“It all starts with the home,” says Charlie Lavinder. Charlie is a farmer from the Back Creek area of
On October 28, 2006, Charlie and several other market vendors agreed to meet with a group of fifth grade students from Bonsack,
Charlie, initially, was hesitant to meet with the students. Apparently, however, he had a change of heart. Another vendor, Jack the Egg Man, reported to our teacher leader as we began to gather for the event that Charlie must have had a change of heart, because his booth, filled with a wide selection of old-time apple varieties, was looking awfully spruced up.
When the kids approached Charlie, he broke in to a wide grin and welcomed them with open arms. He seemed to be almost magically animated. I found out later that Charlie, born and raised in the Back Creek area of
He talked a lot about the way things used to be on the Market; the old cars, old movie theaters, old people; times long past. After he spoke with the kids for about fifteen minutes, I had the opportunity to just chat with him about stuff. I found Charlie to be quite knowledgeable. He’s a bit of a community activist. He’s very concerned that the land in his area is being swallowed up by new McMansion homes (my term…not his). He fears that many of the old, tried and true ways are being lost and are not being passed on to the fresh generation. That’s why he chose to speak with our kids, I think.
Charlie and the gang
Charlie is concerned that the old Back Creek elementary school is in danger of being torn down and rebuilt. He was a student in the current building back in 1937 when it first opened, and he has personally checked out the structure of the school, determining that it is a very sound structure. He’s afraid that if the county determines that the old school should be replaced, some of the defining history of that beautiful area of
From his childhood, Charlie remembers well when they built Back Creek along with Southview,
In the end, Charlie gave each of the kids a nice, shiny red delicious apple. He told us that the apples were from an old red delicious tree that he and his daddy planted forty years ago. He said that while modern red delicious apples that you get at Kroger may have gotten bigger and bigger, they don’t taste near as good as his smaller apples.
That seemed to be the lesson that Charlie was trying to share with all of us. Just because something is new, doesn’t make it better. He’s afraid that we are losing something important from the fabric of our country and behind his welcoming smile, a twinge of sadness lurks. Perhaps the children who visited the market in
Pippins from Charlie's display
The gang interviewing Mark Woods. Mark was a key in getting other vendors to participate.
Mark with the gang