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Long Gone but Not Forgotten




These days. I think of dead people. A lot. Getting older, friends and family going on and leaving me behind. Here to remember, hold close, hold their memories up to the light. Play their stories through my mind on repeat. Thank God for stories. As the old sayin' goes - I'm American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God. And when I feel like stories from and about people that have come and gone for a long, long time still run through my veins I am bowed by that power. There was once an old man that had a little store right up by the bridge on Holmes Creek where we turned to head down to the house. He sold Coca-cola's, Little Debbie cakes, potato chips. A little of this and some of that in his one tiny room. He slept in the back and not once in all my days of being little do I remember him walking down to the creek or fishing. Just living in that tiny house that was a make-shift store. I think about him more than anyone left alive. Of this I am certain. Just an old man off the highway living and getting by a stones throw from Memaw's. Graddaddy would sometimes give us a few quarters to walk up there and get something 'store bought'. That wasn't the norm since we had plenty of good food and sweet ice tea at the ready. But it was always a treat and something of a tiny pilgrimage. Something of a strange wonder. A man who lives in a store and never leaves. Then when I came home from Germany I think he had passed and the little old house had been torn down. And the years went by, the brush and pines and vines kept growing so that driving past you would never know that once there had been a man and a store or a life there at all. But here I am all these years later. Remembering him.

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