Thursday, February 08, 2007


Does anyone out there remember the Mockingbird Trailer Park (Court), in Florence, Alabama, that was a thriving community in the late 50s and early 60s? I think Fred Bevis owned the court and all the surrounding land.

I doubt anyone comes forward; it has been too long ago, and I was by the area not too long ago and it is not there – just some condos.

My family moved there when I was in the sixth grade, probably 1958 or so, and back again in 1961, when I was a sophomore. My dad and most of the families that lived there worked at either Wilson or Wheeler Dams, or the Colbert Fossil Plant for TVA.

The first time, the trailer park was brand-new and a very exciting place to live. The park had its own grocery store and gas station, barber and beauty shops, a laundry mat, a park with picnic tables, swings and slides, and a swimming pool.

The trailer spaces we evenly spaced and had concrete runways with high-wind tie down anchors for each house trailer. There was a little grassy yard in front, convenient water, sewer, and power hookups.

This was the best trailer park that we ever lived in and it holds fond memories for my entire family.

I learned to swim in the pool, play Marco Polo, do fancy dives, and bond with several kids my age.

I remember that once a pipeline installing crew moved temporarily into the park, only staying a few weeks, and my dad caught one of the dirty crewmembers bathing in the pool. My dad chewed on the guy pretty good, telling him that “my kid swims in that water” and that it was not for bathing! It never happened again.

I remember that a Mockingbird lived in a cedar tree near the pump and filter that would swoop down and pull your hair if you got too close to its nest in the spring. I hated that bird and tried unsuccessfully several times to kill it.

The owner’s son was the unofficial lifeguard and in charge of the pool. He organized a spring clean-up crew every year to bleach and paint the pool and get it ready for summer. I enjoyed this work and learned a lot about organization and delegation of duties from this Florence State student.

I also remember they used to put a railroad tie in the water to keep it from freezing during the winter. I once found something else floating in that water…a baseball glove my maternal grandfather gave me for my twelfth birthday. I still have the glove, but it was never quite the same after the thief tossed it.

It snowed that first winter, yes, even in Alabama, and I loved it! I did not want anyone walking through my yard and making it melt. I attributed footprints to aiding the snow to melt, and protected it from the other kids. They saw that I had a sore spot and picked at me, threatened to run through the yard, and when I made a snowball, they ganged up on me and began pelting me some of their own.

Not to be out done, I loaded my next round with a core of rocks. As soon as they started across the yard I threw as hard as I could – and missed!

“Crack!” The snowball hit our living room window and the rock continued inside.

My dad was immediately out the door and into the yard. “Who threw that,” he demanded. “Tell me!”

I looked around, but everyone else had long since disappeared. “I did sir,” I said, my lips already beginning to quiver.

There was the familiar sound of leather slithering from grey khaki work pant loops, and me already whimpering “No daddy! I didn’t mean to! They were in the yard, daddy, messing up the snow! Please daddy! Momma!”

That night I learned that I did not own the yard or the snow in it – daddy did! However, I became the proud new owner of a large living room window.


Goddess said...

It's always a sad day for me when a trailer park is replaced by CONDOS! *bleeech* Just saying the word "condo" leaves a nasty taste in my mouth;)

Oh and I joined BlogLog, but I didn't know you could import that "valued readers" thingy....hmm, I'm gonna try that;) Translation: I'll be hitting you up via email if it doesn't work for me...LOL!

michele said...

I don't remember that particular trailer park, but know just what you are talking about, since I grew up in a trailer park in southern Louisiana! We had our own little 'pack' of kids, games and adventures! Those were the days, my friend!

EC said...

Can't say I remember the trailer park but I sure do remember that leather sound :) I too broke a window once - what fun that was (said with much sarcasm)

Les Becker said...

I wanna know how you managed to pay for the window!

Mushy said...

Les - gave up allowances for a while I suppose. Probably didn't buy it in total, but he made seem like I did for ages.

Fathairybastard said...

Place sounds cool as hell. Brings memories of being a kid and living on base, going to the BX to look for comics or records (45s) and swimming in the pool in the summer. When you said you'd found somethin' in the pool, I was sure you were gonna say turd. Once, about '69, I had a great new book on dinosaurs that my folks had bought me. I made the mistake of taking it outside, and some bastard stole and threw into the sewer. People suck. Yet another great post.

BRUNO said...

Don't overload your "memory circuits" too much while you're in 'Bama the next few! If possible, you may even ENJOY yourself...!

bozette said...

Sorry I haven't been bye in a while I have been in bed sick.

Mark Steel said...

Just like the good ol' days. I dunno what's wrong with these spoiled, over-privileged kids these days.

Oh, wait, yeah, I do, too ... their parents grew up like that, and didn't wanna spank their kids, and wanted to give them everything they had to pay for . . .

Like new living room windows.

*shakes head* ;-)

Mushy said...

Thanks for the first visit Mark!