The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Down Memory Lane

By Rachel Poff © 1989

Issue: February, 1989

I don't know how the young folks and teenagers of today would be entertained if it was like when I was growing up. We had no electricity or indoor plumbing, no TV or movies.

My brother, Maurie Prillaman, was living in West Virginia. He brought us a radio that was battery powered. It was the first radio in our community and we thought it was grand. The neighbors and friends would come in on Saturday night to listen to the Grand Ole Opry. We would also listen to Uncle Dave Macon on his banjo. Then we would pop popcorn by the gallon and serve apple cider.

There was an old gentleman whose name was Pleasant Mason nearby that made shoes. My dad would get me a pair of shoes every winter to wear to school. How I hated those shoes. They lasted forever.

Then there were the box suppers. All the young ladies would fix up a nice lunch in a beautiful decorated box or basket. Everyone would meet at the church or school for the fun. The boxes were auctioned to the highest bidder. Each girl was hoping that her beau would get her box so they could eat together. Whoever bought your lunch had the pleasure of eating with you.

In the spring the young folks of the community would gather at the church on Sunday afternoon and go on wild flower hunts. We would walk for miles and pick beautiful wild flowers, then meet back at the church and place the flowers on the graves in the church cemetery.

We had no paved roads in the country. If we went out in a car after a rain, the road was slick and we probably would end up in a ditch or mud hole. Then we would have to get out and push the car out of the mud and put on chains before we could continue on our way.

We had no tractors or tillers to work our garden. My father had an old steer named "Buck." We used him to plow and haul logs and farm produce.

We thought we had a hard time, but when we look back on those days, maybe it wasn't so bad after all. We didn't hear of anyone dying of drug overdose and very few murders were heard of. Everything was peaceful and quiet.