Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

April 29, 2011

My Hometown — Stone Mountain

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Stone Mountain, GA –– my birthplace and hometown! Although I have not been a resident of Stone Mountain for many decades, it is still home to me! Our family moved some five miles from Stone Mountain when I was in the seventh grade. Yet, my formative and boyhood years were spent in this idyllic place. I believe very deeply that this place contributed much to my development.

This village was close in relationships. The families that lived there were genteel and people of culture. The entire community seemed like family. In fact, most of the town was family or such close friends that they were like family.

My maternal family settled there when the town was called New Gilbrater. Later the name was changed to Stone Mountain and chartered in 1847. The McCurdy family was deeply involved in the city. My grandfather had owned the bank and lumber yard. Uncles and Aunts owned the service station and tea room. My uncles were the doctors and attorney. Extended family owned the car dealership, furniture store, and appliance store. Others were quarry foreman and minister. Obviously, as a boy I could not go anywhere without meeting the family. And when you consider all the other extended family and neighbors, I was always under a watchful eye. This imbedded within me a sense of accountability for my behaviour.

This environment provided a safe world for me. Family reunions were rare since we all saw one another every day. I have often remarked that in these surroundings I had the perfect childhood. Very little could occur in our village without our knowledge. Most folks going to town passed by our house. Our home was at the top of Main Street, just four houses from the first business in the village. I could be called a city-boy except for the fact that we had two large gardens, cows, pigs, chickens, and goats. We had many fruit trees and several wells. Ice was delivered every morning for our ice box on the back porch. There was a good bit of country in the city!

In addition to the chores that were required, I sought to earn some money. There were jobs such as cleaning ashes from neighbors fire places and filling the coal bins. I sold vegetables, had a coke and bread stand, a paper route, and delivered Special Delivery letters for the Post Office. (Can you imagine a 11-year old boy having that privilege?) Most of these were possible because of a trust factor that existed through relationships.

From the top of the hill down to the village we could ride our home-built racers. When a mule and wagon would pass, we would often hop on the back of the wagon and ride the block to town just for fun. If someone offered you a ride in their car, there was no hesitation because you knew everyone. Again, there was a freedom and neighborly spirit that is only reminiscent of the years past. But all this certainly provided for a childhood that many of us would desire for children today.

I know without doubt that the years of development and growth in a village like Stone Mountain contributed so positively to my life. I am not sure we could ever return to such, but I know that the values that we desire for our children and grandchildren do not have to be determined by the village. Although a former First Lady believed that it takes a village to raise a child, I would say that a village can only contribute greatly. But it is the home where true development of character and values are formed. We can and must return to a positive environment in the home. The home must be the primary place of development for values, ethics, morality, and spirituality. The villages, towns, and cities of today do not seem to provide the positive environment needed. Thus we must look to the home and family.

I was blessed to have both the family, community, and church in my development. I believe in the difficult world in which our children and youth must live, every child needs the home. A home of Christian values and committment. A Christ-centered home. No matter what the environment in the town, a child can mature and develop to be a person of wholeness, both mentally, physically, and spiritually if the foundation and example is found in the home.

“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6)   “And all your children will be taught of the Lord and great will be your children’s peace. (Isaiah 54:13)




  1. We as your congregation have surely been blessed by your upbringing as well as you know doubt have been. It has helped you become the wonderful Pastor/Teacher that you are. We would all do well to remember that though these times are not always what we would wish to have, they are God’s times. Through His Grace, we can anything.

    Comment by Rebecca Emery — April 29, 2011 @ 6:44 am | Reply

  2. Most of the times i visit a blog I notice that most blogs are amateurish. On the other hand,I could assuredly say that you writting is decent and your website solid.

    Comment by Zane Remy — April 29, 2011 @ 8:56 am | Reply

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