Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
Memories from deep childhood
Jonal entry 1071 | September 25 2008
The little video below was taken on my last evening in Blacklick Valley early this month, on Allie Buck Road in Cambria Township. Click here for a map showing the road across the middle section (indicated by the star), Nanty Glo in the left and Ebensburg on the right. Scroll down the linked page to see the map.
Though I didn't have as much time in Nanty Glo or Blacklick Township as I'd have liked on this year's visit, and hardly saw Ebensburg at all, when I left Nanty Glo that Thursday evening I felt constrained to head out Beulah Road, and when I got to the only paved spur off Beulah, which is now called Allie Buck Road, even though it was almost too dark to do any sightseeing I felt I had to turn up it, as well. Here our family lived in 1946-47, just one school year, at an old farm on what was then an un-named dirt road and infested by snakes of all kinds. Our nearest neighbors were Allie Buck and her husband, but their house was too far away to see from ours.
I had driven up this road only once before, several visits back, and was amazed at how it has been transformed, with all of the old farms gone and a smattering of beautiful houses and well trimmed yards and fields replacing them. There was no trace of our old white-shingled house or barn, and I had no idea where it might have been when I made that drive in full daylight. But because it was almost dark when I did the drive this time, ironically, it was easy to find its location. The site from which this one-minute video was taken is the only one on the road that offers this view, across the fields and woods toward Ebensburg, and I had soaked-in this view many times when I was four years old. The video fills in the rest of the story.
My father and I belong to the religion of Sikhism. We both wear the traditional turban and often encounter strange comments and questions. Once, in a restaurant, a child stared with amazement at my father. She finally got the courage to ask, "Are you a genie?"
Her mother, caught off guard, turned red in the face and apologized for the remark. But my dad took no offense and decided to humor the child.
He replied, "Why, yes I am. I can grant you three wishes."
The child's mother blurted out, "Really?"