2017 A to Z: Letter U…
I thought I’d change the on-going 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories of “All About Me”. I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the 30 Day -April A to Z, but thought I might get just a wee bit long-winded, so I’m giving myself a longer time frame. Hopefully, by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!
Letter U is for… Union Point
The most recognized view of Union Point: a one-sided street!
Union Point, my “hometown”… and where I lived the first five years of my life. After my father (Clayton Bryan) left the Navy, my parents returned here to call home… building a house just one away from his parents. Living next door was Aunt Chris (Askew-Amos) and on the other side of her house was my grandparents, Paul and Evelyn Bryan. Union Point is a place I always consider home and so enjoy visiting whenever I go home. It’s one of those small towns, where almost everyone knows everyone… and as a kid, hard to get away with doing anything! While I don’t have grandparents living there any longer, I do have cousins I visit when I’m in town.
Directly across from town, on the other side of tracks are these huge stairs. The original steps were once to the left of these and were wooden; a slight indentation can still be seen today. The wooden steps were built during the Civil War to make access from the trains to the boarding house on the hill.
The boarding house where people accessed the train via the stairs!
I always find time to visit my hometown of Union Point and always enjoy a ride by Binns Street, just one block down from the Chipman Mill, where Granddaddy Bryan worked and we lived… he walked past my house every day as he headed up to the mill. Almost all my family has worked there at one time… most all my grandfather’s brothers and nephews until they moved away. Even my mother (Helen McKinley) worked there for a while after she married my father… who was still in the Navy and stationed near Memphis, at Millington Navy Base.
I lived on the right side of the stop sign…. Granddaddy Bryan only had a short one-block walk to work every day.
Binns Street… where I called home for 5 years!
My grandparents home – Paul & Evelyn Bryan – they lived just one house down from me at the end of a dead-end street.
My favorite spot at Granddaddy Bryan’s – the front porch. He often sat out there with me after Sunday dinner. I swang while he smoked his cigar… he always had one tucked away!
Several years ago I contributed stories to a book on the history of Greene County and learned a few things that I never knew. The one place that caught my interest was when I read about a site called the “rat hole.” I immediately called my mother, and while she didn’t first recognize the name… she later figured out what I was talking about, and “oh yeah, we used to run through that… we’d run real fast through like the devil was chasing us. It was actually built because of the train tracks. The underway walkway was installed so if the train stopped, the men could still reach the mill for work.”
The famous “Rat Hole” behind the Union Point Mill
This one street town was where I spent time my first five year years, and I never tire of seeing it when I’m there.
The clock is a landmark on the street. It was moved for a while when the bank relocated, but they eventually gave it back to the town and restored it to its original location.
Mr. Rusty Morgan’s furniture store where my father worked, and where I took my first baby steps… all by myself!
I spent a lot of time with mama in the stores uptown… loved the five and dime store at the opposite end of this street. Granddaddy McKinley bought me the biggest red wagon in that five and dime store one day after my cousin Robert wouldn’t let me ride in his.
Rhodes Drugstore… bought many comic books there!
Behind the Union Drugs counter – great place for ice cream and comic books… what a fountain counter they had and love that the old Coca-Cola dispenser is still on the counter!
The original weight scale still sits in front of Rhodes Drugstore… where it has always sat, giving your weight and fortune!
Daddy was a Mason in Union Point and attended meetings here… mama always liked to tell the story of how she and her best friend, Willie Mae, shimmied up a pole to peek in the second-floor window once; they had wanted to know what went on at the meetings! Daddy saw her looking in.. she jumped down and she and Willie Mae ran all the way back to her house… daddy was pretty mad that evening! I’ll have to keep mum on what she saw….
Another sight you’ll see around Union Point is the Kudzu that grows in many areas… and while it’s pretty to look at, it literally chokes the life out of the trees eventually, and will also completely cover a house. This one just over the railroad tracks always reminds me of a dinosaur.
Well, doesn’t it look like a dinosaur eating above the trees!
A few of my favorite places in Union Point – my hometown!
Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!
© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved