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.

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