June 28, 2013

Greenfield Center Silver Dollar

Greenfield Center Silver Dollar
By John R. Greenwood

I received a message the other day from Greenfield Historical Society member, Janet Jones. Janet asked if she could use one of my blog posts in one of their upcoming newsletters. Of course I was thrilled to be asked and gave her permission to use anything she'd like. What I would like to share here is how growing up in a small town like Greenfield in the 50's and 60's can shape your outlook on life and the world around you. Growing up in house just a few yards from a country store that anchored a towns center provided a constant flow of personalities from which to draw positive, life-long influences. 
The town ladled up a wide array of role models from which to draw from. I can hear the gravel voices of war veterans and mill workers as they discussed local news events. I recall with fondness the kind neighborhood women who sent me home with a bags of Avon for my mother. I still have a silver dollar taped inside a card that Mrs Cady across the street gave me for my fifth birthday. It has remained in the bottom of a metal box for fifty-three years. 

An 1890 Silver Dollar I received in 1960

It is a prized possession and a constant reminder of the wonderful youth I enjoyed in a simple house with the dirt path out front. That silver dollar is a symbol of my past. One where playing outside was a twelve hour day, complete with scabby knees, splinter filled hands, and pine-pitched hair. Those were days when you quenched your thirst from the hot garden hose that lay twisted in the grass along the side of the house. The same days where the noon whistle signaled it was time for your friend to ask his mother if you could stay for lunch. Having a barn full of these memories has sustained me throughout my life.  I've tried not to pine about the past but to embrace what it provided me so that it might fuel my passion for the future. That is an important point. 

Mrs. Cady lived here in the 50's and 60's. 
Many times we get so wrapped up in trying to recreate the past we lose sight of the present joy beneath our feet. That's what growing up in a small country town provided me. It gave me solid ground on which to stand. It taught me to savor the tender moments. It showed me that small town support could help you endure the painful ones. I feel blessed that I grew up where and when I did. I am thankful everyday for the Greenfield in my life. 

This is just a small snippet of what I took away from growing up in a small town. Mrs. Cady left us long ago. The current residents of the home are unknown to me. I no longer live in Greenfield but I do live nearby and I enjoy driving through the village every chance I get. Here is a link to another post describing a visit to my childhood home last summer. The photo above was taken from the driveway of that home. 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, John. I love Mrs Cady's house. Those were special times. Not sure kids these days will have those same memories, which is sad.