By Vicki Scott
Oh, the places we will go!
School is out, and our oldest grandchild, sweet Ava Jaymes, is at the fun age of six. We’ve been offered the honor of spending a few days of the week during the summer with her, and plans are currently brewing.
My first thought was the Anniston Museum of Natural History. We finally had a grandchild who we felt might be old enough to enjoy it. Back in the day when I was a teacher, we would tour this place almost every year. The Anniston Museum of Natural History is where I was able to compare my reaction to that of a bird and I learned what a skunk smell was. I’m sure my students learned some things as well. I jumped for joy when our seniors at George Wallace Senior Center expressed interest in going. They taught me a thing or two. My husband Alan and I have been to the museum on our own a few times. I love the place that much, and I hope Ava Jaymes loves it as much as we do.
My next thought was taking her to Beauregard, where I grew up. When my family lived there, there was a dirt road that went by Providence Baptist Church, past the Mayberry house on the right. Mrs. Mayberry was my bus driver, and her parents, the Huff’s, lived across the road and down a little bit. The Mayberry’s and the Huff’s babysat me on several occasions. I remember the Mayberry’s had two beautiful daughters and that the family sat down for lunch at 12:50 p.m. The Huff’s grew catawba trees with catawba worms, which they sold as fish bait. I would go out and pick them for customers at times. I do not know if it was the Mayberry’s or the Huff’s, but one of the families gave my father a big meteorite that I still have. That meteorite won me extra credit in several classes in my school years and has been instrumental in my love of science. The dirt road has been blocked off and one can no longer drive to the Mayberry’s or the Huff’s. I
wonder who lives there now. I know that my memories do. Happy times, indeed.
There is another way in that will make it possible to drive past the place where I grew up. It is just below where the original dirt road was. Both ways were always there but one is now blocked off. This road has two things – a clay pit and a cold spring-fed stream that flows across the road.
The clay pit has grown up and might be missed, but I know where it is. I took my two children there, and they seemed to love it. The pit consists of red mud, soft silt and clay. There are cracks and a small, cold spring in the middle of it. We used to try to block the water off and make a swimming hole. It would work temporarily but the next day we had to start all over again.
The stream that went across the road was called Spring Villa Car Wash. It ran across the road and it was shallow enough for people to stop their car in and wash their car. It was about as deep as a baby pool and we used to swim in it. The water was so cold, our teeth would chatter after just a few minutes of swimming. I heard somewhere that this spring fed the Spring Villa Pool, which was just as cold. I also heard that the Spring Villa Car Wash has dried up. I hope not. Hopefully, we will find out this summer.
I guess I need to stop there before I get too carried away. Noccalula Falls and Glencoe’s Splashpad made our list as a given. Those places are at the top of the list because our other two grandchildren loved going there during their stay with us. Oh, the places we are PLANNING to go!