~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~

The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.

I am in search of my family.

I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.

I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.

~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~

Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.

Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.


"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."

~You live as long as you are remembered.~

"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown

"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."


Arrowood Family

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Daddy's Kerosene

Dad told me a story of his childhood not long before he passed away, one that I had not heard of before.

Daddy was always doing things that we never dreamed of doing, when we were small. Time marches on and things change fast.

Imagine growing up in a world where you never locked your doors, you never stopped to consider whether it was safe to stop and help someone along the road, someone that apparently was in need. Worries like that were not even contemplated..

You just naturally did the "good neighborly" thing and helped people out.

Imagine a time where kids could bicycle along country roads for miles to get to the river for an overnight camping stay. A night full of fishing, sitting around a campfire, telling ghost stories, and sleeping under the stars. Dad told me that he did these things, at the tender age of eight. Imagine a world where that would be accepted and allowed..a safe thing. That is the world that my Dad grew up in. Travel with me to that time, a time of innocence.

Dad went to the river fishing with a group of friends and his dad. He was about 6 or 7 years old. He stepped on glass along the river's edge and cut his foot pretty badly.
My grandfather, Lewis Arrowood, scooped Dad up and out of the water and deposited him in the back of their truck, a model T. This was somewhere in the 1930's..about 1938 or so..Imagine the scene: the old truck alongside the water, the sun dappling off the water in sparkles, and a crowd of tousled headed boys wearing overalls, leaning around the truck and looking to see just how bad the foot was cut.

A Norman Rockwell scene for sure..grin.

Dad said that he got very special treatment that day..He got his freshly cooked "catch of the day", delivered to him in his "special spot". Grandpa had fixed for it him: a comfortable spot in the back of the truck with his foot all propped up and bandaged. Grandpa brought him a soda pop in a bottle..a 'Special Treat' for sure..it was not every day that you got a store bought soda..

Grandpa had to disinfect the cut foot, so he used what he had..Kerosene..yes, plain old Kerosene..Imagine!

He placed Dad's foot in that pan of kerosene and Dad watched it turn crimson from his foot, blood swirling into the pan..

This is something that I am sure he never forgot. Dad had a weak stomach and went 'out like a light' very easily..something that I do myself.

Years passed on by, as they do, so quickly.

When Dad got sicker, and much weaker, the doctor told Daddy that there was not much else that they could do..They were out of options.

The chemo was no longer an option, he was just too weak..Neither was the radiation..

Dad told the doctor the story about the Kerosene..

What he really told him was about how the love of his Dad healed that foot, almost instantly..

He smiled that lopsided smile, that only Daddy could smile, amd looked up at that doctor and asked him if he had anything that 'worked as good as kerosene'..

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Boy and the Ice Wagon

My Dad lived not far from Lineberger’s Park growing up. It was a hilly and open park, and had a great creek running through it. This creek was perfect for performing daring Superman feats of “creek jumping”, “bridge flinging”, or “stump jumping”, and the like. The park was a great place for a kid to play when he had his trusty bicycle.
One day when Dad was about 6 or so…he decided to prove his ‘Superman abilities’ by going airborne over the creek on his bicycle. He pedaled up the steep hill overlooking the creek, and came flying back down it at break-neck speed, and went flying over the creek. His ‘Superman abilities’ were definitely put to the test and he crashed into the creek.

The jump just proved to be too far, and he was not able to make the span of the creek to the other side.

He was knocked out and it was not good.

Luckily “Old Man” Coletta was happening past with his ice wagon and he either heard the crash , saw it, or saw the aftermath. However it happened, it was lucky for our little “Superman”, that he happened along at just that moment.

Coletta was an man that operated the ice company and ice cream store in town. He was an Italian immigrant and started his company in 1915. He had a horse drawn wagon that delivered ice in town to his customers. In the 1921 Gastonia City Directory on page 145, there is listed, a ‘Charles Carmine Coletta, ice cream manufacturer’ at 312 South Willow Street.

Well, “Old Man” Coletta, as Dad called him, loaded the unconscious boy onto the back of his wagon and took him home..He apparently knew Dad and where to take him. So the kindly man delivered the limp bundle to his no doubt, scared to death parents..Imagine the shock of seeing that!

Dad was “out of it” (his words) for three days. Imagine keeping the kid at home during that episode these days! I suppose the Doctor was summoned to the house to attend to him.

Happily, he recovered, and decided that being Superman wasn’t as great as it was cracked up to be and he tempered his actions from then on.
Well…probably not, he was six, afterall. Grin.

They have completely restored Coletta’s Ice Wagon and it is on display in Dallas. Coletta’s Ice Cream is still in business and very much in demand in Gastonia these days. I went in and got a shake just the other day. Still wonderful ice cream.

I guess, if not for that ice wagon “save”, I may not even be here today. Something to ponder as I eat that wonderfully creamy, cold treat.

The horses, hitched to that wagon, grew to know the path of the ice route very well, over time. They would continue on - without Mr. Coletta, if they thought he was taking too long after stopping at a customer’s house. He would be seen running down the road to catch up with the wagon. That had to be a sight.

This was the motor operated truck that replaced the horse drawn wagon. The picture was taken at the tiny Dallas NC Christmas Parade.