This post continues a series using the Alphabet to go through streets that were significant in my life as part of the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. I am remembering living at 160 Sixth Avenue, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. We lived there for one year, I was 29 and Jim was 30. We had two daughters – Jilo, four and Ife, almost two. Jim was hired as director of the South Carolina office of the Emergency Land Fund, a group trying to stem the lose of Black Land. We moved from Atlanta, GA to Mt. Pleasant, SC. in October, 1974. His office was in Charleston. We were less than ten minutes from the ocean. For the first time, I was a “housewife”. I was a volunteer teacher with the children’s art program at the Charleston Museum. I learned how to drive. Got pregnant with our third daughter, Ayanna. In early November of 1975 the office was closed and we moved to Simpson County, Mississippi.
The man plowing the field next to our house with a mule. Spanish moss in the oak trees. The Angel Oak, over 1,000 years, with branches on the ground as big as tree trunks. The local people’s way of talking. Getting shrimp and flounder fresh off the fishing boats. Swimming in the Atlantic. Picking up a bucket of sand dollars. Celebrating Kwanzaa. The family with 5 daughters next door, and next to them, a family with 2 boys and 3 girls and all the children in the three houses playing together in spite of the age differences. Buying day old chicks and all of them dying within a month. My great garden in that silt. Having almost no outside of the house involvement. Feeling outside of the ‘world”. Jilo going to church with the kids next door. Jilo and Ife going trick or treating in their jackets because it was so cold. Taking the bus to Michigan to visit my family, with the kids. Going to St. Louis in the VW bug for our first William’s family reunion. Visitors from Atlanta and Detroit. The end of the War in Vietnam.
October 8, 1974
Hello Mommy and Henry,
Well, everything here is moving right along. Jim still likes his job. The house is pretty well cleaned up and unpacked, but I’ll be glad when we get the furniture from Nanny and Poppy’s. We would like the dining room stuff too, if it’s available. I have enclosed a layout of our house and some postcards of our scenic view (smile) The only bad part is – the car’s broken down. After Jim drove it from Atlanta, it broke down. He is going to get a used transmission for it. I hope that does it because nothing is within easy walking. There’s a bus into Charleston, but it’s a good walk. I hope you all will be able to get down to visit this winter before we’re back to our normal living conditions. (smile). I read this article in McCall’s telling parents not to worry about their weird kids because around 30 they settle down.. Can this be true???
I found where the people had their garden and plan to put some lettuce, greens etc. in next week. I will be glad when we can meet some people! More soon – WRITE!
A note from Ife (scribble scrabble)
P.S. I may come for a week early Nov. 21, more later.
For more about the Angel Oak, go to this post – Trip to Jekyll Island
10 thoughts on “S is for Sixth Avenue, Mt. Pleasant, SC”
I really love your collection of memories, and that tree is simply AMAZING.
It really is. I wrote more about it here http://findingeliza.com/archives/233 and there’s a link with more info at the end of that post. I’m glad you are enjoying the series. I can hardly believe I really have enough streets (and then some) to finish, but I do.
What an idyllic place to live–though it obviously also had challenges. I like the way you included the old letters–they so nicely juxtaposition the things that were going well with the challenges. I also lived in some interesting places far from family when I was young–and probably wrote similar letters.
In my 30s, after reading “Don Juan, A Yaqui Way of Knowledge” about living in the present and not dwelling on the past, I threw away all my accumulated letters from myself, my mother and my sister and friends. Threw them in a dumpster on the side of the highway. What a mistake that was! My way was to dwell in the past and the present. It was a real joy to find my mother had kept my letters so at least I had those. I do wish I had her letters to me.
I looked up your address on Google Maps to find out how close you were to the river, as I was just in Charleston earlier this year. Mt. Pleasant has changed so much, now that the old rickety Cooper River bridge has been replaced. The new bridge actually has a pedestrian walkway that seems to get regular runners and cyclists.
I put up a header that has a google map with the edge of the river and our house marked with an x. Looks like more houses are being built in the area between us and the river, which looks like a bad idea to me. When we were there I thought the bridge was ok! I was just starting to drive, at 29. I could always take the bus when we lived in the city. It was a long and curving bridge and if I’d thought it was rickety, I would have been terrified! I have a post card photo of it but didn’t scan to include.
I really loved your post. That tree is so amazing and you’ve written so beautifully about your memories.
Thank you Sharn. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I realized that I started reading your streets through the alphabet at letter O, so I’ve missed over half of the alphabet. I always enjoy them, so I’m going to have to go back and catch up on some I missed…. some lazy day.
Oh yes, you have about 14 posts you missed. And I think I have to do T this week.
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