was also well read in the English classics, and studied all the books he could get, especially on horticulture and fruit growing. That was prior to "Government Aids". He was a recognized authority on such matters, and what he learned he put into practice. He was the first farmer I ever knew who could successfully graft fruit trees. All his boys were like him, inclined to learn and to make use of their meager school advantages. They all worked hard on the farm and at the water mill. I recall my father's saying that he furnished wood for the locomotive engines on the Southern Railway and that his arms became so strong they never lost their size and strength, even after years of office work. Uncle John was an expert carpenter. I recall he built a house in Walterboro, just South of the Railroad crossing on Highway 17 (then Bridge Street), for my grandfather, who spent his declining days there. Parker Barnes, my first cousin, son of Aunt Sue, and I used to frequent his Walterboro home and his gunsmith shop, which was the avocation of his old age, and we came to know him well and to love him. He possessed a fine sense of humor and was a sympathetic friend to boys, so long as they behaved well according to his notion and did the right thing in his sight. But wrong doing, such as disobedience and especially telling falsehoods, he would not tolerate. Neither would he tolerate laziness nor any semblance of cowardice. He believed in fighting for one's rights and never censured us for fighting, nor did he blame us when we got licked, unless we had shown the "white feather". He dearly loved a game rooster (I suppose because they were much like him). He always kept a spirited fighter, ready to meet (and usually victorious) all comers. Parker and I determined to get a rooster to whip his rooster. We scoured the town and brought many champions to his home, but his rooster always won.
18| 19| 20| 21| 22| 23| 24| 25| 26| 27| 28| 29| 30| 31