Of Pierce County, Georgia
By Reavis E. Dixon
It was the Christmas Season, in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and forty five!|
World War II was over, and Americans looked forward to better days ahead. All of us had made great personal sacrifices for the war effort, but the author does not recall much bickering, or grumbling, over the shortages we had all endured. Every one of us had understood that the war must be won, if we wished to continue to enjoy life as we had always known it. No sacrifice was too great for us to bear.
I turned eight years old on December 5, 1945, and life was a continuous adventure for a small, Pierce County, Georgia, boy in that time.
As soon as the loading began, my Mother and Lula, wife of Elias, took my sister Nell, who was about a month shy of five, and departed for our new home, to prepare for the arrival of the furniture. I was allowed to remain with the men, and so I went busily about the chores of getting in the way, and making a nuisance of myself.
My Father had found a pint jar which was about half full of some little things which looked much like a small piece of copper tubing, about an inch and three quarters long. He asked Elias if he knew what the things were. Elias who had been working for the Hercules Powder Company immediately recognized them as blasting caps, the things which were used to set off dynamite.
Now, Elias Chancey was not one to allow an opportunity for a practical joke to slip past him. So he took one of the caps from the jar, walked about a hundred feet away from the partially loaded truck, and scraped up a small pile of pine stray and twigs. Drawing a box of matches from his shirt pocket, he set the straw afire, threw the cap into the fire, and ran like the wind, back to the safety of the other side of the truck.
Let it be said that the attention span of an eight-year-old is short at best. Within a couple of minutes I had entirely forgotten about Elias’ fire, and was entertaining myself in the curiosities of the move.
Suddenly without warning, the dynamite cap which Elias had thrown into his fire exploded with what seemed to me, to be the sound of an atomic bomb. I confess that I was something of a basket case for several minutes after the explosion. But, I was not alone! Both my Father and Elias, who had been moving a large piece of furniture toward the front of the truck laughed loudly, and teased each another about who had jumped the highest when the fool thing went off. Seems that not only children’s attention spans are sometimes short.
Soon the move was complete, and we began settling into our new home. My father began the farming tasks using mules and horses to plow the land, and otherwise prepare for the farming season ahead.
I finished growing up in the Hacklebarney Community, under the watchful eyes of my loving family. The old home place is still in the family, and rightly so, for within the walls of that modest old farmhouse, reside the memories of a family who lived there, until such time as we children went out into the world to make our own way.