‘Great-grandpa Levi’

Published 12:43 pm Friday, August 13, 2010

Editor’s note: Working for the past nine years, Beauford Arledge, now 84, gathered his memories into a book that only he could write, The Stories of Green River Cove. With permission, the Tryon Daily Bulletin is sharing excerpts from the book with our readers over the next several weeks. If you would like to purchase a copy of Stories of the Green River Cove and read the entire book for yourself, Arledge will be at the Tailgate Market in Columbus tomorrow, Aug. 14, to sell his books. You may also call his daughter, Susan Howell, at 894-3724 to order a copy.

Great Grandpa Levi Arledge lived on the left side of the road. I dont know what kind of house he lived in, but it was mostly likely built of logs. My Dad spoke of being there at times. Great Grand Dad would give him walnuts to eat. I believe he was living by himself at that time. Great Grand Dad had a rail fence some six feet high to keep his stock in. &bsp;

Uncle Lis was here. He had trouble with the law at times. He wasnt too bad of a fellow, and was just making some medicine to have on hand. The law was looking for him at this time, so he was sleeping and living out in the woods dodging the law.&bsp; &bsp;

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While my Dad was here, for some reason he thought the law had come. He jumped clear over the rail fence and ran into the woods. He depended on Grandpa and my Dad to bring him food. He never would be where he had said he would be. Instead, hed be off at a distance where he could whistle. He didnt trust anyone, even the ones carrying him food.

Across the branch from where he lived, was a branch that has several spring heads, reaching back to the side of Piney. At the head is where my Grandpa lived at one time, living in a one room house with a dirt floor. That was probably where my Dad was born.

Persimmon tree

All the stories that have been told on Great-grandpa Levi may have not been too good. Here at the big old persimmon tree, it has been told that he and another man had a fight.&bsp; Now Great-grandpa had a fight occasionally. He would just drop his head and run into his challenger, knock him to the ground, jump on him and goose him in the ribs till he gave up. This time he bit the mans ear off. &bsp;

The man sued Great-grandpa and carried him to court. Greatgrandpa lost and had to pay court costs and the man a hundred dollars. He sold a tract of land to get the money.

It is said that he buried his money in an old iron pot beside a peculiar tree along the branch. He might have feared someone may have seen him open up his bank and steal his money. This might be the reason he sold the land.

There have been many hot summer days spent working in these fields. My Dad told me of the time when he was growing up plowing corn, he and Uncle Russell would get hot and go to the river and go in, clothes and all, and cool off. This took care of things for a little while.

One year, a hail storm came just when the corn was tasseling. It completely destroyed the crop. I can remember working here plowing with two horses with a number ten Oliver. It was in March and the snow was blowing. The road was in the middle of the field, and I was plowing Uncle Isaacs side, next to the hill. Uncle Isaac had died, leaving his wife Eva to raise the family. We were trying to help out.

Uncle Isaacs garden

On the upper end of the Alex branch, run down from Piney along the branch, Uncle Isaac had his family garden.&bsp; On the ridge just above is where Granddad Levi was buried. It has been said he asked to be buried here so he could watch his brother Clem work in the bent.

Just below the garden, across the branch, a spring had been dug under the hill. A spring like this had to be well drained for the water to be good. Usually the drain coming out of the spring would be lowered as much as possible, and the sides lined with rock. Around the water basin in the spring, a good reservoir was needed so water could be dipped from the spring a water bucket at a time. &bsp;

A dipper was always needed to get a cool drink when passing by. A dipper made from a gourd with a long handle was a favorite.

Their house was about a fourth of mile up the road. Drinking water was carried in a bucket and placed on a shelf in or near the kitchen, with a dipper in the bucket, for everyone to drink from. &bsp;

The spring branch was a place to keep the milk and butter cool. They had problems with the well. When big rains came, many times the water would get dingy since it was close to the river. The walls of the well were mostly made of sand and gravel, and this caused the banks to cave in. It also made it dangerous to work in.