Sunday, July 18, 2010

part of my imagination

Moving on up Main Street, well you actually went down a ways to Broadway, you came to the midpoint of town. If you stood in the middle of the street under the stop light, you would in effect become a compass. Facing up Main, would be north, and everything from this point foreword was North Main. Raising your right arm and pointing, you would go east, with East Broadway on one side, and West Broadway on the left. Now your back side would be facing south, and all that behind you (pardon the pun) would be South Main. This point was also about the lowest in town and my dad would say that there was once a stream running through this part of town that brought water to the town. I guess this is why things seemed to start from here. A spring or water source of some kind was always needed to start a settlement, and I figured this must have been the place. It must have run from the high part of town, that side that had all the steps, and followed the street called High Street around and down to Broadway. I would have to walk up High Street to get to Hickman Street School and there was a place where a small creek seemed to run right out of the street. This must be it I often thought, the water of life!

Now North Main street was still the middle of town, and in this section was the two movie theaters, (Town Hall, and Leed's Theater), the pool hall, and Begley's Drug Store. About halfway down you started walking up to Washington Street. Leed's Theater was the main hangout during the summer because you could go to the movies free on Wednesday afternoon. Of course you had to have a movie pass which could be obtained at just about any downtown store. My favorite store was Begley's Drug Store because you could get a cone of chocolate ice cream, and pick up your free movie pass. Leed's Theater was almost directly across the street from Begley's and there were two painted, parallel yellow lines, of all places crossing in the street. You could walk across the street between these two lines and the cars were suppose to stop. I was not always sure that I liked to test that assumption.

Washington Street was at the crest of a hill. If you turned right, you would head toward my neck of the woods. Continuing on up Main you would come to the rail road end of town. L & N (Louisville and Nashville railroad) was the first set of tracks. There were a number of ware houses between, and you came to the next set of tracks, the C. & O. (not sure what this stood for). You then started up an incline which took you out of town. I can actually remember when steam engines ran right past my childhood home. I would chase the puffing, smoking, snorting, back cloud producing, monster along our neighbor's fence line. I would wave at the engineer who seemed to be sitting half way out his window, pulling the chain that set the whistle screaming, spitting its white smoke! Four pulls, seem to be the warning to the oncoming cars that would be coming up East Broadway from Main. When I was through running, my bare feet would be black from the soot. Man I thought, what a life, riding a big black monster all day. Trains have been part of my imagination ever since.

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