Wednesday, May 21, 2014


It's homecoming
at Many Forks Baptist Church.
Folks come from miles
to meet and decorate

the graves of loved ones.
The sun ricochets through
pine trees, old timers lift
hymns in the country church.

Kin folks congregate
under the oaks, spread
Aunt Dot with her walnut cake,

Cousin Frances stirs potato salad,
the tables are loaded
with all kinds of food,
nephews break the wish bone.

Aunt Mary Lou jokes
with the Henderson boys.
Uncle George places flags
on the graves of soldiers.

It's a yearly get-together,
a time to share memories
of laughter and tears,
a family gathering at Gum Log.
                    --Brenda Kay Ledford

One of the best parts of homecoming is dinner-on-the-grounds.  Before the fellowship hall was built, folks would spread their food on tables built under the giant shade trees.  As you can see, the mountain women "put on the dog" with bringing food to homecoming.

This is the Ridgeway Singers.  Many gospel groups perform during homecoming.


lil red hen said...

Oh I know this must have been a wonderful meeting! I love good gospel music! Decoration day, as we called it, was more special than any day other than Christmas, when I was a little girl. That's when we would get a new dress and I'd pick wildflowers to put on my grandfather's grave, although he died before I was born.

magnoliasntea said...

Love the descriptive verses. Homecomings are such nice events. I'd like to have seen the tables laden with food. That banana pudding trifle looks great.

NCmountainwoman said...

I remember homecoming when I was a child. All that delicious food. And my mother embarrassing me by pointing to various dishes to ask "who brought that?" and then passing if she felt the cook did not "keep a clean kitchen."

Daisy said...

I like your poem, Brenda. That table full of food looks so good, especially that cake! Very nice post. :)

Muddling Through said...

Oh, Brenda, that looks like such a good time, and the food - oh my - looks delicious!


Wonderful work!! I'll have a piece of that walnut cake please.

Anonymous said...

Homecoming is always a great time. I fondly remember each lady's special recipe!

TexWisGirl said...

what a great piece of americana you captured.

janet smart said...

Sounds like a great time! I love those old time gatherings.

Susie Swanson said...

Love your poem and it describes it so well. I remember those days so well and still participate in the get togethers and Decoration. I have so many fond memories of it. Happy Memorial Day to you and your mother.

Betsy Adams said...

I loved the old homecomings at the various churches around the country... I remember one time when I was in my college choir. We made lots of trips to churches around the area to give concerts... One time, we attended one of the church's homecomings... The thing I remember the most was all of the GREAT food we had that day... ha


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