Each spring as all the beautiful tulips, dogwoods, forsythia, and redbuds start blooming, I always think of Ina Bryan, who lived a wonderful life in WearsValley and definitely had one of the prettiest flower gardens around. I enjoyed Ina’s always blooming flowers, as did everyone else who drove up and down Bryan Road. There is a stop sign in front of her house at the intersection with Valley View Road, meant for vehicular traffic, but I tell you, any person in his right mind would have stopped there anyway—stop sign or no stop sign– just so they could enjoy the vibrant colors and orderliness of the Bryans’ yard.
Miss Ina was always working out in the flower or vegetable garden. When I had time I would pull into her driveway and enjoy time with her as she worked. It seemed as if Ina had always been in that one spot; she and the flowers were a natural part of the landscape.
One day I asked her, “Miss Ina, what is it like to have always lived here in WearsValley?” She quickly answered me, “Oh, honey, I didn’t grow up in the Valley.” Well, that surprised me. She looked like a WearsValley native, talked like a WearsValley native, so in my mind, must have been one.
“No?” I questioned. “You didn’t grow up here?”
“Oh, no,” she replied. “I grew up in Happy Holler.”
Now if anyone knows the roads of WearsValley, you will know that Happy Hollow Road is a major county road. To reach the Homestead development or The Preserve or Hickory Hollow, you must travel up Happy Hollow Road. To me, Happy Hollow is a part of WearsValley, but obviously it is not to the people who grew up in the Holler.
What I had not considered in Ina’s answer is the fact that just a few years ago, Happy Hollow and WearsValley were two separate and distinct communities. Only in the past few years has the Valley area expanded. Fifty years ago, there were still very few cars here. Travel was still primarily by foot or on horseback. Communities were primarily self-sustaining. And even though two communities may have been only a short distance apart, they were still very separate and distinct, and the residents of each seldom came in daily contact with each other.
Thankfully, a Valley boy and a Holler girl did meet. Young W. B. Bryan of WearsValley found his lovely young bride Ina back in the woods of Happy Holler. He married her, brought her to live on his family land on Bryan Road in the Valley, and they lived happily ever after there for 45 years in a pretty white house with beautiful flowers blooming all around. There are still pretty flowers in the yard, but that flower garden has just not been the same without Miss Ina over the past six years.