Remember When: Remembering U.S. 176, Scott and the Feagan Building

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 15, 2018

As usual, I sat to wait my turn at Tammy Waldrop’s window at the Columbus Bank of America on Monday morning after the weekend mudslides that clobbered much of U.S. 176 in the valley.

Leon Case was relating the recent events in his life, and Tammy was offering words of comfort. Leon motioned for me to come to the window, but I motioned for them to continue. 

Tammy obviously knew Leon, and I did not. He was telling her that the chunks of pavement in the mudslide had torn the hide off his backside and legs. He also told of their efforts to find and save his wife Patricia, all to no avail. On top of all that, his house was swept off its foundation, so he had “nowhere to go.”

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I could hear Tammy’s soft voice as she responded as only she could. Leon’s world had come crashing down, and his despair was palpable. No way could I interrupt the healing that was beginning to take place.

Just learned that Scott Camp has died. He presided over the Memorial Day ceremonies for the Veterans of Foreign Wars for years. He suffered a stroke some years ago that left his left side paralyzed and landed him in various skilled care facilities, Autumn Care most recently.

Scott used to have breakfast at McDonald’s on a Saturday morning, but he sat across from our oval table and assembled his own following. Guess he was too much the Yankee to join our bunch of un-reconstructed Southerners. He did, however, invite me to deliver the address one Memorial Day.

The building that Charlie Feagan built for his sons, Gary and Pat, will soon be vacant when Watson Carpet moves out. Dennis Lockhart was doing the masonry on the building when I was starting to build my house in Holly Hill. I saw that Dennis had a big crew of workmen, so he would be able to do my work, and he agreed.

I bought a lot of stuff from both Gary and Pat as the house progressed. It was good to be able to buy only what I needed, not the prepackaged stuff in the big box stores.

Mike Smith and I counted out bolts, nuts and washers; weighed out all kinds of nails; got tubes of caulk and structural adhesives; not to mention all the PVC drain pipe, etc., that I got from Gary. I also rented the requisite “porta-john” from him. 

Faye Gosnell ran the office for Gary and pretty well managed the store after Gary’s untimely death.

Then there was Gayle Moss, who sold me the chemicals needed to keep our spa clean and healthy. I was spry enough in those days to go up and down the stairs that connected the businesses!       

Work on the new I-26/U.S.74 interchange has apparently gone into high gear now, what with the massive rain delay and the wholesale rerouting of traffic in the area. We now have huge semi-trailers rolling thru Columbus along with the ubiquitous large dump trucks running everywhere with their earthen burdens. 

There is also every kind of earthwork, retaining wall, bridge, ramp and drainage facility going in all around. I would really like to see all of this from an airplane — I would have been over it several times in recent weeks if I had an airplane to fly!  Anyone have a drone that takes pictures?

One day, it will be finished, and new signage will guide us thru it all.

Except that the Department of Transportation will then rebuild the roundabouts and plunge us into another round of chaos. Ah, progress!