Saturday, January 19, 2013

Abernathy's Mill on the Tallapoosa

"The first time I rode in our new Maxwell, we were going down to the Abernathys. They had a cotton gin down there, and they had a corn mill, and Daddy was going down there to crush a sack of flaked corn. It was corn that wasn't hardly dry. We would gather it and shell it and Mama put it on a rack outside and dried it, so it would grind into meal. Dad took that sack of corn and carried it down to the Abernathys in the that new car.
"Well, Mr. Abernathy was threshing wheat. And back then, you know, we used that wheat straw in our bedding. We had mattresses full of wheat straw, and we'd make a feather bedding on top of that.
"So, while we were there crushing the corn, Dad just drove up there to that pile of wheat straw and said, 'Come on! Let's fill the back full!' And we packed the back seat of that thing with wheat straw, and he let me sit on it to keep the wind from blowing it off until we got back to the house. And man, I felt like I was worth a million dollars, sitting on top of that. Those moments like that, they seem so momentous to me at the time. I never really forget them." -- T.J. Latham
Read more in W. Jeff Bishop's new novel, A Cold Coming -- February, 2013.

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