Memories From The Past
As a child, you often see someone and know nothing of the person. From the mid-1940’s into the mid-1950’s many of us saw Troy Busick around Lynn Garden. We only knew Troy as a shuffling figure in oversized overalls, rough brogan shoes, an ill-fitting old suit coat in mild weather and an old mackinaw jacket in the colder weather. The hat was always the same, a mis-shapen old gray felt fedora. I do not ever remember seeing Troy with a clean shave. Usually he sported what looked to be a three-day or more growth.
Most times we would see Troy walking up May
Street on his way home at Cherry Hill.
Usually he would be carrying a gunny sack, sometimes empty,
sometimes with some unknown object as evidenced by mysterious shapes in
the sack over his shoulder.
Usually when a group of boys were near
where Troy was passing, someone would dare another to shout
‘Bang-Bang’ at Troy. The
one accepting the dare would then run up close and shout ‘Bang-Bang’
loudly at Troy. This would
bring about a change in which Troy would become very agitated and make
threatening motions and sounds to his antagonist.
This in turn would bring about laughter from the crowd of young
At other times, someone driving up the street
would stop and offer Troy a ride. His
answer was always the same; “Buff-Buff, I’m in a hurry, I’ll
walk”. The “Buff-Buff”
was a hoarse cough Troy always preceded a sentence with.
It was not until the mid-1950’s that I
learned the reason for Troy’s sever reaction to “Bang-Bang” and his
hoarse cough preceding his speaking.
It was about this time that my granddad
told me that Troy had been in the Army during World War I.
While serving in France, he was caught in an artillery bombardment
and gassed in the trenches. From
this incident, he became shell-shocked and was left with lung damage from
It was much later that I was to learn that
in the Cherry Hill tornado of March 1933, that Troy’s wife and four year
old son were severely injured. His
mother and step-father were also severely injured, with his step-father
dying. His mother passed away
a couple of years later in 1935.
After graduation and then returning home in
the fall of 1959, I have no recollection of seeing Troy around Lynn
Garden. I don’t know if he
passed away, moved away or what might have happened.
Addendum: Troy was born in Wise County, Va., 1893, a son of Robert D. and Eliza Busick. Troy was living in Hawkins County, Tenn. before WW I.
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