EARLY BEGINNINGS

     Growing up in the small town of Travelers Rest, SC, there was not much. I was drinking coffee by the age of six. I would make my daily rounds to visit with our neighbors; none of whome were less than 75 years old.

     I would start my rounds drinking coffee with Ms. Dot, then next door was Mr. Edwards. I would stop by and read the paper with him and discuss finance. He always told me how many weeks it took him to save up to buy the Lincoln Town Car  in the front yard and how he would turn it into a brand new one every 11 months. What was I, like 6?

     There were two hardware stores. One was Martha’s and Paris Mountain Hardware located in the old Williams Hardware Store location. We had a little bitty dry cleaner, a pharmacy, a grocery store, and a Hardees. Bruce White owned the Bank of Travelers Rest, so there was rarely a reason to travel to Greenville except on special occasions.

     My Grandfather, Troy Sr., opened a restaurant after the great depression called “American Cafe”. My Dad began his career there in 1959 before eventually taking over ownership of the restaurant until the early 2000’s when it was sold to my cousin, Vickie Hawkins. All of my childhood memories revolve around the Whistle Stop at the American Cafe. Situated just 36 inches from the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the Whistle Stop is just part of the town’s revitalization since 2004. 

     My Grandmother, Lillian; was known as Mama-Styles. I do believe my sister Leanne and I were the only two of her over 20 grandchildren that called her Grandma instead. To everyone else, she was known as “The Pie Lady.” Everywhere I go, people tell me, “Boy, I wish I could have a piece of her pie right now!” She was famous for anything with meringue. The chocolate has to be the most talked about with coconut coming in at next most talked about. 

     Born in 1911 or 1912 (records were not kept), she never held a drivers license, married at just thirteen and raised five children while pushing out over ninety pies a week. She and my Grandfather had a love for eachother that couldn’t be interrupted. 

     My Great-Grandfather owned a mortage company called Mortage Co.. He sold it later in life and bought 60 acres on Jackson Grove Road in Travelers Rest and that was our family farm.