Jim Spencer's Original McComas Memory Walk
McComas Memory Walk photos click here... (photos supplied by Pat & Jim Smith, Garland Elmore, Judy Cole Dodd , Chris Tooley Whitmore)

Jim Spencer standing on chair in the background...The Second McComas Memory Walk is now history, with the Third walk just a year away. The date will remain the same the LAST Saturday in April. Mark in on your calendar so that you will have no excuses to not attend.

With so many in attendance I was unable to stop and spend the time each attendees deserved. Many of my relatives came from many miles away and I wish I had many hours with each of them. There are so many McComas memories that need to be passed to the generations that follow each of those that cherished memories of our youth.

My mother, Juanita Gates Spencer, and father Oscar F. Spencer were both born and raised in Red Holler, with the Spencer side of the family arriving around the turn of the century, so there are many memories that need to be shared.

The Walk began about 6 years ago after sitting with my mother and discussing where everyone lived up and down the holler as I walked to school (Crane Creek) home for lunch and back again in the afternoon. After walking down memory lane with my mother I decided to go back home, so one spring morning my lovely wife and I walked up Red Holler. Boy what a trip! We started at the Crane Creek Company Store and walked strait up the holler, briars, grapevines, rocks and many other problems lay as we walked, crawled, and jumped from rock to rock. It seems the Company had strip mined all the way to New Row. After the stripping ceases I began to recognize where things and people used to live. Foundation piers, rock walls where the Hedricks, Carvers, and Tillers lived. I even found the foundation of the home where my mother was born.

Imagine my delight when I found flowers growing in my great grandfathers yard. I dug a few and they are living in my yard in East Tennessee, and always will grow, to keep the memories alive.

After this trip I told relatives about my trip, the following year Tim Wellman and his grandson Derick also made the trip and once again gathered flower for our gardens.

This was such a great experience that invited others to join and this turned into the First McComas Memory walk with eleven intrepid hikers discovering the past. The rest, I hope, is history!

How does a person know where they are going, if they do not know where they came from? I hope to keep these memories alive in future generation, for once my generation is gone McComas will be a spot on a historic map, a footnote in history.

I hope to see all those in attendance at the 2nd Walk at many more, only to be joined by many others. McComas was not a beautiful place, it was just lived in by many beautiful people.

Join us the last Saturday in April 2010 for fun and many, many memories.

Best wishes to all

James W. (Pedro) Spencer

The following was the announcement of the 2009 McComas Memory Walk  -  it tells of the 1st walk that occurred in 2008


On Saturday, April 25, 2009, many of us will return to re-visit our home once again and welcome back all of those childhood memories instilled in us while living and growing up in the McComas area.   Last year on May 3rd, eleven of us returned home and spent the entire afternoon walking down memory lane and reminisced of old childhood memories.  Those attending were Pedro and Keith Spencer, Timmy Wellman (Red Hollow), Bobby Sutherland (Crane Creek), Judy (Jukie) and Susie Cole (lived at Crane Creek and Pinnacle), Jenny Gay Ray, George Ray and daughter Courtney (Red Hollow) and Rita and Nita Sylvester  (Pinnacle).  We toured the Catholic Church, walked up the steps to look inside what is left of the old Methodist church, walked up to Pinnacle, drove  up to Wind Mill Gap and gathered at the mouth of Red Hollow and drove to the  top of the mountain and walked into Red Hollow onto the old slate dump which reclamation has been done and overlooks what used to be Sagamore Hollow.  Some of us gathered rocks from the foundations of where our  houses once stood and gathered lilies that were planted around the houses in  Red Hollow and took them home to plant in our yards.

At 12:00 high noon on Saturday, April 25, 2009, we will meet at the old Pinnacle Elementary School which is now the Crane Creek Pentecostal
Holiness Church (we have reserved the lunchroom in the Church for our group on this afternoon) and begin our journey once again down memory lane. We invite each and everyone of you who has ever lived in the McComas area, i.e. Crane Creek, Wind Mill Gap, Thomas, Sagamore, Thornhill, Conner Mountain, Pinnacle, Pinnacle Hollow, Church Hollow, Red Hollow, Godfrey and  Crystal etc.  You can bring a picnic lunch or purchase food that the church will have for
and we will all set down and eat at the old Pinnacle School in the afternoon.  If you have any old pictures, please bring them to share and of course loads of memories.  Jim Spencer has spoken with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and they plan to be at this event. We are looking forward to this great gathering of McComas refugees returning home once again to the place where we will never forget and plan to make this
an annual event.
Please feel free to contact James (Pedro) Spencer hemhead@bellsouth.net or Judy (Jukie) Cole jdodd@fmrs.org for more details.