Stories and drawings
In the fall of 1924, the Ed Atkinson family had given up their farm tenancy on Champion Ferry Road in the Cherokee Creek Community to move onto the Hazelhurst Farm, a few miles north, near what is now the Chase Community in North Carolina. The Hazelhurst Farm was a new kind of farm in which management was reputed to keep up with the latest advances in agriculture and to apply the most efficient, up-to-date methods of raising crops and livestock However, a problem arose which delayed their move. Vic Fortune, the tenant of the house and land that had been assigned to the Atkinson family, had failed to find a new place to live. He had not yet moved when the Atkinsons were to vacate the house they were currently occupying. This left Ed with no recourse but to temporarily rent a house until Mr. Fortune found a place to go.
They rented a house in Henrietta for about two months. Neither 12-year-old Ferrell nor 9-year-old Malleree, his younger children, started to school that fall. They expected to move to the Hazelhurst farm and start to Prospect School at the same time. Nell, his 19-year-old daughter, was already out of school. She applied for and was given a job in Henrietta Mill. She worked there for only a day and a half before deciding that mill work was too hard and not for her. She sent word for her father to come and get her.
Early in 1925, after moving onto the Hazelhurst farm at last, the two younger children started to school. Nell took a job in Cliffside Mill, which was apparently more to her liking than the Henrietta Mill job, since she remained there for the rest of her working years.
A few years later, Ed moved his family back to the Cherokee Creek Community. After his wife, Louise, died in 1933, he continued to live in that community and, with the help of some of his sons, farmed until he was in his 80s.
Ed Atkinson then returned to Cliffside to live with Nell and Roy Hill. From his “added-on” room, he welcomed many visitors during the years he lived there.
Even though he was in his 90s, and did suffer some health problems, he did not just “Sit and Rock” during his last years. He pieced a sufficient number of quilts to give one to each of his children, many of which have been passed down to his Grandchildren. He kept his pocket knife sharp with a whet rock and a leather strap to carve pieces of wood into peg and board games for his grandchildren.
When Nell and Roy moved to the Cliffside “suburbs” on old Highway 221A, he was enthusiastic about the move. There, in addition to his quilt making and carving, he could take his ever present walking cane in hand and walk out to the pasture to check on the horses each day.
Ed was never a “Drinking Man” but did enjoy a drink occasionally. His doctor advised that it would be good stimulant for his ailing heart if he drank a small “toddy” each evening. His daughter, Nora, carefully measured and mixed the ingredients for the drink each day, but when her son “Bud” and daughter-in-law, Myrtle, visited, Myrtle would sometimes take over the bartending chore. When given the choice of who would prepare it, Ed always chose to have Myrtle mix his “toddy.” He confided that it was because Myrtle did not measure so carefully, and was more liberal with its alcohol content.
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