Zella Olinger Recounted Simple and Worry Free Days

Zella Olinger Recounted Simple and Worry Free Days

In October of 1984 Zella Olinger recounted some of her memories on Walden’s Ridge. We have shared with you below her story in her own words.

When Springs went dry the neighbors on old Kiuka Road gathered at the lake on the C.Z. Taylor farm, brought their washpots to heat water, and washed their clothes, then boiled them after being washed on the old Washboard? The clothes were punched around with a broomstick and while they were boiling, and friends caught up on gossip.

We carried water up the hill for drinking, cooking and bathing. We cooked on the old wood stove with the “warming closet” which usually contained leftovers that were so good when we came home from school. The three-mile walk gave us a ravenous appetite. We came home from school and worked on the farm until dark.

We walked to the old Kiuka School, rain or shine, and never missed a day. The school was a one-room, eight grades affair with a round, pot-bellied stove stoked with coal by the teacher, Mary Moon, who walked from Morgan Springs to build a fire.

We cut our paper dolls from Sears-Roebuck catalogs. At Christmas time we made our own decorations from popcorn and holly berries and, if lucky, a little mistletoe.

We were pleased to hang our stockings on the mantle at Christmas Eve and find oranges, apples, and candy with a small toy on Christmas morning.

We made up our own games for pastime such as Drop the Handkerchief, Stealing Sticks, Baseball, and Ring Around the Rosy. We were happy because nobody had a lot.

The Will Jewell family was the only family to own a radio and the whole neighborhood gathered there on Saturday night to play Rook and listen to the radio.

Children were spanked for their own good when they were out of line. Floors were scrubbed with sand until they were white. Cokes were a nickel then and we could get lots of cheese and crackers at Thomison’s Grocery for a dime.

These were happy days with not so much to worry about and comradeship with each other in families and friends was something to really cherish.

Posted with permission from the publisher of the Herald News in Dayton. Original publish date was Wednesday, October 23, 1994 in the “Good Old Days” section.


Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

1 Comment

  • Jo A Cowden

    May 9, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Zella Olinger also wrote community happenings for the Dayton Herald. She was a wonderful woman.

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