1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Sidney Skaggs Home and Latest Visit

John McCurdy - December 18, 2011

This Sunday morning it's cold in Alderson, I was not especially looking forward to going to church, although the last three weeks are the first times we have gone in about 3 months. I got up this morning and found Pearl was again having to use her cane for walking. She had just quit using it after the five weeks following her fall. Almost her first words this morning were, "I'm not going to try to go to church, or to the Bostic's House ".

That was in reference to an invitation to the Old Sid Skaggs home now owned by Rich and Ann Bostic. I had, several years ago, asked them if I could come visit their home, they told me I could, just call first. The home of Sidney Skaggs and his wife Eva, son C.P., and daughters Elizabeth, Mildred and my childhood sweetheart Elinor, is a dear memory of my youth. It was almost the same as my home, as many hours of the day as I spent there!

I suppose I'll go ahead without Pearl and visit them, although the closer the times comes to walk onto their porch and knock on the door, the more reluctant I'm going to be, something I hadn't considered until now. I know that the room just to the left of the door will no longer be Sid Skaggs library, with all the fascinating collections on the wall, the arrowheads, the rattlesnake rattles, the old pistols and rifles, the swords and books and other relics of history will be gone. In the living room/parlor the old rosewood parlor set won't be there, I'm certain, many pieces! And the Grand Piano will no longer be in the space under the stairs and the many musical instruments won't be lying in confusion everywhere around it.

Probably about that time, I'll be choked-up and can't see anyhow, so I won't miss the huge mahogany secretary that sat in the dining room, in the corner beside the fireplace. The hidden compartments that were a constant challenge from Elinor to find. I'm sure the kitchen will have been modernized several times, but the sink where I dried and Elinor washed the dishes so many times will likely still be in the same spot, since plumbing is sort of hard to move. The back stair should still be where they were, leading up to the back porch, enclosed by lattice to shield it from the highway. I seem to remember that all the bedrooms were on the second floor as were the two baths. In those days, bedrooms were sorta outside of the public domain!

Long gone is the barn, long gone is the wash-house and long gone is the little dam in the creek where I cut my foot severely enough for Dr. Mahood to put in six stitches that I can still feel and see. The tree across the hollow behind which I was hidden when I shot "Grub" in the fore-head and scared us both almost to death, still is there as mute testament of kids foolishness!

My wife Pearl, and a long-time friend got into a discussion that turned into an argument a few nights ago. We were discussing, who had lived, in the period 1940-80, in the area between the railroad and the Greenbrier River, those homes, many of them having been removed as a aftermath of the flood of 1985 and for other reasons. Soon, they as well as other things, will be forgotten chapters in our history.

I am very appreciative of be invited to visit the Skaggs/Bostic house once more, I just hope I don't become too maudlin in this Christmas season, Perhaps the Bostic's will appreciate their home even more!
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