Friday, January 29, 2010

My History, Too

My Aunt Esther and Uncle Phil and my cousin, Alma Lea, receive my blog via email. Their feedback is not posted. Since it is important that their stories be part of the Neff Road story, I will on occasion post writings from them. Since I was much younger than most of my relatives on Neff Road, I lost out on those memories of places and people who would come to mean much to me. Their stories are mine, too.


My Aunt Esther wrote to me some time ago about how she and Virginia Royer would ride horses from Grandad’s barns back to the pond. Somehow I never thought about my aunt riding horses. Virginia Royer was Virgil Royer’s daughter, friends of the family. Lois Royer, her sister, helped Mom with a newborn baby back in 1947. I learned last week that this woman had passed, this woman who resides in my old photo album, her arms wrapped around a newborn Pam.

Alma Lea wrote about my grandfather’s farm:

I look forward to your blogs each day. I loved that home. I spent many happy hours there. Esther and I explored every corner of it. The attic was one on my favorite places. We would take our dolls up there and set up housekeeping. One day back under the eaves we found several crocks of apple butter. We went dashing down to the kitchen to tell your grandmother about them, and she came back up with us. I can still hear her say, "My goodness I forgot all about those, they must have been there twenty years." She carried one down, and added hot water to it, let it soak and kept stirring more hot water in until it was the right consistency, and it was as good as new. I thought that was so exciting, like finding a treasure.

I used to daydream about living there when I grew up. I was so sad when I heard about it being torn down. Not too long ago we had been to Troy and in the way home I told Duane I wanted to take a trip down memory lane; we drove all around the neighborhood, and I told him where different people lived and how I almost drowned in the creek , I dived in head first and hit my head on a rock, a little different from the Greenville pool, a city kid showing off. Things had really changed.


Things do change and memories get lost. I cherish these from my dear relatives. They tell my story as well as theirs.

I wonder what home was first built on Neff Road. Who first cleared this Indian land? Who took it away from the people who had been on it first? Those stories are gone, but my stories and that of my family are a history of a time and way of life, a way of life of a community on the once path named Neff Road.

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