Forever And A DayBlock Number: H 8
Hicks Family Joins Rural Heritage Trail
By Ginger Todd
On April 22, 2013, Lamar and Dawn Hicks joined the Rural Heritage Trail with the installation of a 6 by 6-foot quilt block on the front side of their barn.
Some time back they had read in The McDowell News about the opportunity to host a block funded through a grant on qualifying farm structures. After conversations with Quilt Trail personnel and submitting an application, their barn was chosen as a suitable site for a block to preserve and promote the rural history of McDowell County.
Dawn still has a quilt her grandmother handmade years ago and although the traditional star within a star pattern is represented in the blocks square, the colors are not. The Hicks wanted the colors of the block to be vibrant and the details to stand out as seen from the highway. They spent quite some time in choosing and deciding on the multiple and various shades of color for each of the eight points of the star.
At first glance it may appear as a single star, but there are actually two stars within the larger one, all of different hues and intricate designs. To further emphasize the harmony of colors they added details such as a double border around the square and accents on each of the four corners.
The barn sits on acreage that Lamar inherited from his maternal grandparents, Erwin and Juanita Setzer. A property deed indicates that the Setzers, native of McDowell County, purchased the home and farmland from a "Doc" Johnson in 1939. The barn, now more than 75 years old, was used mainly to house horses and hay. The working farm included a chicken coop, pig pen and milk cows. They raised hay and corn for livestock feed and of course had a large vegetable garden. The original home has been remodeled and added on to over the years but Lamar has "tons of memories" growing up as a youngster when he would go visit his grandparents farm along with his parents, Albert and Jean Hicks, often helping out with some of the farm work.
In the past, the Hicks have rented out the pasture for cattle, but now it is used to raise field hay, producing around 900 bales last year. Present livestock consists of their dog Bella, a donkey with the name of Buddy and a very pregnant cat names Miles. They plan on purchasing goats in the future to aid in keeping the grass around the barn cropped and serve as company to Buddy. The barn walls are adorned with various road signs and placards and even an old bat house, adding to its time-weathered charm.
The block, No. 8 on the McDowell Rural Heritage Trail, is at 7817 U.S. 70 West, and is easily seen on the barn located behind the home. The blocks name stems from a fond expression Dawn and Lamar always penned on cards to each other back when they were dating: "Forever And A Day." Trail volunteers Jack Raker, Alan Scholl and Mike Lucas affixed the quilt block to the barn on the square. Chairwoman Jill Lucas presented the Certificate of Authenticity to Lamar, Dawn and their daughter Adelyn, a second-grade cheerleader at Old Fort Elementary School