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Monday, September 30, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLOW IN RETROSPECT Chapter 8


Lake Created by a Dam
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Lister’s Hollow (no on can remember where the name came from) was a valley some ten miles long to where it suddenly leveled out to flat land much as it started.

Its beginning starts at a slightly elevated plain that comes to a graduated vee shaped valley.  At its beginning it is over a mile wide gradually getting narrower to some two thousand feet wide with a river running down the middle of it.  The ridge quickly grows to almost a mile deep and is a great place for running your hunting dogs.

They seldom will top out the valley but if they did you might never see them again for they will usually take up with the people on the other side of the hill.  

It is populated on both sides of the river but no one knows how many people live in the Hollow.  Some families have been there before the revolution.  Sad to say some have disappeared due to the flue or other disease taking the whole family in just a few days.

This resulted in some hard feelings among the Hollow people for it ended up in a fight to see who would get the land left by the death of the owners.

There were no what you might call organized law in the Hollow. It was everybody do as they saw fit and suffer the consequences if the rest didn’t agree.

They tried to follow the Good Book on most issues: don’t take what don’t belong to you, don’t mess around with another’s woman or children, don’t cheat someone in your dealings, don’t kill no one and don’t lie but tell the truth if you know it.

As far as the people were concerned those were pretty simple rules that anyone could keep and if applied to all there should be peace in the Hollow.

The boundaries were spelled out many years ago and everybody knew where they were.

The parcel always ran from the river to the top of the ridge. And was as wide the early settlers had marked it out.    

There was a road down by the river on both sides that ran from one end of the valley to the other allowing people to travel to where they wanted. The river would overflow and wash the roads out from time to time so it required cooperation from the people to keep it in repair.

In order to get all people on board they started to have a week’s festival where they would work on the road and party. This usually was enough to keep the road passable.

Food; the main staple in the hollow was grits they were always on the stove and the use of which was dictated by what time of day it was. To a great extent people married within the Hollow community.

In the old days if a young men wanted to marry a gal he would make it known by offering a dowry to the pa. He would bring things of value and put it in the front yard.
 
If it wasn’t accepted he would add to it or if he didn’t want to offer more he would start to load it up and take it home. Then it was up to the pa whether he wanted to take a chance on getting a better offer or take what was offered.

As time went by they stopped that practice because the young men started to choose brides from outside the valley where no dowry was expected from the groom and most often the parents gave the groom something for marrying the girl.  How much they received depended on how ugly the girl was.

Of necessity some young men had to leave the Hollow because it would only support so many people and how many had to leave was regulated by how much sickness they had each year.

One might ask where is the Hollow now and sad to say it is no more. For it lies beneath a vast lake with the only markers left are the tips of the ridges sticking up reminding a few of the history that is buried beneath the waters.

So now we take our leave of our favorite Hollow.  I think that maybe it was good for us to have visited them.  
 
The Hollow is no longer, and the people are gone, swallowed up by the outside world and I suspect that they are not any better for it. 

The End

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