The ladies of Lydia had an impact on many children

In my last article, there was mention of the old rail yard in Clinton, but I did not say anything about the trains themselves. A couple of years ago, I wrote about the trains, which passed through Clinton, and I mentioned some sure-enough authorities on the trains. There were a couple of gentlemen in Clinton for many years who knew more about trains than I ever will know. These knowledgeable men were Mr. Joe McDaniel, who operated Joe’s Esso where Dr. Gill Thomas is today, Mr. William Cannon, who was a professor at PC for many years, and his brother, who was married to Miss Georgia Bee Cannon. These men were fascinating to talk to about locomotives and trains in general. I remember the old steam locomotives coming past the Lydia village and how the black smoke would billow from their smoke stacks. I also remember how the wind would carry the soot-laden smoke from the locomotives up through the lower end of the village and settle onto the grass. The same grass, which us youngsters would play on and embed the soot into our clothing. This created a task for many mamas of the village trying to get the youngsters’ clothes clean. Back when the steam locomotives were running, there were hardly any automatic washing machines in the Lydia homes, but just about every home and mama had an old ringer type washer. Many times when I wanted to be outside playing ball or other activities, I would have to help my (our) mama operate the ringer washer. There was nothing fancy about the old washers, but with the help of Tide washing powder, of which our mama thought there were no equal, and the old washers, mama got our clothes clean. I do not remember when the old locomotives stopped running and were replaced by the newer diesel engineers, but I always enjoyed seeking the old “iron horses” roll past Lydia. In my last article, I wrote about the death of Mrs. Calvin Cooper and how much I appreciated her and her husband, Calvin, and how much us young and old villagers respected them. There were some other ladies at the Lydia who were also respected and loved by us young villagers, and I would like to mention some of them. A couple of these ladies were active in the young lives at the Lydia Baptist Church and they were Mrs. Emory (Flo Emery Wilson’s mama), Mrs. Clyde Trammel, who gathered the Lydia news for The Clinton Chronicle for many years, Mrs. Whitmire, “Big Mama’s” (Roger) mama, Mrs. J.T. Lanford, who worked with the Lydia Cub Scouts for years, and a lady who every child at Lydia knew and loved, Mrs. Cecil McLendon (Lib). Lib worked at the company store and helped raise just about every child in that village. In closing, I would like to mention two other ladies who worked in the store office, and one of the ladies was also the granddaughter of the founder of the mill at Lydia. Mrs. Belle Howard, who later became the wife of “Moe” Fallaw, was one of these ladies and the other one, the granddaughter, who would be in the office at times, was Mrs. Lucy Marshall. Each one of the mentioned ladies touched the lives of many of the village youngsters, and for that touching of my life, I will always be thankful and blessed. Still remembering, (Tommy Kitchens lives in Clinton.)

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902


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