By Bill Shepard
We are returning home to Piedmont after a whirlwind visit to Darlington- my wife, daughter and son-in-law. The scenery along the road is breathtaking. I never knew there were so many shades of green! One doesn’t have to guess that spring is here.
It was so good to be back to the place I will always call home! Darlington was just as beautiful as I knew it would be. I could hardly wait to visit Williamson Park. I missed the wisteria that for so may years added to the beauty of the park. The azaleas were beautiful; we made some pictures. I wished I could stay longer, just sitting and remembering. A young lady was sitting at one of the tables. She became a target for me to share some of my memories. I never pass up a chance to do that. I did!
My visit with Jana and Judy at the News & Press was, as usual, so special! They are generous with time, but I always feel guilty in accepting it. These folk follow a busy schedule in getting the paper ready each week. I have said it many times, “our newspaper is the best bargain in town!”
When leaving the office, I met an old acquaintance on the sidewalk – Wilhelmenia Johnson – and we stopped to share some memories. As we laughed, talked and shared memories, Jana and my daughter stood by, amazed at our stories.
It was so good to see my old friend, Harold Timmons, again. I have written before that Harold and I have memories that reach back into many yesteryears! We shared a delicious meal together at the Mayflower and then came parting time. We left, after promising to meet again on my next trip to Darlington.
My sister, Jenny, is a great hostess! She always has more planned than we have time to see and do. Our visits are always too short!
After a delicious meal at C-Boan, we knew that departure time was nearing. There never seems to be enough time for my visits to Darlington. As I sat in the old building where C-Boan is located, I could not help but feel that I had been there before. I would wager that I have!
I met the new preacher at the little church where I visit sometimes. After getting acquainted, I said to him – “Go any place in Darlington that you choose, just know that I was there first!”
Good-byes said, we were on our way back to Piedmont. The line from one of my favorite songs was playing in my mind, “My footsteps carried me away, but in my mind, I am always going home.”
Blackberries hanging on a green vine,
Red plums mellowing in the warm sunshine,
Honey bees gathering nectar from flowers overhead,
Springtime is here, Winter is dead!
Little fish swimming in the cool clear stream,
Baby calves grazing in the pasture green,
Mama cow standing, always near,
Winter is gone and Spring is here!
Buttercups peeping from the cold ground,
Robins in the treetops all around,
Butterflies flitting from flower to flower,
Winter is over, this is Spring’s hour!
Looking forward to my next visit!
Mr. Shepard is a native of Darlington, S.C., and a current resident of Piedmont, S.C. Signed copies of Mr. Shepard’s books “Mill Town Boy” and “Bruised” are available for purchase at the News and Press office. He has been sharing his tales of growing up in Darlington for decades, and we are delighted to share them each week.