23 April 2008

While the South is hardly Christ centered, it is most certainly Christ haunted

Fries, VA

This church is down the road a ways from my dad's trailer home. The building it's in used to be "Top of the Mountain Grocery," a little country store/pawn shop where old men would gather to shoot the breeze or haggle over how much money they should get to pawn their rifles or chainsaws or girlfriend's jewelry. After my dad quit his job at BC Vaughn and we moved out of the trailer my grandma now owns, we briefly lived in a one room apartment (one and 1/2 if you count the bathroom) over "Top of the Mountain." The man who owned/operated the store also owned a fruit stand in Independence, VA, and my dad tended the fruit stand in exchange for rent and a few dollars each month. There was a large creek behind the fruit stand, and during the summer I'd wade and look for crawfish and salamanders. On one occasion, I found some Nehi and Coca-Cola bottles dating from 1910 wedged into the bank near the creek. I cleaned those bottles for an hour or so each day for the next month. Since we lived over a store, we didn't have go far to buy food. We bought bread, bologna and Pepsi on credit, then by the end of the month my dad owed most of his pay back to the owner of the store. It was just enough to keep us afloat until my dad took a job at a glass factory in Galax and we moved to Harmony Village apartments. Or maybe we moved somewhere else. As I get older, my memory seems to be dissolving. I don't recall much from our time in the one room apartment. I'm not even sure we lived there after moving out of the trailer. Maybe the house on Iron Mountain came between the trailer and the apartment. I do recall my dad buying a Nintendo during that time, then long hours given over to searching out secret doors beneath pixelated shrubs.

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