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– Laurie Marshall

Laurie Marshall

Fayetteville, AR – Habberton Community

My grandmother Bernelle Louise (Wilson) Whillock was born in a house a half mile from this one in the early 1920s. Her daddy, Knox, was gifted a piece of the family farm, as were each of his 4 brothers, but he was the only one who didn’t build on his. Instead, when my grandmother was grown and raising five children of her own, she talked my grandfather into building a “cabin” on it for the weekends. It turned into a two-story, full-time house, whether grandpa liked it or not.

This house, built by my grandpa, Everett Whillock, overlooks the White River where it turns into Beaver Lake. It holds memories of Christmases in front of the huge stone fireplace, summer nights in the iron bed with box fans humming in the hallway and cicadas in the oak trees, painting faces on rocks while grandma painted clocks and spice cabinets to sell at War Eagle Craft Fair, homemade pie and canned tomatoes. The barn, and the dry creek, and the bluff and the bottom lands are the places of my most happy childhood memories.

When my mother died, she had only purchased the house from her mother’s estate a couple of years earlier, and none of us could afford a second mortgage, so the house and property were lost. I check real estate listings regularly, hoping I can have another chance one day.