Monday, June 29

3000 Miles From Big Bottom

My Uncle Matt Horn worked at the old Water Plant that sat near the bridge that spanned the North Fork of the Kentucky River taking you from East Main to Woodland Park. I spent so much of my summers there playing in the grass, and just sitting with Uncle and Auntie listening to stories they would tell me.

This little incident happened on one of the days that I was going to the Water Plant to visit with Uncle Matt and take his supper. Aunt Laura always fixed him a hot supper and I would put it in my basket that was on my mode of travel in my youth, my beloved bicycle, purchased from Kenyon’s. While I was awaiting the finish of his supper, all Hell broke lose in Big Bottom, people were shouting back and forth to each other, some crying, some laughing it off, and still others in a state of shock. I remember it so very well because at 9 years of age, I had big ears, made for listening to a lot I wasn’t supposed to. All at once, Granny grabbed me and said, “Child, the end is coming but you have nothing to worry about since you are still a child, but the rest of us….” She stopped as someone on the street below our porch was hollering up to her and asking her if she could see the future in the cards she read for friends. She laid her head back and laughed, “no card reading today, gotta get ready for a long trip…are you ready?”

I looked up and down the Big Bottom area and people were congregating hashing over the news that had been aired over the radio, I think. Radios were blaring from every direction. I thought, “now, something is going to happen when we see the sun turn red.” Granny had told me “Idy, at the end time, we will know for the sun will turn as red as blood.” It was getting dusky dark and I watched for the red sun, or red moon, whatever. Auntie came out with Uncle’s supper and told me to get on the road and take Uncle’s supper while it could be eaten hot. I balked and told her I didn’ t want to leave home cause the end of the world was coming and I didn’t want to be on the road heading toward Woodland Park when it happened.

Auntie took me in her arms and told me, “Idy, this has been happening since the world began. I know as a child it happened to me and you see we are still here. That is when she told me again what I had been taught that no one will know the day and time and that God would come like a thief in the night. She continued by patting me on my behind and telling me to take off and that she would be watching for me to get back. I knew Uncle was waiting on his supper so I took off. I passed neighbors and they seemed to be going on with their business of cleaning cars, weeding, gardening, etc. So, I took to the sidewalk for I wasn’t allowed in the street at that time. I peddled but kept an eye on the sun going down and to get the first glimpse of maybe a red moon. I finally got to Frost’s Filling Station and Mr. Frost was sweeping the area around his business getting ready to close for the night, and as usual, I stopped to chat with him and Mrs. Frost (two of the nicest people in our area), and he could tell something was not up to par with me and he asked me if I was sick or what was wrong and I told him, “don’t you know, the end of the world is coming today and I don’t want to leave Big Bottom (did I love Big Bottom or what?).

Well, he broke out in a loud chuckle and Mrs. Frost came to where we were standing and he told her about my worry. They stood looking at me trying to think of some way to console me I know. Mr. Frost took his broom and said to me, “IdaLee, I am going to lay my broom down right here in front of us, and if it gets up and walks away from us, then you will know the end is near and we all better pray.”

My eyes fell on the broom in front of us and I stood and waited for it to get up and walk. Well, it didn’t. And til today, about 68 years later my broom hasn’t taken a step. I continued over East Main while the Frosts made sure the traffic was clear enough for me to cross and I got to Uncle Matt who was sitting out on the little porch of the Water Plant waiting for me. He took me in his arms and told me Aunt Laura had called him and that he was to talk to me and ease my mind. Well, just being with him and hearing tales he would tell me took my mind in an instant off of watching for the red moon to appear when the red sun set. It was almost dark when I left the Water Plant and peddled home. I slept good that night remembering what I was told time and again, “God is in His Heaven, and all’s right with the world..” What a memory and that news spread time and again but I never let it bother me. But, before I close this one out, I will have to say when I married, went to California to be with my husband who was serving in the Navy that old fear did re-occur as I spent my first night in the low country of CA. Yep, when the moon peeped over the ocean near our house, it was blood red, Tom was out on the ship, and I was alone 3,000 miles away from Big Bottom, and really I had a chill up my spine, but soon found out that the big “red moon” came up every evening, and I learned to see the beauty of the moon then for the first time really and the fear, well it suddenly was gone.

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