Myrtle’s front-porch culture and its characters. Chapter 3.

“Naturally, most of my childhood memories of a porch concern the one attached to my family’s house. It was a big porch, made of heart pine (so Daddy told me) that had been there a hundred years and would last forever. ” Page 38. This is the house in December 2012, beautifully restored by its new owners. The porch swing is exactly as it was during my Myrtle years. My bedroom is off the porch on the right; Jim’s at the left.


My Great-Uncle Dewitt and Great-Aunt Hattie Sue’s house:  “The two of them always seemed to be on their front porch, sitting and ready to have company.” Page 36.


“With Miss Nina, I was entertained as surely as I was instructed. I also felt nurtured and loved.” Page 40.


Mr. Aigee Herrington. “He was just always there, patiently carving. Usually had overalls on as I remember it, as well as a straw hat most times.” Page 52.

Mr. Aigee

Handiwork of Mr. Aigee Herrington, Myrtle’s whittler: “He turned peach pits into clever little baskets and distributed them to Myrtle’s young girls.” Page 51.


“A number of those remain prized possessions to this day.” Page 51.


“Old Man” Hendrix:  “When the Good Lord deprived me of my teeth, he endowed me with a gizzard!” Page 56.

Old Man Hendrix

Brad Callicut. “One moonless night the rotund Brad, while carrying out his duties with the post office to meet the three o’clock train and put the mail pouch into the depot overnight, broke through a well’s wooden cover and tumbled to the bottom. Like Jonah in the belly of the great fish, Brad was stuck in the well as his cries for help failed to penetrate the peaceful sleep that was the nightly reward of Myrtle’s honest, hard-working citizenry. Sometime after dawn, Brad was rescued.” Page 64.


“For long spells I could just sit and listen to the clock’s hypnotic ticking off every second of the day. It would toll the hour and half-hour as well. It had an eight-day movement, and while I badly wanted to wind the clock myself, this was a task Papaw jealously kept for himself, though he often let me watch him perform the ritual. Once a week he would take the key from its special place and open the glass door, then insert it into each of the two holes, one for the ticking and one for the tolling.” Pages 59-60.


“Another barber was Dale Scott. He regularly cut the hair of a number of Myrtle students including classmates of mine. When I was a senior and on the yearbook staff, he kindly allowed us to take a picture in his shop.” Page 65.


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