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Monday, December 3, 2012


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What I'm about to write is just for the record. It don't have any meaning beyond that. Part of it is half-truths and I'm not sure about the other part.

Grandpa always said half-truths is worse than a lie cause it makes you want to believe it. He said it was born in a garden named Eden but he didn't know where that was exactly. I respect grandpa and all because I respect my elders. If it hadn't been for them then I wouldn't be here.

But what I was gonna say was I think there are two kinds of half-truths. One kind is deliberately made up to deceive you while the other is a problem with recollection.

Grandpa hardly ever mentions his elders so I don't know much about them, especially about where they came from. I expect it was from the other side of the ocean that we went to see once.

The place we live in is called the Smokies.  Grandpa said it is because of the smoky mist that comes up from the ground. I'm not sure if we live in Carolina or Tennessee because it is near both of them. I really can't see any difference; it all looks the same to me. I'm sure the birds can't or don't care which it is.

Grandpa told me that when he got here there was creeks and woods and only a few trails. This worked out pretty good for when you cleared the land for planting you had logs for building a cabin and wood for the cooking.

Once in awhile he said he would see a bear which he left alone mostly except he killed a couple so he would have something to eat. I never eat a bear but grandpa said it had a strong taste.

When he came over the mountain into the valley there wasn't anyone here although he did run into a few Indians that call themselves Cherokee. They didn't bother him so he didn't mess with them none.

Grandpa brought some seeds with him for he had been told they were hard to come by on this side of the mountain.  He worked long hours and little by little he raised his cabin and cleared some land to plant.  

Every night he would set some traps and eventually had quite a few skins which he dried for trading goods.

There were several things grandpa needed and on his list was; a plow and a team, for digging by hand took too much time. Some food stuffs for salt wasn't available where he was. Some warm clothes, and a new knife.

There was one other thing he could use and that was a wife.

Here is where I can't remember all the details but as best I can remember it was kinda like this. The settlers on the other side of the mountain had been there for some time, and they had more children than they needed for the families tend to be big.
The girls especially were not useful since they eat almost as much as the boys. They were willing to give what they called a dowry to get rid of them. The uglier they were, the bigger the dowry so grandpa picked out one of the ugliest of the bunch and that was how he got his team, wagon and all the other farm tools he needed.
That is the best I can remember the story as he told me.

I talked mostly to grandpa for grandma didn't like to talk to me. I would like to have asked her if it was true she was the ugliest girl in town but didn't dare to cause she could get mean.

Grandma only had a half dozen kids they and all left the valley except one who was my pa.  By the time my pa was growed up enough to want to get married the valley was pretty well settled and they could get rid of the girls without giving a dowry so all my pa got was a wife and her stuff she had saved up. At least she wasn't ugly like grandma so that was some comfort to pa.

I was the first born in my family and suckled until my brother was born. I would try to join my brother but ma said there was only enough milk for him. We had a cow but it wasn't the same somehow.

Ma had one more boy making three and then she let off childbearing. Without any girls to help with the woman stuff the youngest stayed in the house helping her with the house cleaning, washing and the canning food for the winter months. He also chopped wood for the fireplace and the cooking stove.

Me and my brothers are what you might call about half growed and when I get some older I might have some more to write about, Just for the record!

This post was slipped in to share at: Tell Me a Story   

Billy Hill will continue so do come back you all!

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