When I was around three years old, my single mother and I moved to Lewisville, North Carolina from just across the Yadkin River in Yadkin County. It was where my mother had been born on a mill pond.
Sometime before I was very old, a black and white stray cat found its way to the porch that connected mother’s beauty shop with the rest of the house. My bedroom, the former breezeway, also opened onto the same porch. Mother told me in no uncertain terms, that I could feed Whiskers but that I could not bring her into the house.
I slid open the screen on the aluminum screen door to my room. It did not take much convincing with food for Whiskers to jump into the house by herself. Technically, i was innocent. I don’t think I got punished. Whiskers was with us until my freshman year in college. When my mother, Whiskers, and I moved to Mount Airy in 1963, my dad fell in love with her. He decreed that she should enjoy a canned salmon and canned milk diet.
There were a lot of changes in those ten years before I headed off to military school.
I was five years old before there was a television in our neighborhood. I was in grade school before we had a black and white set in our home in Lewisville just west of Winston-Salem. It was a very different time. Unlike the children of today, we were free-range children, showing up at mealtimes and just in time to fall exhausted into bed on summer evenings
Our doctor made house calls. We walked to school or rode our bikes. After school, we played pick-up football or baseball. We built forts in the woods and dammed whatever creeks we could find. Getting to go fishing in a farm pond was a huge treat.