| Coon Fork|
By Veronica Marks Nagy 2001
This walk is longer than I remember. I should be there by now. One
more hill and I am sure it's
just around the next turn. I remember now. There's the big tree stump.
I should be able to see
the house now. Where is it? I know at least the porch should be in
view. The closer I get the
more I can see that the house is not there. Why would they tear down
the house? I keep looking
to see what else is missing--the barn, the chicken house, the gate, Oh
no, the apple tree. I feel
as if a page out of my life has been torn out.
There were four houses in this holler. Each had a significant
character of its own. Our house,
the only one with electricity and a telephone, made it the gathering
place for all the neighbors.
Even though we lived here a short time, the best memories of my
childhood remain here.
This isn't what I expected. I want to walk through those same steps as
when I was nine years
old. Everything is gone. I wished I had never come back here. It
surely hasn't been that long for
it to change this much.
I remember the house well, with rickety steps leading up to small
front porch and the back porch
large and all screened in, great for our summer canning. I remember
opening the gate that
separated our property and being so proud that I was the only one of
us five kids that could get
it open. Counting the eggs in the hen house was my favorite chore,
removing a Banty hen from her nest could be difficult. The barn was
interesting., always filled
with fresh smelling hay and a floor of squishy black muck. The first
time I climbed up into the
hay loft and looked down, I got so scared that Dad had to come get me.
One of our most
favorite places to be was under or in that big apple tree with its
branches spaced exactly the
right distance apart, making it perfect for climbing right to the top.
Building playhouses out of
large rocks and sticks on the countryside was another one of our
favorite pass times.
There were hard times too, A homemade drag had to be hitched to a team
of horses to work the
road to make it passable for a car. The dreaded outhouse had a
hornet's nest , big black
spiders, and sometimes a snake hanging from the rafters. The
long-handled pump on the back
porch always froze in the winter, forcing us to melt snow for water.
We had a two mile walk to
catch the school bus every day and changed pants and shoes in the bus
house to prevent the
kids at school from seeing the mud up to our knees. I remember
carrying water to fill up a #2
wash tub for a bath each week and washing clothes every Saturday on
our wringer washing
Going back to Coon Fork is really kind of sad for me, yet it has a
calming effect to find that you
can tear down the house and cut down the trees, but you can't take
away the memories.
The dreaded outhouse
Road leading up narrow Coon Fork
Fred Jarvis house on Coon Fork
Mouth of the hollow where about eight families now live