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Moving Back

Moving Back

The trip north, in search of work, made by my grandparents was very eventful. Those good mountain people left the hills of northern Georgia, and headed for New Jersey where one of my grandfather’s brothers had previously moved. Several old Model-T trucks belonging to my grandparents and other family members were loaded to overflowing. Household goods and farm implements were tied on and they were off. A Model-T car that had already seen better days provided transportation for my grandmother and aunt and a couple of smaller children. The older boys held on for dear life wherever they could find a seat and hand-hold in the back of the trucks. The party was composed of my grandparents, one of “pop’s” brothers, three strapping pre-teen boys and my aunt who was only 6 years-old at the time. While stopped for lunch one day by the road-side in the mountains of North Carolina, they were accosted by a large group of men heavily armed with shot guns. That gun-toting group had mistaken the family for the John Dillinger gang from Chicago which was believed to be in the area. My father’s family was greatly relieved to find that the armed group were only G-men, Federal Agents. The family had stopped in an area of the country where it was not safe to be found in the vicinity of any man’s “white lightning” still. Many a “revenuer” lost his life in the Blue Ridge Mountains during those turbulent years while searching for illicit brewing sites. After being closely questioned, the family was finally allowed to continue on their way northward, toward jobs and rich, flat bottomland along the Delaware River. One of my grandfather’s older brothers had married earlier (to a sister of my grandmother) and settled on a productive farm near Woodstown, East of Salem, New Jersey. He had encouraged my grandfather to join him there. Since the two brothers had married sisters, it was deemed doubly attractive to make the move. So, packing up everything they could possibly carry, the family moved north – back toward where their ancestors had first arrived in America. Upon arriving in southern New Jersey, my grandparents found an apartment in Carneys Point, and my grandfather found work at the DuPont powder plant located there. Several years later they moved to the farm on the banks of the Delaware River where their children grew up, and their grandchildren spent their earliest years.

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