Myra Ledford Cooper
I'm still having a hard time trying to find the words to describe my feelings about our Wonderful "Walk-Thru Atco" Sunday.
There were 9 of us,--Tom & Spike Page, with their dog Boy, Eddie Holcomb & his wife Beverly, Jackie Smith Hughes, Shearie Ledford Smith (my sister), Yvonne Mashburn Schmidt, and Me. We met at the picnic shelter at Rudy York Ball Field at 3, donned our "Atco Kid" Stickers that Yvonne made, and started walking from Clearwater St. to Goodyear Ave., talking, pointing, smiling, and laughing, Oh It Was Wonderful! Of course we had to stop there on the corner where the "Taxi Stand" once was, (What a Great feeling to talk about it while Actually Standing where it once Stood!). Then we went on up Goodyear Ave., crossed and headed up Mayflower St., then crossed onto Columbia St.
We were walking on the sidewalk and in the street,--- Those Residents probably thought we were Nuts, old Poots acting like Kids! As I looked towards 16 Columbia St. tears started welling up in my eyes and I got a big lump in my throat,( and I hope nobody noticed! ).
There on the walkway to the house was a man cooking on a grill and a small child standing on the porch, I WANTED TO RUN, WAVING MY HANDS, AND YELLING "I WANNA SHOW YOU SOMETHING IN YOUR HOME!!". Thank goodness I kept my excitement inside and kept my composure! (There is a closet in the living room and a pantry in the kitchen that my Step-Father paneled over in the early '70's. I have dreamed many times I got to go into the house and show the occupants where these were, but became disappointed when I awoke to find it was yet another dream).
The Woman of the House welcomed Shearie & me in with opened-arms, and I Did get to Show Her where these were! What a Blessing it was to see my old house being a Home once again, and there even is a small child running through it, just like I used to do! She even told us to feel free to come by for a casual visit anytime, and we could just sit and talk, This Really Touched My Heart!
We reached the end of Columbia St. and turned left onto Parmemter St., crossed over the other side and kept on walking and chattering like chipmunks! At the end of Parmemter, we turned right onto Wingfoot Trail, where we took another break, standing in the street pointing and reminiscing, then on to Ohio St. There, at J.C. and Osma Jackson's old place, Allison Amos and her Family were waiting to Welcome us into their home. Awaiting us was also Hot Coffee, Cold Water, A BATHROOM, and Even a Bowl of Water for "Boy", what can I say about that? We visited for a while in the kitchen, then began walking on down Ohio St., where we met the couple that lives in the Joe Jackson house--THE STORE! They were walking and chatting with Ohio St. resident Lynne. Again we stopped and talked.
We finally wound up back at Parmenter St., went left then right onto Defender St., all the way down to Clearwater St., heading back to our cars when Yvonne called us over to talk with Mr. Smith, who has lived on the corner of Puritan and Clearwater for over 30 years! We talked with him for a while, then finally made it back to the parking lot, shook hands, gave hugs, and departed the Village.
We did not go down every street, only the ones someone in the Group wanted to see. As our Annual Walk-Thru increases in number, the longer and even more Exciting the walk will be, and hopefully, we will Eventually Walk every Step in Our Village!
I intentionally left parts out, I wouldn't want to take anything away from Anyone else's Story!