Jim Spencer's Original McComas Memory Walk
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