Recently, while combing the pages of "The Advertiser" I discovered
the publication of a poem obviously sent to the paper by a citizen
who had departed our community for bigger and better things
elsewhere. The poet is one J. R. Shanklin who, from the lines of
poetry would have been in his early 50's at that time. It is fairly
obvious from his writing that he, like many of us, had fond memories
of his "Old Home Town." I thought that you might enjoy, as I did,
the words and message that Mr. Shanklin delivered as follows:
There's a town in the mountain where I love to go.
It's the "Old Home Town" I would have you know.
It's where the Greenbrier flows and twists it's way,
Through hills of stone and mountains of clay.
As the waters roll and tumble around, They pass right through the
"Old Home Town."
Things have changed since I left the "Old Home Town."
There aren't so many loafers and bums around.
Some of the boys grew up and made great men
And that is why I love to go back again.
There's George, and Bob, Chase and Edd,
And old Bob Lobban, if he isn't dead.
The old schoolhouse stood at the foot of the hill,
Just across the branch, opposite the mill;
It had four windows and one little door,
Some of the glass was out, and holes in the floor.
There's where we gathered for four months a year.
The teacher's name was Emma, and she had red hair.
There was Molly, Ella, Kate and little Mary Cart,
It was hard to tell which was my sweetheart.
As we all grew up and I picked one from the rest,
Along came Frank and took Kate out west.
Since I have lived and traveled around, I know that's the way they
do in the "Old Home
Now that science is advancing in the land,
Schoolhouses are built on a different plan .
The girls have changed from modest ways,
And wear their dresses up above the knees.
When I was young and peeping aroun'
There wasn't a thing showing in the "Old Home Town."
There's one thing more I haven't forgotten,
The farmer coming to town, through the mud a sloppin'.
His horse a wheezin' and springs a squeakin'.
And the eggs a crackin' in the old buckboard.
But now he comes so fast he makes you dizzy,
Of course it's a Packard or a "Tin Lizzie."
He crosses the river on a concrete bridge,
And the roads are paved away over the ridge.
After fifty and more years of observation,
I have naturally absorbed some information.
I have summed it all up and this is my conclusion,
The whole danged thing is evolution.
Just think dear reader we never knew that we had literary giants
among our numbers. Enjoy!