in Dora, Alabama
It's Springtime here in Dora. On Saturday I found myself with a
little time on my hands so I loaded up my dog Buddy in the truck
and took a drive. I rode down through old Dora by where the old
high school stood. There was a group of kids playing soccer on Watkins
Field. Was soccer invented when I went to high school? I'm guessing
it was, but I'm sure I'd never heard of it.
I then proceeded through the old downtown area. There are only two
buildings that are inhabitable now; the old Methodist Church and
the old hotel (I think). The rest of the buildings have either fallen
down or they are very close to it.
My mind drifted back in time. I lived in Sloss Holler
and on warm spring
days, a bunch of us kids would often walk the few miles to Dora
to get a fountain CoCola at Watkin's Drug and to see if there was
anybody in the jail.
My dad used to take me to barber Johnson's to get my hair cut. I
know he must have been a good barber when he was younger, but when
I went to him, he was old and his eyes had gotten bad. When I'd
leave his shop, my hair usually looked like it had been cut with
a weed eater.
There was a little grass growing through the cracks in the side
walk then, but nothing like today.
I continued with a drive through the old tunnel under the railroad
and obviously, I tooted my horn. I know the people who live near
the tunnel must get sick of hearing horns, because everyone I know,
blows their horn when they drive through. The upside for them I
guess is that not many people drive that way anymore.
|I drove on by where the old grammar school
once stood. The lot is empty now except for an abandoned UHaul truck
with weeds and brush growing around it. When I stopped at the stop
sign just down from the old school, I realized that I was within a
hundred feet of where I was born. My family once lived in the old
house that sat at the intersection. I was born on January
15th, a cold winter day in the back bedroom
of that old house. There is something comforting in knowing exactly
where you were born.
I took a left and drove by the old Dora Second Baptist Church and
the Davis Cemetery where my family is buried....well, the ones that
are dead are buried there....and I took a left down towards #11. That's
the area of Dora where the old #11 mines was located. At one time,
there was an entire community of old houses and a commissary and other
stuff around there. I drove a few miles and parked on a wide spot
in the road and walked to the old train trestle. My dog Buddy chased
butterflies and drank water from a little creek. The trestle goes
over what I've always called the Backwater. It's a huge lake that
is formed by water from the Warrior River. When I was young, I spent
countless hours there fishing, swimming and laying in the sun.
||I went fishing one
day with my brother Neil and a bunch of other boys from Sloss. We
had fished all day without so much as a nibble. We were about to leave
and we stood on the trestle almost exactly where I stood to shoot
this picture. Neil saw a big 'ol bass lazing around near the lily
pads. Neil got a glazed look of anger in his eyes and whipped out
his pocket knife and cut the end of his cane pole to a very sharp
pointed end. He drew back and flung that cane pole like a spear towards
that bass. To our amazement (and his) he speared that bass right between
the eyes. It flopped around a bit, but he scrambled down the embankment
and shed his clothes and and went in after that fish. Neil told that
story many times, but most folks didn't believe it. I wouldn't have
believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes.
|I started out on Saturday on a quest to find
a "story" for the website. Although I didn't find a story,
I did have an enjoyable afternoon cruising down memory lane.