Friendsville, TN

"Town on Three Hills"

How could a place called Friendsville not be a place full of nice people? (Credit: Mitsy Stooksbury)

I thought I had been sent to heaven when we moved to Friendsville. I had never lived out in the country before or where neighbors shared random acts of kindness with each other. Friendsville is a place where you want to raise your kids or retire until your last day on Earth.

In 1972,  my family started up an egg farm with 100,000 hens laying eggs. When we moved to Friendsville, I had never lived in such a little ol’ town that took up all of three miles. There was a dairy farm right up the road, so naturally we traded milk for eggs. My mother decided to plant an acre of potatoes one summer. I reckon she didn’t think about how we would get them out of the ground! Every evening at supper time, she would send me with a bowl and a big spoon to get potatoes to eat. One time, my dairy friend saw me gathering some potatoes. I reckon he felt sorry for me because a few minutes later he came driving down the road with a disc plow attached to his tractor. We didn’t stop until the whole acre was full of taters everywhere! He even helped us gather them and put them in an old dilapidated garage on the property. I gave him the biggest hug I could muster and insisted he have supper with us. The house we lived in was almost two hundred years old, but it was home to me!

I know some people will laugh at this, but I had to walk a little over a mile to catch the bus all nestled in the big red barn at 6:00 AM during the week. The lady of that house made sure we always got a stack cake for Christmas.

Even though my stepfather worked long, hard days, the owner neglected to pay him sometimes, so we didn’t have much. I remember I didn’t have too much by way of clothes. I only remember going to church in the same dress every Sunday and to school at least twice a week. This girl, Mary, came to school one day toting a big white box. She set it on my desk and told me to open it.  I tore into that box like it was Christmas and when I saw the gift tears began to form in my eyes. I was speechless. I took it out of the box and held it up.  It was the most beautiful dress I had ever seen. I cried as she said, “You only have one dress and I have three. Now we both have two dresses!” I will never forget that special day. Friendsville has left footprints on my heart!