Memories of times with Charles

Published 5:55 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

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Charles Adams’ daddy, Sam Adams, and my grandmother, Minnie Adams, hung on the same family tree. So, that put Charles and me hanging on one of the outer branches. 

In adulthood, we often shared a big bag of boiled peanuts on the way to visit Mr. Pugh Windham at his woodworking shed. Charles and Mary would often invite me to “help out” at the Craftsmen’s Fair in Gatlinburg.

We had great adventures. Crossing the mountains with Charles at the wheel was white-knuckle time. We went on picnics on every hill and in every hollow. We stopped to cool our feet in cold mountain streams. We sneaked into fields, borrowed watermelons, “busted” them on the ground and ate them by hand. We ate at every road house and gas station “restaurant” in sight. Once we drove to Knoxville to eat at Tennessee’s oldest steak house. Charles ushered us in front of folks that had been waiting in line for hours, with two words: “government officials.”

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No matter where we went or the time, we ended up at the Bush Bean Factory.

We got so lost once that we got in such a tight spot we had to back down the mountain.

Many times, we would just sit on the porch, look at the stars, tell stories or go inside and watch late-night television and eat whatever was in the “icebox.” Too many times my car had to be push-cranked. Once Charles called a tow truck and put me on it with two men from Deliverance. We glorified in cookouts at the Adams’ cabin in Texasville and in playing chicken scratch on the big, open porch. 

The most special times were just sitting there in the store swiggin’ down a short co-colas from the ice box and eating boiled peanuts.

One day Charles got up and handed me an angel, a little dumpy one with frizzy hair. “That’s you,” Charles said. “Why am I not pretty like Betty Wag’s angel?”’

“Because you didn’t pay for it,” Charles said without even a hint of smile.

Charles liked to talk about old times, especially about his daddy, Sam. We would laugh about Sam’s antics and how cantankerous he and my granny were. A trait that is passed down through the Adams family. Most every conversation ended with Charles saying, “I want you to write a book about me, Sam and David and the store.

“I can’t write a book!”

TroyFest is this weekend and, for the first time in my memory, Charles won’t be there. In remembrance of Charles Adams and his commitment to the arts and to TroyFest, this remembrance is not the book he wanted, just bits and pieces from the gathering of it. I miss him.