|That's exactly what it was and still is for that matter. Just a place where two country roads intersected in the middle of a farming community in Morgan county, Alabama. There was a country store which was owned by one of my uncles that had all the things you would expect to find in a country store at that time. We had a school that consisted of a total of five buildings. One building for 1st through 6th grade, one building for 6th through 12th grade, the lunch room, the boys outhouse, and the girls outhouse. The grammer school was heated by big pot bellied stoves in each of the three classrooms while the high school was heated by steam from a coal fired boiler.|
When I was a youngster, one of my favorite things to do was go down to my uncle's store in the evenings and listen to the old timers (and some not so old) recount their day's work and talk of nearly everything. They would laugh and make jokes about each others horses or mules but it was nearly always in the spirit of good fun. They would play chekkers and sometimes pitch washers. Pitching washers consisted of trying to pitch a large washer through one of several holes cut through the bottom of a wooden drink case. On any given evening, after supper, you might find as many as a dozen farmers at the store. The stories they could tell were endless and I was totally fascinated.
Many of the people I listened to as a child are in a better place now but every time I go back there and drive past the old store, I again hear and see those old farmers telling stories, laughing and pitching washers.
Ryan's Cross Roads has changed a great deal over the years (as we all have). The old store is still there and at last count was still run by a cousin. All the roads are paved now and there is quite a bit of traffic past the store. The school is still there but now only goes through the 9th grade. The people there are still farming and happy about it. There is not a lot of money there but the wealth is untold.
Jim W. (Whizz), from VA, entered 2000-01-14