Marcy S., age 16, Tennessee


Dear Diary — Cloudy when I woke up. Expected rain any minute. Daddy went to Sunday school and in the men’s class. Mrs. Spencer taught our class. Just a few there. Only 56 in Sunday school. 

Between Sunday school and church Ruth, Ella, and I walked down to Ruth’s house. Pan is visiting in Oneida. It was still cloudy but hadn’t rained. Ella said she liked my green dress. As we got back to the church Daddy and some others were talking to Miss Kilburn, my former Sunday school teacher when I was quite young (ahem!). We got reacquainted. Mr. Jones’s sermon was “Three in One,” about personalities, and was very good. 

After church I went down to Ruth’s house while she changed her clothes and got her lunch. When we left, mid “Be careful of snakes; don’t get lost, etcs.”, the sun was coming through the clouds. Quite warm. When we got home Mother said that Mary had come by to say they’d be a little late since she had to go home and fix her lunch. I changed my dress and helped Mother. Then I sat out on the porch with Ruth and read the paper. Mom and Dad ate lunch and teased us about having to wait for ours. 

We had just about given up hope when around the corner came Mary and William about 1:00. We piled in the back seat and after stopping for gas, were off. We drove out toward Oliver Springs. The scenery was so lovely under the cloudy sky. We teased Mary ’cause William wouldn’t let her drive and had fun. Then we turned off on another road and followed a rocky creek until we came to a sort of (artificial) cave under the mountains and a bridge and railroad nearby. 

We parked the car and got out to explore. We scrambled down by the trestle and the first thing that met our eyes was a big black snake in the muddy water of the creek. I uttered a shriek to warn the others and then we threw things at it and poked it till it took refuge under a bank of “creek weed.” Then we followed the stream along a path through jungle-like bushes and trees and at every step we expected to meet a snake. 

When it started to get too complicated we left it and came out on the road, which we followed back to the car. Not being ready to eat, however, we decided to walk the railroad. There were some cows strolling around but they hastily dispersed at sight of us (not that we blamed them). Once William saw a lizard and we all hurried to watch it. William, Ruth, and I were on one side of the rail while Mary was on the other. William poked at it with a stick until it shot out the other side, right at Mary. She screamed and jumped just in time. It raced down the bank. How we did tease Mary! 

Then Mary and I decided to do some more exploring, and, leaving Ruth  and William to walk the ties we scrambled down after the lizard and investigated the underbrush until Mary sighted something yellow jumping around down near the creek and she ran back with a shriek. I retreated also, but soon we bravely advanced and finally managed to cross the stream via rocks and after numerous scratches, etc. we reached an opening that led to the road far above. We thought we’d start a landslide but eventually with little harm done, reached the top. William and Rufus were exploring the safer regions near the car. 

We got soap and towels and went down to the stream to wash. Mary and Ruth went down this side of the trestle while William and I crossed it (with much dizziness on my part) and went down to somehow cross the stream and Willie arose to meet the situation by throwing rocks in and at last making a somewhat unsteady pathway at intervals across the water. I made a number of valiant attempts and finally with much squealing balancing and unbalancing, I managed to make a safe landing on the other side. It was then 2:30 and we were quite ready to eat. We set up our feast under the comparatively cool