February 1998

Roots run Deep...

This weekend I went back to Macclenny. For the first time in over 20 years I made the trip back to the place that has become such an integral part of my life. I walked down Main Street and remembered the great cherry cokes that Paul's Rexall Drugs used to serve. I looked across the road and for a fleeting moment could still see my Uncle, SL Drawdy, out in front of his Standard Oil station. Mostly though, I looked at the drive in teller windows of SouthTrust Bank. Years before, on that property, was the rambling old frame house that belonged to my grandmother, Mrs. Eula Powers.

Like most grandchildren, I thought my grandmother was one of the greatest woman on earth, still do. She had a tough life. Her husband died leaving her with two young children to raise and a big old "haunted" house to take care of. Her house and her town represent countless memories in a little boys mind that have intermingled to create an influence on the man that I have become.

I always loved Macclenny. In a childs eye it was grandmothers home town. A place where people were friendly and somewhat old fashioned. I remember sitting on my grandmothers porch waiving at folks as they drove by and marveling at the fact they always waived back. I remember the last time I came to Macclenny, back in 1976, to bury my grandmother. I remember standing at her grave in Woodlawn thinking that Macclenny would never be the same for me.

Her large house was moved, at least part of it anyway, to a tree shaded lot near the inter-state, overlooking the road that leads to Woodlawn. I still see my grandmother in that house. It is fitting that it is near her.

As I walked through Macclenny I found the same feelings that I had felt years before. People still waived. Time and progress have been kind to the place. The town still has character and charm. I guess it still has my legacy too.

I came back to Macclenny to attend the funeral of my Uncle SL, my grandmothers "special" brother. After his burial, I walked a few gravesites over to my grandmothers plot. The years melted away...

It was good to see you again, Macclenny; I'll be bringing my children up to meet you real soon!

David Gene Powers


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