The Log Cabin

The Log Cabin

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I've heard of hard times, but not many that were any harder than our own times.  Once when I was still a baby, Dad & Mom moved from the country to the hills into a real, honest to goodness log cabin.

Uncle Willie Cavaness had some acreage up in the ridge (Crowley's Ridge), which were just a string of small hills that ran from the northeast corner of Arkansas clean down past Jonesboro, (how much further I don't know).

In a little clearing on the other side and bottom of the hill from where he lived was a small log cabin.  Dad & Mom moved into it when I was just a baby.  It belonged to Uncle Willie and they lived in it prior to a death in Aunt Esta Lee's family.

At one time there used to be a cotton field behind it, and Mom would chop cotton for the farmer.  His name was H(?) Collier, (but no kin to my mother.  Her mother was a Collier . . .).

There were three rooms with a wooden floor, no permanent fixtures with the exception of a fireplace, some furniture and two full beds. It was plenty large enough for myself and parents.

Dad & Mom would walk into town on the narrow gravel roads through the hills covered with woods.  There were all kinds of animals in those woods but the greatest danger was in the snakes that were everywhere.  Copperheads were prevelant, some rattlesnakes, and a host of other snakes that although may not be poisonous, would make you hurt yourself.

Come church time they would walk the gravel roads and carry me to church, (Pentecostal), then carry me home again.  Many times since becoming an adult I've driven down those same roads and they are dark!

The narrow little red gravel roads were like tunnels covered over by the tops of the huge trees which grew together, and it was dark, even in the daytime.  Wild cats could be heard screaming in the night.  The incessant noises of the woods would cease only when a team and wagon, or a model 'T' would rattle through.

Note:  I've heard Dad tell about the darkness of the forest coming home well after dark and hearing the wildcats scream.  I've also seen more than one make fun of him and his story, and asked him if he'd ever seen one.  "No, but I heard 'em!"  That was back in the early '50's and I've never heard anyone tell of seeing a wildcat.
Then, just a few years ago someone posted pictures of one taken with a trail cam!  I wished Dad could have seen it.  Sure made a bunch of believers!  Dad would have been proud to have seen those pictures.

Dad would take a double bitted axe and a little two wheeled cart, drag it back up into the hills to find and chop wood with which to cook and heat the small cabin.  It was all cut, split, hauled and stacked by hand.

There was no electricity, nor money to purchase appliances had we had such nicety.

Personally, I don't remember living in that little cabin, but I remember in later years seeing it many times before we moved to California and hearing the history of our experiences there.  (I have yet to find a picture of the place).  Now a deserted mobile home stands where it was so many years ago.

But as I travel back in time, in my minds' eye I can still see the little cabin there against the backdrop of greenery of the little clearing with the spring-fed brook running down the side.

Out of the chimney can be seen the smoke as Mom cooked on the little fire, and perhaps the sound of the axe as it rings through the forest, and drowns out the laughter of the happy baby boy.

George Cavaness

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