My father and mother were the Rev. G. Dewey Yeatts and Artie Watlington Yeatts. Our family lived in the 1930's on the Dry Fork Road at the east corner of what is now the I. H. Powell Road. We called it the Gold Mine Road.
I remember a Hupmobile that we owned. When we had to go places on it we usually had to push it to get it started. One day Mama told Daddy to go to the store which was a mile away. The store was located near the home of Oscar Stowe and was operated by him. It was a typical Depression-era country store. Only a few staple items, animal feed, and a gas hand pump were available. It was a good place for the men to sit and talk.
We kids, Elsie, Faye, Helen, Dail, and Alma, helped push the car. Our baby sister, Rachel, stayed at home with Mama. Harold rode in the car since he was too small to push. Daddy also helped push and would jump in the car when we got up some speed, put the transmission in gear and let out on the clutch to turn the motor. There was a long hill about half way to the store. All of us got in the car on the hill and Daddy jumped in with us all the way down to the bottom where we had to ford the Dixon Creek. Pushing the car up the next hill was pretty tough.
We did stop to rest at intervals and Daddy would take the gas line to the carburetor loose and have me blow in the gas tank to blow out any trash that might be lodged in the line.
We pushed that car all the way to the store and back home and it never started. I guess that is where the phrase “family car” got its title — it took the whole family to crank it!
The Hupmobile died soon after that pushing incident. Daddy finally got it started and was on his way to town when the radiator cap blew off. Steam and oil shot up in the air, covering the windshield. The car passed away on the side of the road and Daddy came home in a 1935 Dodge. Come to think of it, the Japanese might have sent it back to us in the form of bullets.
One more story concerning the Yeatts family: Grandpa Coleman Bennett Yeatts was held up by some men as he came back from selling tobacco in Danville just as you turn from the Dry Fork Road onto the Powell Road. The men had gloves on, their faces were mostly covered and the part that was showing had been blackened with soot or something to color it black. Grandpa said when they were moving him to the tree to tie him up their sleeves slipped up and he could tell they were white. He was tied to an oak tree and was able to get loose just before a storm came. They were never caught and our grandparents were without the money from the sale of their tobacco.
The Dewey and Artie Yeatts family, around the time of the above Hupmobile incident:
Along the Dry Fork Road
Clement: History of Pittsylvania County
Fitzgerald: Pittsylvania: Homes and People of the Past
Hurt: Eighteenth Century Landmarks of Pittsylvania County
Hurt: An Intimate History of the American Revolution in Pittsylvania County
Dodson: Footprints from the Old Survey Books
Byrd: Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina
Melton: Pittsylvania's Eighteenth-Century Grist Mills
Melton: Pittsylvania's Nineteenth-Century Grist Mills
Melton: Thirty-Nine Lashes, Well Laid On
Melton: Pittsylvania County's Historic Courthouse
Jones: Tales About People in a Small Town
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Copyright © 2004 S. Dail Yeatts.