I am surrounded by History and tradition. I am an Automobile Mechanic in a small hometown shop that is almost 100 years old. The floor was poured in 1918 for a North Carolina State highway garage on the then US 421. I have been here physically 44 years. The walls have stuff on them from the 50’s or 60’s. Auto repair is all about what you remember from your history. Remember cool stuff and you will fix cars faster.

I am also in the Fire Service… 200+ years of Tradition unhampered by progress. To say we have always done it that way is REAL. WE HAVE!… Worked then Works Now.  Well I have OLD stuff and New stuff. Fire Service and Automotive. Cool old trucks, cars and machines. I also have been a Boy Scout, Leader, and Supporter for 40 official years and really 50 years unofficial.

I am a book reader and have a great imagination. I can stand and look across a vista and imagine the settlers walking and pulling wagons across our magnificent landscape.I have stood imagining the others that have come before me standing exactly where I am standing and looking out. I had one of those moments this past Wed. I had the opportunity to visit the Vade-Meccum/Camp Sertoma/Hanging Rock State Park property.

There are multiple buildings and lots of Explored land. There is an old hotel built in 1904. A large gymnasium and Chapel are on the property. There are hiking trails dating back to the original land tracts and old springs, dams and bridges. I stood in the downstairs of the old hotel reflecting on a room full of guests being served. I looked out the rear window at the old incinerator. I could imagine the loads of trash being dumped in then burned. We then looked at the gymnasium. Old exposed wood and steel beams with the wood floor.

Homer Dearmin told about a dance he attended during his CRK  staff years at the property. I could almost hear the music and feel the energy coming out of the building. Groups of teens standing on the porch and near the snack bar seemed almost too real.

We then took a trail to the open fields and area behind the property. Used most recently as a high ropes course. We had to traverse the creek and a few deadfalls but came upon the old bridge and spring house when the “Mineral Springs” were most sought after in the early 1900’s. The trails begged us to follow to the old lake and dam. We took a short time to lean against the bridge and Our Park Ranger Robin told us about pictures and historical facts from the area we were visiting. The Creek bearing the name of the property owners flowed gently under the bridge with minnows already visible in the clear pools. I could imagine the children slipping away and coming down to chase the crawdads and salamanders in this very creek.

I love to stand and reflect on those that have been before me. I hope that one day as we pass through this life I too will leave something that will cause reflection and wonder. I hope its not just the Dash between the Years on my headstone.

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