This is one of those Thursday Doors “I didn’t get a good picture because I didn’t want to trespass” posts.
We’re in Caneyville, Kentucky, this week, where my husband lived Way Back When.
Here’s a picture of his house on Tough Street. The big white building filling the right of the picture was the hotel. Across the street is an empty lot where Charlie’s father’s garage used to stand. Not his personal garage, the one where he used to work on other people’s cars.
This was his father’s father’s house — Lafe’s house. Lafe and his brothers were all named after notable men, most of them military men. Uncle Mane’s full name was Francis Marion Allen, Francis Marion being better known as The Swamp Fox, hero of the American Revolutionary War. Lafe’s real name? Marquis de Lafayette Allen.
These are (obviously) the railroad tracks. The white building was Pearl Young’s general store. Pearl was a man, the father of Charlie’s best friend in Caneyville. Charlie and his family lived in an apartment over the store for a while. The red building next to it was also a store, but they didn’t carry as much variety as Pearl Young, and Charlie says they didn’t seem very “friendly to kids,” so he didn’t go in there.
Not very doorish, actually, except as a door to my husband’s past, a door I love walking through. He remembers so much about Caneyville, and with so much fondness, it’s a pleasure to visit there with him, in person or in conversation.
This is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors link-up. Go to his blog and click on the link-up link to see who’s going where this week.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Where did your main character’s significant other or, lacking one, your main character’s father spend the most memorable part of his childhood?
DanFebruary 18, 2016 at 7:11am
I enjoyed this post Marian (or is it Marion?) I’ve taken my wife and daughter back to the town I lived in until I was about 10, but where my father worked for years after that (I worked there too for a while). It has the same feel, and many buildings remain. It’s fun to travel with someone who knows the history. I haven’t been back since I started Thursday Doors. I have some photos to take on our next trip 🙂
Marian AllenFebruary 18, 2016 at 8:33am
MariAn is (or used to be) the feminine spelling, and MariOn was the male spelling. It’s no longer the case, I know. It used to be, you could tell people, “It’s like Maria or Mario, with an N on the end.”
ANYWAY, it’s Marian, and I’m glad you liked the post. I can’t wait to see your remembrance post!
JaneFebruary 18, 2016 at 7:42am
Patesville is a dogleg in the main road, which in my memory was still gravel and dust until –er– the early ’60s? The farmhouse was just a piece up the road from the general store/gas station. About a quarter mile.
Dad told a million stories about his school years and the people in them. Though the largest character was his dog Chubbie, I still recall a number of the folks and the pranks and hijinks they got up to.
Marian AllenFebruary 18, 2016 at 8:41am
You need to write all that down, while it’s still clear, especially in your dad’s unique “voice.” That’s a world that’s past, although it’s amazing how much of rural and semi-rural childhood stays pretty much the same.
Pat GarciaFebruary 18, 2016 at 1:08pm
It’s amazing. Some things in the United States never change and that is good. Things like the houses made out of wood and painted white. Thanks for sharing.
Marian AllenFebruary 18, 2016 at 2:26pm
I’m told that old store has been structurally worked on and is about to be reopened as a medical clinic!
Pat GarciaFebruary 19, 2016 at 1:14pm
Great! It’s like going back to the old landmark.
Have a great weekend.
ShellyFebruary 18, 2016 at 3:54pm
Cool old buildings! It’s funny seeing the store front so close to the railroad tracks. Did the old store have a parking lot?
Marian AllenFebruary 18, 2016 at 10:53pm
Charlie says there was more room between the train tracks and the store than it looks like in the picture. There was a depot about where I was standing to take the picture, and a big open area. Most people walked to the store or drove their mule-drawn wagons to bring their cucumbers to the pickle factory across from the red building.
ShellyFebruary 18, 2016 at 11:27pm
I don’t mean to be rude, I’m just genuinely curious, but how old is Charlie? I was born in 1969, and my husband of 20+ years was born in 1955. I thought people would be driving cars by the 50’s? We have a donkey but no wagon and I can’t grow a decent cucumber to save my life, they look beautiful but are bitter as heck.
I’d love to live in a town like you are weaving here, but I’d want my cell phone and internet service. 😀
Marian AllenFebruary 19, 2016 at 8:52am
First, Charlie is older than I am. lol! He was born in 1933. Things in rural Kentucky were still pretty rural and the Great Depression was still affecting life for quite a while after the more urban parts of the country had moved on. That said, I was born in 1950 and grew up on the poor side of Louisville, Kentucky, and I can remember horse-and-wagon guys coming around in the early morning: The rag-and-bottle man, the strawberry man, the fruit-and-vegetable man.
They have internet service and cell phone service in Caneyville! We have a friend who lives there, and she’s as sharp and savvy and plugged-in as you’d find anywhere. 🙂 But it’s still Caneyville, just Caneyville connected. 🙂
JaneFebruary 20, 2016 at 9:26am
I can remember the ice man coming by delivering huge ice chunks from the back of his wagon to the couple folks who still had ice boxes. He’d seize the ice with those big iron tongs and haul away. The kids would all dive for the ice slivers chipped away from the block.
He must have driven a truck, though. I’m sure if he’d had a mule etc, we’d have driven him crazy wanting to mess the critter rather than the ice.
When I saw that Stallone movie set in the 1930’s, I nearly freaked, because I could remember those ice trucks. But it just turns out that we were on the tail end of progress in my neighborhood. My memories are from the 1950’s.
Still a little twilight zone-y.
Marian AllenFebruary 20, 2016 at 9:42am
I remember the ice man, too! Seems like he had a leather pad on his shoulder? Sometimes he was in a good mood and chipped some ice just FOR us, but sometimes he was like, You kids get out th’ way, I’m runnin’ late. heh
Norm 2.0February 20, 2016 at 9:39am
If the memories are fond ones it sure is a precious gift to be able to go back and revisit places from childhood.
From these pics I couldn’t get over the feeling that theses places are waaay too close to those tracks – I guess you get used to it though.
Nice post Marian – thanks for sharing.
Marian AllenFebruary 20, 2016 at 9:47am
Since the depot was right across the street, the train was moving pretty slowly by the time it got there. Probably still pretty darned loud! Charlie says there was a coal tipple somewhere around there where the train took on coal, and folks would go pick up the spillage to help cook and heat the house, a blessing during the Depression.
Bill AllenFebruary 20, 2016 at 2:04pm
Hi. I grew up in the house by the road and the tracks. Tornado took out the depot I believe.
Marian AllenFebruary 20, 2016 at 3:04pm
Which house, Bill? How are you kin to Lafe and Wilbur Allen?
Bill AllenFebruary 20, 2016 at 4:03pm
The old Pearl Young store. My dad was William Lafayette Allen Sr. son of Lafe.
Marian AllenFebruary 20, 2016 at 4:32pm
Charlie says hi! 🙂