Friday's Crossing

The cover page says “My Life at Friday's Crossing.”  This is somewhat a misnomer as we lived more in the in the Bailey School or New Church community.  Friday's Crossing was some 3 miles away, and when you got there, regardless of your expectations, you would have been disappointed.  The main road was Highway 75 which, in the thirties, was a gravel road.  When an occasional car passed, which was not often, in summer a huge cloud of dust preceded the vehicle and followed it out of sight.  All crops along the road were covered in dust, each plant praying for rain to remove the dirt.

The crossing was some seven miles from Oneonta to the south and perhaps twenty miles from Albertsville to the north.  To the west a small dirt road wound its way to Blountsville eventually, but it was thirteen hard miles.  To the east, three miles to our house, the road was built for wagons, stretching past a succession of unpainted farm houses.

It was a standard joke that to get in trouble my brother and I would have to walk three miles to the highway, then three miles back, and regardless, there was very little at the crossing.  On one side there was a metal building which was a part-time store.  By part-time, I mean it did not usually generate enough trade to remain open.  I do remember it with a Woco-Pep gas sign outside.  This was one the non-electrified pumps that had a hand pump with a handle on the side.  The operator would pump the necessary number of gallons by hand.  He would look through the glass container on the top until the desired level was reached.  Then, by gravity, the gas was drained into the vehicle's tank.

vOn the other side of the crossing a small four-room house had been built.  In the thirties, the other areas on the road were vacant.

In my early years of working and going to college, I could usually hitch a ride (almost no one would fail to pick up a hitchhiker) to Friday's Crossing, but that still left the three mile hike back to our house.

Today the crossing is not much changed.  There are now two houses on one side and a store on the another.  Surprisingly, the old store building is now used as a dwelling and a different building is the open store.

Over the years, the roads have almost all been paved.  In the thirties it was five miles from our house to a paved street.  That wondrous street, in Altoona, was only a block or two.  Today the entire area is paved, even the road by our old home place.  I am amazed that there is (or was) enough oil to pave so many areas.

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