Papers Houses Trucks and Archeology

I'm SO happy to be FINALLY finished....for all practical purposes at least. There is something incredibly satisfiying about the way the Alderman printers churn out finished papers. Each page took so agonizingly long to type but suddenly its just "whoosh, whoosh, whoosh....(whoosh X 15)...ding!"

My great grandmother wrote a book/manuscript for the family back in the...1950's I think...documenting her life as married to my great grandfather, a truck driver. She titled it, "I Married a Truck" I LOVe that she did this...and wish that I could know her more directly than just through typed words.

SHE grew up with nothing in the prairie and HE grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, even during the great depression. Then HE decided that he wanted to be truck driver...one of many half baked schemes filled with love and enthusiasm (on his part at least)...but not the most practical for their family.

This is an excerpt written about her experience arriving at his family's home, December 13, 1933.

The mountains were beautiful that morning, when I saw them for the first time. Small white clouds clung to the sides below us, and looked soft enough to sleep on. I learned later that they were pure fog when they dropped over a truck and made driving hazardous, but nothing could have spoiled the magic of that drive for me.

The family usually drove into the backyard to discharge passengers, but that morning Jack wanted to make a grand entrance so he drove to the front gate at the foot of the mountain. On a knoll above us stood the White House on the Hill, as they called it. On the other side of the highway ran the north fork of the Holston River. A little mountain gap came to the foot of the gate, and a little creek emerged from it to join the river. On all sides mountains rose dark with winter green common to the Southern highlands.

Jack sounded the car horn, and Dan, the white-coated house boy came down the hill to get my bags, closely followed by Jack's mother. We met half way.

"I'm so excited, I can't get down the hill!" she called to me.

“I'm so excited, I can't get up!” I called back. So we stood there and laughed like the two foolish women we were.

The house was an old one. We entered the hall that ran the length of the house to the den. The old open stairway was straight and a paisley Shawl hung in soft folds from the second floor to soften the wall. To the left was the living room, replete with Bokhara rugs and antique pieces. Across the hall from the living room was the dining room, with back hall and kitchen beyond. Soft oriental rugs hushed our steps as we went to the den. To the left of the den was the sun parlor, then full of Christmas greens gathered by Frank from the mountain back of the house. To the right was the guest room with a full window view of the mountain behind the house.

My family has actually VISITED this SAME HOUSE in North Holston....or rather...remainder of the house. It sinks in the middle of snake infested Virginia-jungle-like weeds and growth...but the tiled bathroom floors are still visible (I pocketed some of the octagonal quarter sized tiles) and the shape of the house can be made out (I also stole a moldy-ish brick from the foundation and it sits in our living room now)