good old days.” How wonderful that you ordered my book! Your order came through with your payment. I have replied to your email. Please check. And thanks so much. I hope you enjoy “Call of the Cadron”!


  3. What lovely and joyous memories of the past! I really believe we need to draw them to us as treasures — they are our joy and change us. You tell a beautiful story.


  4. spanishwoods says:

    Great post. You are so lucky to have such rich memories.


  5. Lovely memories.


  6. This is lyrical and evocative. I kept thinking drawing from the well of memories. Loved it.


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