Today’s genre is Non-Fiction
The moment I knew I was no longer a child was on a Thursday in 1977. I was twelve years old and riding with my mom and dad to see her hometown of Clinchport, Virginia following a historic flood. The Clinch River in the Southwestern end of the state of Virginia had ravaged the town I grew up loving to visit.
Clinchport was a small town, perhaps a village, but the feel was like Mayberry from the television. I could walk through the entire town and everyone knew I was Ray and Ada’s grandson. I knew the names of so many people and it felt like a wonderful kind of place. Riding in othat thursday morning to see such destruction I think changed something in me.
One of the starkest images was the intact ranch style house that had settled after the water receded such that it rested on powerlines. Of course this multi-ton structure made contact with the ground, but on either side the power lines were still strung to upright poles. There was no electricity, so this was not an unsafe situation, just an amazing visual scene.
My aunt told me later that they were so proud of the way i worked to help try to recover and repair the home my grandparents still wanted to use. Their damage was significant as the basement was completely flooded as well as three feet of the first floor. Thankfully the house had a second story and they were able to move most of their most valued items out of harm’s way.
I still had some fun as a child after that, but I think the event changed my perception of the world.