Saturday, July 13, 2013

Home Sweet Home Surprise


                                                   Movie of 1928 "Steamboat Bill."

Dear Diary

Saturday April 13, 1928

Today has been a wonderful sunny day in the mountains of Purvis Gap, and I feel so exhilarated for some reason. Maybe it is because Sam has asked me to the movies. If I sound like I am now living in the city---that would be laughable---because the movies are here in Purvis Gap every Saturday night at the old ballpark.

The men of the Gap---mostly my Pa and brothers built a huge screen out of lumber sawed from some trees on my brother’s property. And they painted the rough boards white---so it looks as great as any movie screen---at least we grateful mountain dwellers think so.

My brother Mark rents the movies from a studio in California. He shows westerns, dramas, mysteries, romance, and movies about love. But tonight we are going to see ”Steamboat Bill” and while Mark is busy running the movie---his wife will be selling popcorn to one and all for a penny a bag with free sweet tea.

Mark has the best ideas and is the most generous man---sharing his wealth with his---family, friends and neighbors. To get into the movies each family has to donate a jar of something canned. Some bring honey, corn, tomatoes, soup, and anything that can be grown in the mountains is also canned. Also canned meats are a popular item to bring.

And all the canned goods are stored in the church’s pantry for the hard winter months for all to share. What goes around comes back around to stare hungry children in the face in the hard months of snow on the frozen ground---but with my brothers kindness all the people of Purvis Gap now live a better and happier life. Yes we are blessed in these mountains with love and kindness.

I am dressed in a new pink dress that Ma made me with lace and pearl buttons in the back down to my waist and on the sleeves. Pa said I will make Sam's eyes pop out when I opened the door to his knock. Pa is so funny---because I resemble my mother so much he thinks I am beautiful like she is---but no one can be as lovely as my Ma. She walks and talks like an Angel and she is one to all who know her.

I was putting the jars of canned food in my satchel when someone knocked. I knew it had to be Sam---so for the little vain part of me I wanted to see his reaction to see if Pa’s predictions lived up to his words.

I open the door with a big smile and then it froze---I had opened the door to a very handsome stranger and I was here all alone. The stranger smiled and asked, “Is that you Rebecca?”

“Yes, my name is Rebecca---but how do I know you?”

“Don’t you recognize me---I am Johnny.”

Well I could have fainted---and I almost did—but I caught myself in time and invited him in.

As I said please come in---a young woman stepped from behind Johnny and smiled.

“Hi Becca—it is me Margaret.”

And then I did faint.

© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Classroom Visitor



April 9, 1928
Dear Diary,
Monday morning proved to be a disappointment as it rained all day, and when it rains the children’s pent up energy has to come out sooner or later because they cannot go out to run and play in the rain. So after lessons we rearranged the classroom and I let the children decide who they wanted to sit by and everyone was happy.

All the reorganizing took some of the energy away so it would not explode into fights between the boys. I baked a surprised Birthday Cake for little Sammy the youngest child in my class. He was five years old and was reading on a sixth grade level. I loved this child---he was so sweet and polite and everyone loved him; and the children protected him from the older boys of the Gap.

I let the children sing “Happy Birthday to Sammy” and the oldest girls handed out the cake as I cut it. I let little Susie take the rest of the cake home to her five little sisters. She was so happy to share something good with them. One of the oldest boys carried it for her. I taught these children good manners and how to care for and help others.

These are the best children in Purvis Gap, and as I was thinking about my lesson plans for tomorrow---a knock sounded on the double wood doors of the school house. I went to open them and it was Sam standing there with a rose in his hand.

I smiled and invited him in to the school house to see how well Purvis Gap provided for the children. He looked around and said, “Rebecca I cannot believe how well your library is furnished and with all new books which are up to date.” He said as his fingers went through page after page as if he could not believe it.

I did not know if I should be proud or feel insulted that he must think we are backwoods uneducated mountain people.

And I suppose he could read it in my face as I looked at him. Then he laughed, “Oh my---I am just amazed that Purvis Gap felt so deeply about education---not all mountain communities are this lucky.” Then he handed me the lavender rose which smelled so heavenly.

I still felt a little taken back but I thanked him for the rose and he walked me home. I did not invite him in as no one was home. So we said our goodbyes and I went in and started supper. Ma was quilting in the Hollow and Pa was collecting honey so I knew I had time to prepare them a great meal.

I cannot help but think of Johnny and why I have not heard from him.

Dear Diary I am tired so we will talk tomorrow.

Good night,

Becca