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Huddleston Knob

searchIf I had the money, I’d buy a small mountain. For purely sentimental reasons. The ad in Sunday’s newspaper states, “The Huddleston Knob. Absolute Auction. December 6. 2:00 p.m.” I grew up seeing that knob everyday.

Huddleston Knob is advertised “as possibly the most nostalgic tract of land in Pickett County. 138.05 acres of woodland providing a backdrop for many of the homes in Byrdstown, TN. It is undoubtedly the most recognizable parcel of land in the community. Sightseers, hikers, and neighbors have all gone up to the summit for the 360-degree breathtaking views.”

I never climbed to the top of The Knob, but I drove Dad’s tractor on our family’s farm at its foothills. Dad taught me to drive the tractor when I was 10 years old so that others who were bigger and stronger could do the heavy work. Like setting plants while riding the tobacco setting machine in the spring. And at harvest time, loading sticks of cut tobacco and throwing hay bales on the wagon behind the tractor. Our family’s farm was passed down to Dad from his mother who was raised there and my great-grandmother was a Huddleston. (Now I wonder if her family ever owned The Knob. Too bad I didn’t ask that question years ago when Dad or Granny could have told me. It may be time for a little research.)

My parents’ home was six miles from the farm, and from the back porch and a picture window, I watched the seasons change on Huddleston Knob. Our family called it The Mountain. It gave an excuse to sit in the back porch rocking chairs and provided calm for conversation. Mom would say, “Let’s get something to drink and watch The Mountain for a bit.” Or Dad would say, “Come on out to the porch. Let’s look at The Mountain and figure out what to do.” Joys and problems were shared as we stared across the miles.

After my children and niece were born, The Mountain took on a new name: Granny’s Mountain. Mom’s rocking chair was beside the picture window where she held her grandchildren and read aloud and told Purple Cow stories and rocked the children to sleep. I’m not sure who first called it Granny’s Mountain, but she made it hers when she talked about how it was turning green in the spring and orange and yellow in the fall and gray in the winter. Among Mom’s treasures was a wooden tray that Son made for her when he was 8 years old. It’s painted yellow and decorated with a child’s simple drawing of a tall green mountain and the words Granny’s Mountain. Mom kept it propped up on her kitchen counter.

As I read the words “The Huddleston Knob” in the newspaper ad, I smell the freshly turned and plowed dirt in the tobacco field and feel the itch from hay on a hot summer day. I see the serene green mountain, taste the lemonade, and feel the contentment of sitting beside Mom and Dad. I hear Mom say to Son, “Oh, I love it! Now no matter what season it is, I’ll always have my green mountain.”

And no matter who owns that 138 acres, Huddleston Knob belongs to all of us who have such memories. Some things can’t be bought.

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5 Responses

  1. Love that mountain also, I look to it when the seasons change. Coming up my driveway and it’s there, never have climb it but my daughters went with my brother and loved it. He took all the kids ther so it’s memories for them.

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  2. I have fond memories of climbing to the top of the Knob several times with cousins. Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 12:49:50 +0000 To: brendarich@live.com

    Like

  3. Susan, this is awesome writing, thank you for sharing. My grandfather Baxter Storie lived at the foot of the Knob and I have many fond memories crawling in the caves, swinging on grapevines, exploring in the woods, and climbing to the top of Huddleston Knob. Indeed, you said it best. “And no matter who owns that 138 acres, Huddleston Knob belongs to all of us who have such memories. Some things can’t be bought.”

    James Storie
    Nashville, TN

    Like

  4. Beautiful story and beautiful memories. Debbie Bryant

    Like

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