Barnwell has changed a bit since I first saw it in 1978. My dad was considering a permanent position with Chemo Nuclear and my mom, brother and I came for a visit.
The office at the site was a trailer and Chem Nuclear had a road tech department that staffed outages. This is what my dad was doing for them.
Snelling had a couple local hangouts, Billy Moore's Store and Harry and Sarah's Bar which was small, crowded and friendly.
Barnwell had a world of places to shop in for a small town. Macks, Dollar Store, Staffords, BC Moore's, The Sundial,Factory Outlet and a place by the old post office. Much more choice than we have now.
We fell in love with this small town, dad took the job and we moved the summer of 1978 into Colony West.
In 1979 Harry and Sarah Rotz built a new bar and cafe across the street of what is now Moore Drive and later that year mom and dad bought it and renamed it Jack and Jeans.
It was neighborhood and family friendly, even the preacher came by for a lunch and coke.
Daily specials included Black Beans and Rice which became a local favorite once they tasted them. Mom and Dad's take on the Cuban dish we learned to love in Florida.
Mom often made Bisquick Pizza, Chicken Casseroles and Pepper Steak. These meals sold out so quick, people would call and reserve their lunch.
Jack and Jeans had two pool tables, a jukebox, bowling machine and the first PAC Man and Space Invaders games in the county.
Many a pocket full of quarters were spent in trying to beat those games. One of our biggest players was a gentle giant of a young man named Herbert Ingram who spent many quarters allowing my daughter Beth to play to her hearts content.
He and I were great friends and when my second daughter was born my family shielded me from his death as they knew I couldn't leave the hospital.
Herbert drowned nearly 37 years ago while trying to rescue someone at Lake Edgar Brown. This is the type of man he was. A sweet, kind and heroic soul.
Tonight as I sit here in the home my parents built from that empty bar they closed in 1981, I am surrounded by the memories of the people who passed through the door into our lives and helped shape who we are. Many are gone, some moved away but they left a piece of them here and in my heart.