Wonderful descriptive stories that were passed on to the writer from ancestors
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What Back Then Was Like
"With tears in their eyes, people tell me that after reading my manuscript, they know they have to write down so-and-so's stories....they say 'Now I know I just have to.'"
Although times were tough for Elliott growing up in a poor family, he says he doesn't really remember feeling that he was poor. He was reared until he was nine, in the small village of Abydell, Indiana. "Although I grew up in the sixties, our living conditions were closer to those who lived in the forties."
Always a fan of writer Earl Hamner, Elliott writes about his feelings and experiences growing up without the conveniences most had in the sixties. His parents and grandparents were all born in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in and around Sandy Hook, Kentucky, but left there before he was born because of tough personal experiences and economic times. "Since I wasn't born until they all lived in Southern Indiana, I wanted to know more about why they left Elliott County, Kentucky.--They all spoke of it so affectionately." He shares many stories that were told to him by many of his family members who are gone now. From his findings, he resolves to encourage others to take the time to write down memories and stories. He says: "Like our loved ones, these stories will also fade away and will be gone if not preserved."
I noted the circular Mets insignia that Dad had so candidly placed on the door's glass so many years ago. I wondered why anyone would put a baseball logo on the front door, but Dad often put things in the most peculiar places. A kind of knack he had, I guess. It was a pathetically humorous way to put his mark on the world. I then turned the time-worn knob slowly and actually had to lift up on the knob with both hands to separate the door from the years of being shut. It finally opened freely and simply to a dark living room. To the left it sloped a little downward to where the chimney still stood. It always did, I recalled. The opening to where the stovepipe once attached so perfectly to the painted brick was drooling mildewed soot...The bricks were hanging as if they were merely there because the paint and soot somehow held them together.