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Happy Corner: Memories on Hubbard Street

by Hazel Wells Tison

Today has been a tiring day and when I finally sat down to write my article, I knew it was going to be a rerun.  As luck, providence, or whatever  you want to call it, the first thing I looked at was one written in July 2007 by my daughter who was visiting during blueberry season with her youngest daughter, Haley who was 14 at the time. Lots of changes in the intervening years have occurred. Haley is a proud aunt and Cindy is proud “MeMe” to 5 year old Webb and 6 month old Waverly.  Her writing is published just as she wrote it.

July 4, 2007  Growing up in a small town is a wonderful thing, even though I couldn’t really appreciate it at the time.  Everybody knows you and don’t hesitate to tell on you if you’re seen doing something that’s probably not in your best interest.  My 14 year old daughter Haley and I are visiting this week for “blueberry season” and we took a rain break to go to Walmart in Chipley.  On the way home we cut through on Hubbard Street. I relived  some of my growing  up days as we drove the beautiful oak-lined street.

As I turned off Highway 90 I thought of my friends Carol Moore, Rebecca Gilmore (deceased), and Benny Ray Brown.  We always had a lot of laughs together, and at a class reunion a few years ago I enjoyed seeing Benny Ray, with way less hair, but the same great personality and smile as always.

Holmes County Dedication Sign

On down Hubbbard was Gene Martin’s house.  He was my escort for Homecoming Court, since he couldn’t play football due to a leg injury.

Remember stack heels for guys?  I know Eugene does since back then the guys thought they should be taller than the girls, so he wore a pair of stacks to help with that while escorting me on the field.  

Stanley Parker’s house was next.  My friend Kay Creel lived right down the hill, and sometimes Julie McDonald, Kay and I would ride bikes past Stanley’s house on our way down Hubbard.  If we were lucky,  he and Fred Treadwell wouldn’t throw rocks at us.  I wonder if the possibility of knocking our teeth out made him want to be a dentist.

In the next block was my piano teacher Mrs. Lutz’ home.  Her house is gone now but in my memory I am sitting in her living room in front of the piano, and she is sitting in a chair beside me, sometimes sound asleep.  Those lessons went on for over an hour sometimes, until my Mom knocked on the door and woke her up.  I surely must have been a smooth piano player.

More:Happy Corner: The Moore Family: Pioneer Bonifay/Holmes County settlers

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On down that block was Bert Lowe’s home.  Since he was a year older, it was a fine day if we were bike riding and got to see Bert and some of his buddies.  Bikes were the forerunners of computers and cell phones, I guess.  They enabled us to communicate with our friends.

As my daughter and I drove on north, we passed the Vara home.  Renn was my age and with his step-brothers, the Keith boys, their house was always a popular hangout for a lot of kids.  Just across the street from there was the Marty Howell house where I broke my arm when I was in first grade. That is where I learned that I probably was not ready to join the trapeze team of Barnum and Bailey. The McDonald house came next where friend Tammy lived. Her mom always had something baked for us to snack on or a cool drink for us on a hot day. 

As we came to the end of the street today, I turned left and headed to Highway 79 and back home again.  Though I’ve lived away from Bonifay longer than I lived  here, I still feel this is my home.  As I travel and meet people throughout the state, I always ask where they are from. If they are from anywhere near Bonifay, there is an instant connection. I have lived in South Florida for over 25 years, but my roots are here.  It is amazing how the roots and the heart are so closely connected.