Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Whenever I go down Heatley St., I can’t help but think of Mr. Shufert Heatley. Mr. Heatley was a good friend of my Dad. They were fishing buddies. Boy, could they tease and give each other a good old hard time!
Dad could tell stories of his fishing trips with Mr. Heatley that would make you laugh so hard that you’d split your side – all in good fun, of course. Both of them could tell some whopping fish stories! The stories were so exaggerated you had no trouble realizing they were just pulling your leg for fun.
Mr. Heatley had a small country store on Heatley Street. Sadly, the old store is gone now and the old house is all but gone. However, I remember both well.
One time in his minnow trough that he had right by the store he had an alligator that was about five feet long. I was probably 8 at the time and when I saw it and I couldn’t believe it. I had seen them on TV (yes, kids, we had TV’s back then) and I had seen them in pictures but never in real life.
He also had an early gas pump outside his store. It would pump the gas to a see-through container about 10 feet in the air and then by way of a hose, pump the gas into your car. I’ve only seen one other gas pump like that, and that was on 17A in the Macedonia area.
Friendships like Mr. Heatley and my Dad had are rare and precious. When I think of those two, I remember what the Bible says about friends: “… there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24b). If there were friends that were a personification of that verse it was those two.
I remember when Dad told me that Mr. Heatley was moving into the retirement center on 17A. Mrs. Heatley had passed away, so the inevitable became a reality for him. What I remember the most is the sadness in my Dad’s voice when he told me about Mr. Heatley moving. He was sad for his old friend for he knew how hard it was for Mr. Heatley but I think he also knew it was the right thing for Mr. Heatley.
Whenever you have a friendship like that you are indeed most blessed for a good friend accepts you for who you are, the way you are and the reason you are the way you are. They accept you with all of your lumps, bumps and grumps because that is you.
Do you have any memories of the things I’ve shared, or of your own childhood in Moncks Corner? I would be privileged if you would share them with me. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.