North Callahan: An Exciting Life

North Callahan: An Exciting Life

North Callahan: An Exciting Life

North Callahan: An Exciting Life

Excerpt

It was August 7, 1908, almost a century ago when I was born. North Callahan. August 7, 1908. the wind came out of the bright blue mountains and sang in the tall pine trees that stood beside the road and near our house and store. It sang a lingering plaintive tune, a melody close to the fields and woods and life itself.

When Mamma heard the wind sing like this, a far-off look came into her blues eyes and made her forget for a moment the things around her. She would look out of the window across the carpeted fields and toward the blue mountains; and sometimes she would hum a tune herself, of some old, almost forgotten ballad that took her back beyond the winds of yesterday. the sound of the wind in the trees she called “a sweet lonesome.”

On this day, however, Mamma did not hear the wind. I was being born. the doctor had to come all the way from town, a distance of some nine miles, and by the time he arrived, according to what I was later told, his horse and buggy was splotched with the red dust from the road over which they had hurried. Even the doctor was somewhat surprised at Mamma’s time coming when it did, but, of course, she never looked very different even just before a baby was born. I’ve always thought this was because Mamma simply made up her mind that to be ugly and rounded was no way to appear in front of people, even for a baby.

The house in which we lived was a long sort of thing with a high-gabled roof, attached at right angles to the store-building which stood at the fork of two country roads that wound through the hills of East Tennessee. the place was called Fort Creek. For some reason, perhaps it was the custom in those days of the early part of this century, the house and store had never been painted. Were I to see it now, I am sure the building would look quite forlorn. But it didn’t then. That is why I choose to visit it only in memory, because the world has so changed.

A wide front porch flanked the southern side of the house and . . .

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