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Hometown Memories
by Cindy Odom
01/12/09
Not For Sale
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I may have left my hometown, but my hometown has not left me....
I will always carry with me an impression of this small town, a part of the grassy hill just on the outskirts of my birthplace. It will always be in my heart. Memories of East Main Street, where the church I attended as a young girl sits. And across the street from the church is the school I attended. I visited Grandma when she lived by the church. These are the foundation of my youth. They will never disappear.
My life travels may have been far, but there is a part of me that has never left that small town. This was the place where I was born and spent my childhood. My hometown will always be a small core inside my soul.
I may grow urbane and may achieve the veneer of a big city, and I may make my mark in the skyscraper canyons of big cities, but under that persona, under the suave smoothness of success, remains the spirit of a small town girl.
A hometown can be large or little, a hamlet or dot on the highway. It can be a neighborhood in a vast city. But no matter large or small, a hometown holds the memories of youth. A hint of childhood wrapped in a page of days gone by, the swimming pool we went to on a hot summer day, the movie theater we walked to, or the corner drug store to buy a cherry coke. And the church bells, the park, our high school proms, and our first kiss.
There is a touch of sadness when I return to my old hometown. It's like driving back to yesterday. Here are memories of good friends, and good times The freedom of youth, young courage, some victories and some defeats. I remember the easy freedom and the happy pace of early days. Here was a time of quiet Sundays, family reunions, and the Fourth of July celebration. A hometown holds many memories.
When I return to my hometown, it seems different. It's a new dimension of added years. The star of the basketball team has now grown bald. The boy next door who always had his head buried in a book is now the Mayor. I see the tree I climbed when I was 10 so I could to look out over our neighborhood, and our house standing white and tall. I can still see dad giving it the fresh coat of paint it so deserved. And there is our enormous back yard that I helped mow, now small. And the hill dad took us to for sledding seemed so steep, 40 years ago.
Though the years have brought alterations and new values, it was the friendliest, the happiest, and most beautiful place in the world, even if it is only alive in my memory.



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