Saturday, October 19, 2013

Within a few minutes, Bill came bounding into the lobby of McDonald Funeral Home. His persona filled the room. Despite not seeing each other for 25 years, he greeted me with a warm embrace and showed the same welcome to Cathleen. After introductions, Bill invited us over to his new home a block away. After a short walk down the street, we were sipping iced tea in Bill and Joy's living room.
As you can imagine, we had a lot to talk about! Bill told us that he is still involved in the family business, but that his son Ryan is now running most of the daily operations. Along with those responsibilities, Ryan and his family have now moved into the big old house directly next to the funeral home. Bill and Joy lived there along with Ryan and his siblings when we were walking across America back in 1987. The house was built before the Civil War.

Bill asked us if he could call the local newspaper to let them know that one of the Huffs was back in Centerville. I said, "Sure, I'd love to talk with them." Soon we were all standing on the sidewalk in front of McDonald Funeral Home talking with Bradley A. Martin, the editor of Centerville's Hickman County Times. The newspaper is published every Monday and serves a county of roughly 25,000 people. After a short interview and some photos, Cathleen and I said our farewell's and continued down the road. I really enjoyed catching up with the McDonald's after so many years. Cathleen and I will definitely keep in touch with them.

A few miles past Centerville, we came across the Natchez Trace Parkway. On our original walk, after completely a 4 mile segment, Mom and Dad had driven us a couple miles back in order to explore the historic parkway. The parkway is a beautiful stretch of land with green rolling hills and lush forests. A couple miles down the parkway was a section of the original Indian trail that can be walked on. So Dad and Mom had us all walk about an eighth of a mile on it.

Many times after my Grandparents had left us back in Eastern Arizona, we had benefited from the use of a car, not just for protection, but because it allowed us to see surrounding countryside and historic points of interest. This would not have been possible without the benefit of a car. The Natchez Trace Parkway was one such experience.