Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fellowship Road....to SCR 14.....to a State Highway??

It was early morning. The sun, not yet in sight, was announcing its arrival by making the clouds in the eastern sky look like they had been dusted with varying shades of pink and yellow. 

I could hear a pickup truck as it topped the hill to the southeast, speeding down the road, probably heading home.....somewhere in the country.  As I walked down the driveway with one of our pups, the truck sped by, and I heard it as it crossed the expansion joints on the bridge over Cohay Creek.

I think it must have been the sound of the truck, crossing the bridge, that brought back memories of so many years ago.  An image of my grandmother, or "Granny" as we all called her, popped into my head. The concrete bridge had replaced an old wooden bridge that once crossed the creek, and alerted neighbors far and wide that a "car was coming".

It didn't seem to matter what Granny was doing, when she heard the old bridge begin to rumble, she'd send one of the grandkids running to the front porch "to see who is coming up the road".  We'd report back to her with the color and kind of car, and even though she never left her house on Fellowship Road, she'd always seem to know who was going by and where they were going. I think it was years before we realized she was just trying to get us out from underfoot!

In those days, not only was the bridge wooden but Fellowship Road was still a red dirt, unpaved road - with sections that were practically impassable after a rain. My honey of almost 52 years, likes to tell the story of his first trip to my grandmother's house before we were married. It had rained, but Mom and Dad's '59 Chevy Belair had been able to get as far as the last hilltop before we reached Granny's house. The ruts had begun to get so deep, Dad was afraid that we'd get stuck. He stopped the car at my Aunt Hilma and Uncle Hershel Hodge's house, at the top of the hill, and we were ferried the remainder of the way in the school bus that Uncle Hershel drove.

Bob said later,  "I wondered what I was getting myself into!"  If he had heard the tales of the desperados of Sullivan's Hollow, I'm sure he wondered if he'd ever see daylight, again! After just one meal at Granny's table, he probably thought he had found a little slice of heaven in the backwoods of Smith County, regardless of how he had to get there.

Sometime in the mid '60s, progress began to invade this section of Sullivan's Hollow, and the old red dirt was covered with asphalt that ended just beyond Granny's house. A few years later the pavement was extended, and the old wooden bridge was replaced.  If Granny were still alive she would have a hard time hearing the traffic cross the bridge. And no longer might she know the cars that speed up and down SCR 14 (the new name for Fellowship Road) on their shortcut from Covington County to jobs and stores in Taylorsville.
 
About a year ago, surveyors and stakes with pink flags began to appear on a continuing basis.  Apparently there's some extra money in the highway fund, and our supervisor thinks this is one of the worst roads in Smith County (apparently he hasn't been on some of these other roads). The old red dirt road is headed toward more progress - rumor has it we'll soon be living on a State Highway. Hopefully the residents along this road will, one day, be given an opportunity to voice their opinion. Guess it won't matter - there's such a thing as "Eminent Domain".

Wonder what Granny would think.
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