Anderson, once known as the “Strawberry Capital of the World,” was, to me as a child, our own New York City and London, England, combined.
Saturday was such an exciting day! We were lucky to find a place to park (Grandma parked her car just out of the city limits and walked to and from so she wouldn’t have to pay $2 for the vehicle tag).
The general store and the post office were started by Robert Anderson in 1866. A movie theater — mother remembers seeing “Gone With The Wind” there. Lots of movies since then, but can you name a better movie?
Anderson has the Dabbs Greer Town Hole Park, beautiful scenery as overhanging bluffs border clear running water. Several shops that encourage browsing through keepsakes of yesterday. So many stores in our county’s history. I remember the feed store at Klondike — until just a few years ago the gas pumps still identified the spot just east of the banks of the Buffalo River. And there was PG, Pleasant Grove, where we got our mail out “F” Highway, west of Anderson. Remember the store at Coy? The Splitlog Store in the (?) town of Splitlog, down the New Bethel/Splitlog road. A handy place to spend the dollars hard earned in the strawberry fields, but Anderson, the big city was a place to buy shoes, hardware, feed, tools, and a good opportunity to catch up on the news – no 6 o’clock news on television, telephones were rare, video games and computers unheard of.
It was an exciting thing to do, to take time from a back-breaking job of farming and making a living putting up the harvest or family produce from the garden, laundry at a scrub board, cutting and carrying firewood or pumping (if you were lucky) water from a hand dug well. There were good things about those days, were we wise enough to appreciate that fact? Would we return to those days? Probably not. Are we wise enough today to appreciate what we have? Are these the good old days of tomorrow? I hope so.
The first graders in my church AWANA class give me pause to think. What will their world be like? I hope we can appreciate each day and be able, at the end of the day to count our blessings. I hope you will also mark your calendar for the great exciting event coming up in Pineville on the square Memorial Day weekend. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 25, 26, 27. Our committees are working feverishly to provide over a dozen demonstrations to include everything from whittling to milking a goat. We also have animals to pet, even a Clydesdale horse. Food planned for all three days, as well as a yesteryear pageant on Saturday morning, a USO program on Sunday afternoon and a day of horseshoe pitching on Monday. Live music that includes country, oldies, bluegrass and gospel!
Do plan to join us and catch up on the progress in renovating the old courthouse (as seen in Jesse James Movie of 1938) into the McDonald County Historical Museum. Check out firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you would rather, write to us at McDonald County Historical Society, P.O. Box 572, Pineville, 64856 in the meantime, remember to count your blessings, and seize the day.
Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.