Patrick begins this 2011 recording with thoughts of how to tell his life story and finishes with the way his mom encountered her husband’s mistress. A maroon 1946 Ford is also mentioned.
Patrick: I start telling what… let’s see…. If grandchildren were interested… I’d start telling from the first thing I can remember, and then if there are questions along the way, answer them. Otherwise I’m sort of like…. Well, I could do that. I keep thinking I was going to write it down. I start it off, then I get… mmmmmm….
JP: It’s easy to…. And the same is true about conversation. You wander unto uncharted territory sometimes but…
Patrick: You know I’ve thought of several ways of…. One, of all the houses I’ve ever lived in. That’s one way to go. All the neighbors I can remember, that’s another way to go. All the cars I have owned, that’s another way to do it. Yea.
JP: I’ve always measured time by who I was with at the time.
JP: And what rallies I have competed in, or what races I went to, but that only goes back to 1988.
Patrick: Yep! Red Star, West Virginia is where my mother and father were living when I was born. It’s a town about the size of my house.
JP: Room for four!
Patrick: Mom sent me an article in a newspaper two years before she died. It’s about that house, which is now considered a haunted house, on the side of a hill, with a red star. It’s very near where my grandfather was… ah….. He worked for the railroad. In his job he had a long ball peen hammer. You walk up on one side of the train and tap every wheel. If it goes “clunk” it’s a dead wheel. If it’s “ping” you keep going.
Patrick: The name of that little town always slips me, but we went there, Stephanie and I went there, right there on the river. There was a church in that little town that my grandfather set up. When I went there years ago there was still a mural, a painted mural, that my father had done of the town when he was a young man. [Years later] We tried to get in when Jack and Sue and I went there, and that mural is not there anymore. It was a painted and drawn on paper, I think. Might not have lasted.
Patrick: I remember when I was there, I guess it was in the sixties, Where the hell was I? Red Star… my father had walk ten miles to work, carrying a tool kit. He said it was ten miles but I looked it up the other day. It doesn’t look like ten miles. I think it’s more like three!
JP: Maybe it felt like ten.
Patrick: Especially in the middle of the winter. He was making forms for the… you know the cement highways during the WPA works projects.
Patrick: So, I was born in the Oak Hill Hospital actually, although they lived in Red Star.
JP: Were Jack and Sue also born in that same hospital?
Patrick: Don’t know…. probably. Dr. Puckett.
JP: And the family left West Virginia when you were sixteen to follow his, his affair?
Patrick: Well, everybody was leaving… for work, because after the war the coal mines were losing… and the building industry was dying.
Patrick: Building… for a company, the Oak Hill Lumber Company, he was the foreman. And no more work. It still got the same population right now as it was when we left, about 400.
Patrick: So, we left… First one of his brothers went down as a plumber to Winter Park, Florida. And then another brother went down, he was an electrician. And then my father went down…
Patrick: As a carpenter. They all got into that industry. And Grandfather had been going for years to Kissimmee, because he had a free pass from the railroad.
JP: I thought that you had told me or maybe it was Little Grandmother who told me that, that he had, you know, he had a woman on the side….
Patrick: He took a woman down with him before he took us down.
Patrick: But on the lake, she lived on the Lake Viola. I went there with mom who went in the house and slapped her face and got out. She came running off that porch, crying, and zoomed off in a ’46 Ford, maroon.
JP: Oh wow!
Patrick: I never saw the woman, but mom said “No, not even pretty. She looked ugly.” Of course, that’s not what people go by.
JP: That’s right.
Patrick: It’s what’s inside and what happens between you.
Recorded 16 Nov 2011 on Mallorca in Spain. 111116-163816-growing-up-in-wva.mp3 transcribed by Chantal.
I’m the son of Patrick of Meadows.