Friday, May 1

Mountain Spirit

Few days ago while on my way home from Lake Cumberland, I stopped to see a friend of mine that use to call his home Leslie County. He has since moved, not too far over the Clay County line into Laurel County. His name is Ben Creech and he always did right well with anything he tried, he had that mountain spirit. I can recall the days when Ben peddled green beans, and other home grown commodities from Leslie into Perry County. On this particular day Ben was making sorghum when I stopped to see him. Of course I brought a gallon home with me. The way Ben was making this sorghum was quite different from the days he had made them back in Leslie County. He had a modern crusher that was run by gas. I just couldn’t see it made that way without that old mule pulling that zig pole in a circle. Ben had pipe lines laid down to his pan with a faucet on them. He could turn the juice into it when he saw fit. Folks, believe me he had a roof over the pan, weather didn’t bother him about his molasses making. The only thing I could tell of the old time way of making them, was Ben sitting there constantly stirring. Of course this is one of the most important things they tell me of making sorghum, so I must agree that progress is being made even down to our sorghum procedure. Those lasses just tasted the same as far back as I can remember. Ben told me how many more gallons that he could turn out today with our modern machinery, than he could several years ago.

I can remember his mother, the meals I had at her home. She use to say Ross sop another biscuit, it would be either honey or sorghum. Fellows, I sopped them because any time you set down at Aunt Dora’s table you had to eat. I usually did not need any encouragement after a wet day afield. Uncle John, who was Aunt Dora’s husband would always want you to take something home from their place, anything from turnips to eggs. Sometimes I wonder if our times haven’t changed too fast. Especially for our oncoming generations. Maybe they could have been pushed too fast to really appreciate the old folks and the ways that they were raised. To me, it will always be hard to get away from my raising. I will never have any objections to the advancement of our youth. I would suggest that you be proud of your heritage and honor thy father and mother, they have made great sacrifices for you. 1957


  1. Roscoe, sopping was the best way of getting the biscuit and what was in the plate together. I still sop today, along with my children, whom I learned to sop, I guess by watching me all their lives. I grew up sopping gravy, honey, 'lasses, the juice left from my soupbeans, sopping was a way of life and as for me and my house, we still sop, sop, sop, to the very last drop of liquid on the plate. If you haven't tried it, let me invite you to join me in sopping. Don't laugh at us old timers til you try it!!!

  2. Did he skim while they were making sheeps eyes?
    It was fun for kids to gather around the pan and soak a piece of chewed can and dip it in the cooking.