By Vicki Scott
One of the plans on my “to-do” list for this summer with our oldest grandchild, Ava Jaymes, finally happened. We drove to where I grew up in Beauregard to show her my old stomping grounds. It’s been a long time, and everything changed more than I realized.
Before turning left just past Providence Baptist Church – the church I went to Sunday School one memorable time – stood a gigantic cross. Memories flooded my mind of the tornado in 2019 in the area that was so devastating. Former President of the United States Donald Trump, along with his wife and son, took time out of their busy schedule to visit the area and offer what comfort they could. Many lives were lost, and my emotions are getting the better of me as I write this column.
Ava Jaymes slept all the way to Beauregard. With all the changes that had taken place in the area, I told my husband Alan that I was not going to bother waking her up. She eventually woke up on her own as I lamented over the changes. Everything was so different I could not figure out where my childhood home was. We had to turn around and go back to try to figure things out again, which was when Ava woke up.
The Spring Villa Carwash still flows across the road near where I grew up but is now under a bridge. I was told that the creek dried up, but there was water, which made me happy. The water flows from a natural spring, and I regret not stopping to put my feet in to check the temperature. My emotions had blurred my mind. I still remember the water being ice cold, which was heavenly in the hot summer months. I wish the bridge was not there, but at least it helped me figure out where the creek was located.
On the way back to the area where I thought I lived, I spotted a former neighbor’s house. I counted back to a cross next to a newer double-wide modular home. After looking closer at the yard, I realized it was the lot that I played in as a little girl.
It looked like the tornado hit close to my childhood home. I did not expect that. The clay pit next to the modular home consists of thick woods now. I did not want to stop because I do not even know who owns that land now. I didn’t feel like stopping, anyway, since I recognized only two houses down that whole road.
I usually have my articles complete in my head as I sit to type them on paper. It just takes one sitting, and my environment can be noisy or quiet with either many or few interruptions. This article was different. March 3 marked three years of major change for the community of Beauregard. My prayers are with this precious community. May y’all continue to unite and stay “Beauregard Strong.”
Ava Jaymes is six years old and too young to understand the devastation caused by the tornado. I explained my emotional state as not expecting so many changes. She responded with, “Did you expect things to stay the same?” I told her “No, but I would have liked to at least recognize where I grew up.”
Our “grands” sure can make me laugh. The mind of a child keeps my perspective where it needs to be.