A Native Son of the North Carolina Piedmont

My name is Rocky Hall. I live in the central piedmont of North Carolina. This blog was created out of a need to write and tell a story.

I was born to good fortune. As a small child my days were spent in the shade of white oak and hickory with family as strong as those trees. Water came from a bucket drawn at the well, and we drank from a dipper that hung on a rusty nail driven in the side of the well post. We had a coal stove and an out house. No phone. We didn't need one. But we did have a TV.

We had wonderful neighbors. Folks you could count on. Among them were tobacco farmers, mill workers and mechanics. Old women wore sun bonnets and children were taught to mind their elders.

Summers were spent in the tobacco fields. Or if you were too young to prime you worked at the barn. When we weren't working we romped through the countryside with siblings and cousins, went fishing, swam in ponds, caught crawfish in the spring branch and swang on the porch swing. My shadow would often be cast long at night as I played by the spark of Grandpa's stick welder making repairs for neighbors.

Sunday was for church and visiting.

My parents had me young. We lived with my Grandpa at first, Mama's Daddy. Mama was pretty and Daddy was strong. I can still recall the smell of him as I sat on his lap after he got home from work. Sweat, oil and gasoline were badges of honor for a young mechanic. Around the supper table there was talk of family, neighbors and work. Everyone laughed and sang while Earnest Tubb crackled on the radio. On weekends Grandpa would go out and sit in his old Chevy and read for hours. He loved to read. I can see him now in that faded old car, head just above the window's beltline, eyes looking downward in concentration, fedora pushed back on his head.

That was a magic time. Un-hurried. Even the sunlight was different then.

So now you see. I was indeed born to good fortune.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


The fear was behind him. Embracing it as a new adventure. A test of who he was and who he would be when it was done. Flanked by those that loved him he threw the things that he felt would help carry him through in a shoulder pack and set off into the stark sterile realm of the souls that heal and nurture. Knowing full well that no matter how unpleasant it might become life is indeed sweetest on the edge.

Friday, January 25, 2013

pork chop and sweet potato dream

     Lester discovered if he completely cleaned and polished the fifth wheel of a semi rig, physical dreams could be manifest from it. Then the dreams could be applied to someone as a concious inoculation simply by suggestion. Like hypnosis. Every aspect of the dream would be tweaked and dialed in before hand. Even things like skin tone and texture were adjusted to an optimum. As a subtle calling card. Lester would always have water running uphill during the experience.
     Once activated. The dreams ran smoothly like a clock spring wound just to the point of being too tight. Each dream was a miniature life lived in light of rippling warm water, lived in a matter of minutes, in which the dreamer was physically and spiritually perfect. Nubile. Sexy. Almost beyond comprehension. Feeling it to their very core.

     And once lived. The dreamer knew it was gone forever. But grateful to have lived something so incredibly sumptuous they would later sit, smile and ponder the eternal sublime.  


     Looking down. He turned the prints quickly so he could feel the breath of the art as well as see it's shape and color. Each time, each breath caused brown and old silver whisps to dance about his ears. Stopping on a Parrish print he considered how the color and light reminded him of existance on the other side.
     " Look at this one." She said. And when he looked up it was as if he saw muli colored flowers reflected in the gray green pools of her soul. It was a print of vibrantly colored flowers set against a mottled green background. " It looks happy." She said. And he agreed. " Like springtime. Warm and damp and cheerful."

simple rapture

He finished eating the stew. A delicious treat on a cold winter night. Beside him his dog stared with interest at the near empty bowl. Cupping the bowl, he presented it to the dog who began to lap the remaining contents enthusiastically. Leaning in close, watching just above the rim as the bowl rests in his hands, he watched the broad warm tongue and the moist pink muzzle of his dear friend caress the bowl's inner surface reverently. Savoring. Almost seductively. Near worship. And he saw the simple rapture in his dog's eyes. A minor kindness. A daily ritual. A miniscule act of love that meant so much to them both.  

mama's soup dream

I dreamed how good it felt to sleep and that everything in the world was on one inch white ceramic tiles. I bought a Duke Power building even though I really didn't want it and sold the copper contents to cover the cost. The duke Power tile was smooth and slightly rounded with a faint silver cast to it. I bought the Parthenon and kept it in my pocket so I could pull it out and look at it whenever I wanted. Thieves tried to steal Chef M's Mercury Mountaineer but couldn't because Chef M. had a key in his butt that started everything he owned. The thieves persuaded me to go for a ride with them in a gold Corolla convertible with yellow hounds tooth interior. The wind during the drive was soothing as I pulled the Parthenon from my pocket and rubbed it's cracked, bone like surface. I dreamed my sleep was warm and sleek and compact. And the Parthenon was mine to keep forever. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

surf's edge

I recently spent a number of days on the outer banks with a group of nonconformist friends in a huge house four miles beyond any paved road. The only way in was by 4x4 up the beach. Those days were spent laughing and discussing. Sharing and discovering. Enriching and nurturing. I love unique souls. So full of color and light.

A storm front cut our trip short and we had to leave the island early in order to avoid the high tide and a storm surge that would make leaving difficult. Upon leaving I found myself and my gear in the back of a pickup, facing backwards, headed south along surf's edge. Wild horses grazed freely among the dunes, the stumps 0f an ancient maritime forest appeared and disappeared in the distance behind me as we sped along. Red flags popped in the gale and sea foam emerged from the surf, rolling in the wind like bubbly brown liquid tumbleweeds.

Lost in the flutter and the straw scratch sound of my hair about my ears I began to recall. Echoed laughter and the sights and sounds of it all, of them all, was still searing deeply the palette of my mind. Looking to my right, I gazed past the raging Atlantic and realized the perpetual frontier of the lives I've lived and felt grateful. The kind of grateful that makes your lower eyelids raise as tears slightly well along the delicate lashes. The purple scent of joy saturated the sea breeze. It feels good to be on the surface of this magnificent world.

Wonders abound. Now home, writing this, my dog's head is resting heavily on my thigh as he gratefully snores my safe return. A cold, windy September rain pours outside. I look at him. His twitching pink muzzle always aware.
We two, he and I, mere carbon based life forms. Each an accumulation of cells acting in unison. But there is this wonderful connection between he and I. Between them and us. Between you and I. It can't be seen, though it can be felt and reflected.

And so I catch myself gazing once again, pondering us all and feel my lower lids begin to raise.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

cock of the walk

Ralph, greeting the morning. He is a magical soul.