That was the bridge we watched the fireworks from on the 4th of July. One year daddy was in charge of the fireworks. He got drunk and blew a hole in the bottom of the barge they were using to light off the fireworks. The barge sank. Daddy swam to shore. The whole town was real disappointed.
Pungo Creek was the most boring place in the world. There was nothing to do and no one to do it with. There was nowhere to go. If you turned right at our mailbox in about a half a mile you would pass Scott Toppins place. A little bit later you would get to Ms. Jordan’s. That was the last house until you got to the end of the road. That was about a mile up. If you turned right at the end of the road you went bridge and then you hit colored town. If you went through colored town you got to Sidney Cross Roads. If you turned right at Sidney Cross Roads you got to Sidney Free Will Baptist Church –but just before you got to the Church you got to the cemetery where Uncle Harvey and JoAnn were buried next to Grandmama and Granddaddy. The cemetery wasn’t too full when I was a little girl. It has gotten filled up since with Voliva’s and Stokesberries joining the Foremans and Hardees. Now if you had turned left at the end of the road in a couple of miles you would have gotten to Smithtown…where everyone is named Smith. If you kept walking though Smithtown in another two miles you would get to another bridge. That was the bridge we watched the fireworks from on the 4th of July. One year daddy was in charge of the fireworks. He got drunk and blew a hole in the bottom of the barge they were using to light off the fireworks. The barge sank. Daddy swam to shore. The whole town was real disappointed. If you turn right just after the bridge you are in the town of Belhaven. Keep walking. That’s Main Street. On the left is John A. Wilkinson School. The elementary school and the high school sit side by side. A little further down on the left are the jail and the firehouse. That’s were the welfare department handed out the food to families like us that couldn’t afford to shop at the Colonial Store. Each month we picked up cans of processed meat and peanut butter, shortening and flour. We combined the welfare food with the eggs I collected from the chicken and the fish we caught after school and we made out pretty good. Just past the firehouse on the right hand side of Main Street was the bakery. There were two entrances. White people went in the door on the left. The counter ran down the middle. The donuts were the same on both sides. I went in the wrong door once and all hell broke loose. Across the street from the bakery was the Ambrose Barber Shop. My Uncle Roswell owned the barbershop. He cut hair there everyday except Sunday. His chair was the one in the back of the shop. You had to walk past all the other chair’s to get to his. They were empty because he was the only barber in the shop. He was the only white barber in the whole town of Belhaven. Mama cut daddy’s hair. He never cared much for Uncle Roswell or any of Mama’s brothers.