Roanoke, Virginia ~ Mill Mountain Star
I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird this spring. The following is an old Xanga post before I left the land of the pre-teen and high school angst and moved to Blogger. I decided to start a site so that my daughter would have a written history of my memories, both the ones I really remember and those that come from listening to the stories of my parents. Time always tempers the memories, details become less clear, and we haven't been very good to keep journals along the way. So for my "Rehash Monday" some of my early memories..
Xanga Entry: Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 12:49 AM
I'm still re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Having seen the movie after I first read the book but before living in the "DEEP" south, I get glimpses in my head that may be a compilation of the characters as described and those as seen on film. To be honest, Atticus Finch is Gregory Peck, by descriptive words and on film. No one else in history could ever be Atticus.
Anyway, the book is a child's look at life, a picture of history including the best and the worst, a very subtle study of the character of a man, a town and a way of life, and it is truly a snapshot of the Old South (and not for off from the "new" south). I missed this last part when I read it as a 9th grader in Indiana. Dill was from Meridian, Mississippi; I know Meridian, 90 miles or so south of Columbus. The children hid on the doorstep of the Jitney Jungle grocery store. We had a Jitney Jungle in Columbus. I'm in the courtroom setting now. I won't tell anymore of the plot so that it won't be ruined.
Nyssa, you have to read this book; the winner of the Eudora Welty award for Southern Writing must read this book. The only thing I can't figure out is the fact that the children referred to their father by his first name. That is not typical. Children routinely call other adults by their first names but ALWAYS prefaced with a Miss or Mister. I had never heard that until moving to Mississippi. And Nyssa, you know how I feel about lawyers, but I finally found one in Atticus Finch that I could like.
I suppose I relate to the little girl in the book, Scout. She is about seven or eight and a tomboy. So was I. I don't really remember anything before I was in first grade and those are only dim clips of video in my head. But I remember the little two bedroom house on Clifton Avenue in Roanoke, Virginia. I was the same age as Scout. I was a tomboy. Nyssa was never really a tomboy, not like me. I was a stay-outside-all-day-make-messy- mudpies-jump-out-of-the-big-apple-tree-and-roll-down-the-hill- over-and-over-type of tomboy.
The summers were hot in Roanoke. Our house was small with two bedrooms, one bath, a little kitchen, dining room and living room. There was no air conditioning, just any breeze that would come in through the open windows. It still never seemed as hot in summer then as it does now. We did have a basement and the house was on a little hill so the basement opened out into the back yard. There was a carport to the side instead of a garage. An old apple tree was at the front right corner of the house on the hill. We never really got any good apples off the tree, they would just fall off and rot on the ground and when you picked them up to throw away you had to watch for wasps. They loved the rotting apples. I don't know how many times I got stung picking up those rotten apples. Had to have a clear path to roll down the hill you see.
The tree had a big v-shaped branch close to the ground so it was easy to climb. One limb about 8 inches around had been cut off for some reason and this left a little stump which I thought was a wonderful platform. One only had to climb up about 4 to 5 feet, perch on the branch stump and jump. Of course you had to immediately ball up and roll or you'd break a leg. You could roll all the way past the carport and past the swing set if you did it right. I did it right.
To be continued.
Bless it! Looks like I did a "continued later" so we will have to do that. If I forget, ya'll remind me.