The Hills Keep Calling Me

It was a beautiful day on September 3, 1933 on the family farm located in Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania. Four kids lived there with their parents Clarence F. and Vera A. Turner along with the latter’s in-laws Oscar and Rebecca Turner. No doubt at least two of the kids had been sent to live with their other grandmother, Nettie Bennett for a few days to keep them out of the way while Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Turner awaited the grand event. That event was my birth weighing in at over nine pounds, probably brought into this world with the only the help of my Grandmother Turner acting as a mid wife. Seventy seven years later that sounds bizarre but in 1933 Grandmother Turner could probably boast of having performed that job several times including the birth of my then four older siblings and then twice more with the two who would follow.

It was there on that hilltop that I learned to tread in the footsteps of my ancestors, the same ancestors who came there in about1815 to carve a homestead out of a forest. Where and how did they live while they toiled to build a home, till and sow, reap the harvest and build those magnificent stone walls that will outlast the finest structures of the ancient Romans? Five generations before me held onto that land before my generation let it go after nearly 200 years of continuous ownership. It was hard to let go! I am reminded of the observation made by the writer Garcia Marquez who wrote “that when a newborn holds the thumb of his father he holds it forever”. And now, in the back nine of life that hilltop still calls my name but I cannot answer.

Give thanks to the Historical Society of Pleasant Mount for their efforts to memorialize the lives of those who have lived in our community.

Clarence J. Turner

The writer is a 1951 graduate of Pleasant Mount High School, the University of Alabama in 1959 and holds a Certificate in Real Estate awarded by UCLA in 1967. He and his wife Janice live in Newport Beach, California

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