The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mayberry Memories

By Coy Lee Yeatts © 1986

Issue: February, 1986

The year 1927 hurried by. The Yeatt's new home was built and we moved in for the winter. Then, Dad had a bad spell with something, probably a ruptured disk, that left him crippled for the rest of his life. But, that is not what I wish to remember now.

What I remember now is the loving kindness and caring of friends and neighbors, for that is what meant so much to us then.

Though things were not so good, they would get worse later.

The spring of 1928 came and Mr. Childress came over and plowed our new garden with his horse. He called the horse "BOOZY," but the horse always looked sober to me. (But I did hear of one that Penn Scott had that would drink all he could get. It was a mustang he had trained.)

Soon May passed and it was into the first days of June. My sisters, Flora, Loraine and I could play outdoors.

One morning it was very nice. We went up the path beside the woods above our new home. My sisters and I found some chestnuts in the leaves that were sprouting and ate them. Then, we gathered some beautiful azaleas and mountain laurels that were blooming. When we got all the flowers that our small hands could carry, we took them to Mama. You could tell by her looks that she was pleased with them. In a little bit, she put them in a vase with some water to keep them from wilting. I think she was going to show them to Dad when he returned home in a little while. Well, it was now time for small children to have a nap before lunch.

When Flora awakened, she was very sick. In a little while, Dad returned home and Mom and he decided to call Dr. Akers.

Sometime around the close of that day, Dr. Akers came, as did many relatives, friends aunts and uncles - Aunt Vera and Eunice Webb, Uncle Elue Wood, Aunt Lizzie and Bell come also.

It was decided that the only hope for Flora was to operate and remove her appendix, and that was only a small hope.

Mr. Frank Spangler held the lamp for Dr. Akers to work by. Flora was put in bed after the operation and everybody stood by and waited to see if she would get better.

As Eunice Webb was leaving to go home with Bell to spend the night, she asked Uncle Elue if he thought the child would live. His reply was, "It would not be of any use for me to tell you that she would, and it be gone in the morning." His opinion was that she would not recover.

When morning came, Flora was thirsty and I was sent to get her some cool fresh water from the spring. Before I got back with the water, Aunt Judy Agee, met me and said Flora had died.

Then, Mr. Lawrence Bolt came, as did many relatives, friends and neighbors. Everybody gathered out in the yard by the porch for Flora's funeral. They carried her up on the hill above Grandpa's and buried her there.

Then the next year, when the 30th of May came, we went and put flowers on her grave. Mama told us what Memorial Day was, with tears in her eyes.