Kentucky Trip - July 24th - 29th, 2008

There's no place like HOME!

Kentucky Trip

July 24th - 29th, 2008


This Kentucky trip was planned around visiting family and friends. With alot of things planned in a short amount of time - well, it was time to get started. My son, Micah, just picked up his new Honda Fit and offered to let me drive it to KY. So I packed it up and off I went. I arrived at my mom's, which was my home base for the trip. Since I had alot to do and see, I would be in and out of there alot. First night it was over to my sister, Joyce's home for a visit before heading back to Mom's for a good night sleep.

My first stop the next day - visiting my dad. That meant hitting up the Little General Gas Station for a few hours of cussing and discussing. (well, really not cussing but that sounded ok) Dad hangs out there and during our visit - I was able to see alot of people I had not seen in years. Later I would head over to see a high school best friend, Christy Lattus Harris. We survived the storm while we sat around and talked about old times and new times. Alot to catch up on between the two of us. While in Hickman I took some pictures of things I remembered and how much they had changed.

In the left photo, a new pavillion had been built at the harbour since I had lived there. But a big change to me was the ferry landing. (right photo) A business/home/whateever place had been built there with more small levees to keep it from flooding. Coming over the hill took me for a big surprise. But below you could see the old remnants of a house still standing and the ferry boat was still running. The trees had grown across from the ferry landing but mostly all looked the same in that area.

Another drastic change was downtown Hickman. At the view from the bluff, (left photo) I could see that many of the stores that use to line the downtown main street were gone. And green grass grew in their place. I could still visualize the parades, and Santa Claus visits and the elderly all hanging out on the benches at the end of town. But as you can see in the right photo, town seems to be abandoned. How sad that was. I guess the only way to see it as it was is to buy the movie "River Rat" when they spruced up downtown and took some great shots. I left there with many shattered memories of the past.

I drove back up to the view to get a great shot of the courthouse. The sun was beginning to set in the background but I could still make out the beautiful courthouse. Another icon of our city that have lived another day.

A new addition that was a beautiful site was the gazebo, flag poles and walkways that were filled with bricks engraved with names I could remember from the past. Some where friends now gone. Others, people who celebrate life. What a beautiful asset to the lovely view across the bluff of Hickman. The Bluff had now been redone to hold back the hillside that slowly was caving in. This had now become a beautiful area to set and gaze.

And no one goes to Hickman without taking a drive by the place many of us spent some of our best years. Fulton County High School It had been revamped. Matter fact the parking lot was being redone as I went by. (Didn't we have gravel back in the days. lol) There were alot of changes but still it looked the same. Good ole Fulton County High School.

A stop by the football field brought back many memories but I couldn't remember the bleachers on the right. lol And as I headed back to my mom's, a drive through Cayce and a photo of Cayce Elementary. Long gone as a school but still standing as it has for years. I have many memories of basketball games there but never attended the school. Many of my eventual friends and classmates would head to high school after their elementary days from this school, Cayce and another school called Western Elementary. It also seems that Cayce guys tend to not go bye their names but instead nicknames. lol (Worm, Cruce, Stupid, Tucker, Hard Rock, Fuzz, Instant, among many other names)

The next day I would head back to Hickman for a visit with my best friend of years, Teresa and Greg Black. She was one of the friends I made during high school that had gone to Western School. She married one of my friends that I grew up with and spent alot of church activites with. Visiting her means a full day and I settled in at her home to relive old times and discuss grandkids. Isn't that what being a grandma is all about. lol

But that night it was back to visiting family. One of my great aunts, Geneva, would be celebrating her 78th birthday, down at good ole Walnut Log. A small town close to Reelfoot Lake which I thought had dried up and gone. But it seems to have been revived and surviving. It was a time of seeing family members I had not seen since being a kid. The above photo shows the living Beard children that attended the birthday party. Seated is Marvin Beard and Beverly Beard Sweisford. Standing is Geneva Beard Forrester and Fanny Jo Beard.
The photo on the left is the family of Geneva Beard Forrester. On the right if the family of James (Bud) Beard (deceased)
On the left is the family of Mattie Beard DeHart (deceased) and on the right is the family of Marvin Beard.
My last planned activity was heading to Reelfoot Lake for good ole Boyettes catfish, french fries and onion rings. No diet can hold you back from that. But on the ride down, it was a stop at Reelfoot Lake to check out the scenery. Memories of swimming at the beaches flow through my mind and going to the park for family reunions. And nothing was as fun as being a teenager and renting lake boats to play chicken on the lake. If only Gray's camp knew what we where doing. Even since I have had kids and moved to Missouri, we have gone back to Reelfoot for fishing, swimming, and even camping at Airpark. But now that it has closed down, the fun closed with it. There is nothing more fun than heading back there, reliving memories and then, going to enjoy food with classmates for a mini reunion.

The lake was covered with lily pads at this area where I stopped. With lilypads in bloom, Reelfoot Lake takes on total beauty. From there - off to Boyettes to take on the best thing about heading to the Lake - eating and visiting.

Even though it would have been nice to see many more classmates, it was great seeing the ones that showed up. The food was great but seeing friends I spent so many years with was the best. I hope to do this again every year or two.

Above, Joe Mack and Robin on the left and Al and Betsey on the right.

Above Penny and John on the left and Betty and Tom on the right.

Above Lori and Barry.

My final day was spent visiting my mom and enjoying our time together. What a great ending to a wonderful trip. It was great seeing people I had not seen in years. Some since moving away back in 1982. As we all grow older, it makes you appreciate all the time you get to see the people who were a part of your life. And I am thankful for that. This trip was not an exotic trip, nor a trip to see the world. This trip was filled with memories, family and friends and is more special than any trip I could take. I thank everyone that was a part of it and thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me.


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