Going up the Country

There at the junction of state hwy 49 and rural route 34. In the county of Wayne. In a southern Missouri town. Fifty or so miles from Arkansas, Seven miles from Piedmont and just this side of Mill spring sits Leeper.The world itself a million miles away.

When people talk about “The Country”, that’s what they used to mean. My memories and Mothers family have their roots there. A few of these scattered memories I now share.

 Wood fires, Wild flowers, a Snake, and an old Tin Roof. Gravel roads leading to state highways. Old abandoned buildings and homes, which housed hearts and souls, A Bible and a Bottle coexisted in an uneasy truce in this part of Missouri.

Cane poles and corncob pipes. Old ford trucks and dusty roads, hard-working folks and Sundays. A still, a coon hound and church picnics. Sanity and Salvation, country-style.

Big breakfasts, with Fried chicken, milk gravy, eggs & Grandma Goggin. Gene’s Cornbread submerged in milk.

The path to Uncle Gene and Aunt Carols house. A black racer snake to speed my journey. Seed ticks and country tricks played on the city kid. Snipe hunting and tire swings.

My Uncle Bill and Aunt Vi, My Aunt Lucy, and Grandma Sarah, this is where they lived. My Grandpa Ed spent some time; he is buried in Mill Springs nearby.

Stories told of my Aunt Pat, Piper Laurie, and Lash Larue. My mom “ Dotsy “ carrying her worms in a coffee can. My Aunt Sue and the time she spent with Gene and Carol ,and their kids.

A man in a wheelchair named Hayden, Railroad tracks; a town built on hard-working folks, backs. A mercantile the general store, a post office delivers no more, an old hotel long ago gone, pitch black nights and early dawns. A saw mill once built and run, the mill closed down the jobs all gone.

Old folks died, kids left for work. Their lives in St Louis, through the week. Load the truck, the car, and the kids, a few hours and back again. I remember well my Uncle Gene. He loved to hunt, he loved to fish. He kept the town ,it was his wish. “The Country” was where he felt at home. We share these memories and so much more.

An army veteran, a, husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother. On Wednesday he will be laid to rest at Jefferson Barracks, among other vets. To my Aunt Carol, cousins, Eddie, Denny, Ron and Dave. While you lay to rest Gene in his grave, Rest assured after the pain, he lives on a little piece in all of us.

God simply called him home; I know where Gene Goggin can be found, down around Black River carrying a rod.

© JK Dark onthedarkside.wordpress.com

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~ by onthedarkside on September 28, 2010.

5 Responses to “Going up the Country”

  1. It’s comforting to know and to remember our roots. Thanks for sharing this. My condolences.

  2. What a lovely tribute to your Uncle Gene. Thank you for allowing me a peek into your country.

  3. My condolences on your loss. But this is one of the better things I’ve read in some time. Great imagery,

  4. Great blog post, been after that?

  5. I hope you shared this with your cousins. If not, do so. It’s a beautiful rememberance. Well done, and from the heart.

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