Thursday, March 7, 2013

Whoever Heard of Hickeytown?

Although I spent a big part of my childhood at my grandparents' farm, I was actually a city girl.  Mom and Dad always rented houses in town where the streets were paved and well lit. It was a safe and friendly town where children walked back and forth to school. 

Mama walked me to Michie School my first day of second grade and I walked alone afterwards. I cannot imagine allowing a seven year old out of the yard nowadays. It was a different world then.

This is a picture of my second grade classmates at Michie School. I am sure Mama would have dressed me in a cute little dress if I had told her that pictures were being made that day.

I remember Toni reassuring me Danny would stand in front of me and hide my shorts but I guess we forgot to tell him.

Look how cute Scotty is in the second row. And look how sweet and cheerful Toni is. We have lost both of them now.

These, and the ones I made at Hurie School, were the friends I had through the tenth grade when Daddy and Mama decided to move to the country.

I was devastated and just knew my life was ruined when they moved our family to the small rural community of Hickeytown. Hickeytown? What sixteen year old wants to move to Hickeytown?

They wanted to raise chickens and ducks and have fresh eggs. They wanted to plant vegetables and tend flowers. They wanted to breathe fresh air and drink cool well water. They wanted a fire blazing in a wood burning stove. 

They got what they wanted but none of that was what I wanted. I wanted to watch a matinee movie at the Strand on bottle cap days. I wanted to buy an RC Cola at the bottling company on the courthouse square. I wanted to walk to the library and drink cherry cokes at the Diamond Drive-In. I wanted to cruise downtown Clarksville whenever Mom and Dad would let me have the car. 

But now I was stuck in the sticks where I knew no one and was facing all new kids in a new school come September.

Although I thought my destiny lay in my hometown of Clarksville, God had other plans for me. Hickeytown was and is a beautiful place on the Little Piney/Big Piney Creek (I never know which is which). I met and made new friends and happily graduated from Lamar High School. 

The following October my soon to be all time best friend invited me to go to the Knoxville Halloween carnival with him. 

A year later I moved with him to his family home in Knoxville where the roads were unpaved, the air was fresh, and the well water was cool and clear. We planted gardens and heated the house with wood. 

And Mama and Daddy moved back to Clarksville.


  1. Sweet story -- love can make a person forget those things she didn't like before.

  2. We did the same thing to our girls..they survived and are better for it! Hickeytown what a name..great memories! I liked the old photo too! :)

  3. I really loved reading this!

  4. Meant to say we are facing that with Lorelei...It is almost hard to let a child out in a fenced yard...and for sure would not let them walk to school at 7....

  5. Fantastic post, Rita! Very nostalgic, and as always, well-written! Our focus always changes from the frivolities of youth to the REAL and then to the EASIER as we age. :-)

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