Friday, November 20

Keep Your Nose to the Grindstone

A few days ago I had an old fashioned water grindstone mounted by David Russell from out on Lotts Creek way. David did a very excellent job from what I have heard from so many old timers. I don't think I have heard so many comments in regard to a piece of work of the old time way of doing things. Two old fellows were admiring the makes of what they called a modern piece of machinery. One stated that he left off the watering can. Another spoke up and said, "when in the hell was you born? This is the type of grinder that we used before tin cans were ever heard of." Someone suggested to me that this could bring back memories of many water wheels on the rivers and streams where meal used to be ground. One was mentioned down Dwarf way where a tunnel was cut through the mountain to divert the water to turn these wheels that made the meal for the residents of our area. 1961

Tuesday, November 17

W. M. Engle Sr., one time Hazard Mayor, founded the Hazard Hardware Company in 1912. It was a wholesale and retail establishment for undertaking and hardware supplies. The firms two departments were eventually separated and incorporated as Engle Hardware on Main Street, and Engle Funeral Home opened on East Main and was operated by William Engle Jr. Engle Hardware continued to operate under the management of Aileen Engle Combs, the daughter of W. M. Engle Sr., and her husband George Combs.

After severe damages suffered in the 1957 flood, the store was completely remodeled and modernized to operate as a florist and gift shop. Click on image to enlarge

Monday, November 16

It is always good to see many of our older native boys and gals in Hazard. There is White Jim Combs, Jim Fields, some call him Bean Pole, I reckon because he can walk most any ordinary fellow down I have heard, ask Cushaw Couch. Charlie Robinson and Jim Cole have big smiles on their faces everyday. Jim Lunce, Roy Baker, Budge Tony, and Arthur Bailey are ready to start fishing and whittling again. It is hard for them to make up their minds. Former Circuit Judge Sam Ward seems to be doing right well. He always has a good joke to tell.

One of these days, before long, I hope to see an old-timers day or night. It won't make any difference unless some of you having regular sleeping habits. Yes, you ladies will be invited too. This might be the thing we need. We need to hear from a lot of you about your younger days. It could inject some ideas what the younger ones should be doing today. I am no spring chicken, don't claim to be one, past that half century mark. 1962

Sunday, November 15

Survey Says ...

Now, shame on you, Dr. Oz, labeling our little town nestled deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, as "unhappy". Have you been here? Did you take a survey of town folks? Out of those town folks you would have found doctors, lawyers, and other professionals who graduated from Hazard High School, went off to College, came back to make their living in this "unhappy" surrounding. You would have also found professionals who sought this "unhappy" little town to settle in to practice their different trades. You would hear stories about how The Dukes of Hazzard loved this "unhappy" town so much they kept coming back. Why, guess what? When my children were young, The Dick Clark Show came to this "unhappy" place. I could go on and on really but what's the use.

I was born in this "unhappy" place, got married, went to CA to be with my husband while he served his country, and it was there I got highly educated in adultery, drunkenness, murder, etc. All the things I was taught to shun was very prominent in CA in that time frame known as the Fifties. Yep, I wrote back home and told my folks what I had seen and they told me to take the first air flight out of that "modern day evil place". Dr. Oz, I saw a side of living that my sleepy little "unhappy" town in KY could not hold a light to.

However, I did find something good. There was an Owl Drugstore nearby and I would go down there to get a soda time and again. I would ask for a "cherry coke" and honestly, they asked me to tell them how to make it and they would...but, from behind the prescription counter, this voice came forth, "Hey, I know how to make cherry cokes...and with this the voice came to life when this fine man came to the counter and asked me where I was from. I told him Hazard, Kentucky...he threw back his head and laughed, "Oh, I know where you are from. I know that area well." With this said and my mind in a tizzy because I didn't know anyone would know where Hazard was. He went on to tell me the names of all the little towns up and down Perry County, i.e., Duane, Blue Diamond, Jeff, Typo, on and on. I was thrilled because I had found someone that knew my home territory.

I asked him if he were a native of our county and he told me no but that he had worked in his younger days for the Jewel Tea Coffee Company and they gave him the route he had spouted out to me. He must have made enough selling coffee to these "unhappy" people in Hazard and surrounding little villages to buy into one of the chain drugstores. Everytime I look at my Jewel Tea dishes that I have collected through the years (and they are highly sought after) I think of this man, and thought of him again when I read the Dr. Oz segment.

So, you see, Dr. Oz you have judged a little town as "unhappy". I betcha a poll would find you more happy people in that area than unhappy. You could have gone around Hazard and been surprised at what you could find that would fall on the other side of this coin. I am proud to say that Hazard High School offered me an education that most people meeting me thinks I was a member of the higher learning clan. I know times in Hazard have changed and I don't live there anymore but my heart is still there and I get rilled up when I hear it talked about. The younger generation coming up there might be disgruntled for some reason or another but it appears most of them always find themselves coming back to "the mountains". Why, because the people are true, what you see is what you get, no facades which is a way of life in CA if it has not changed. Hazard and Harlan Kentucky are well known from sea to shining sea.

Just to tell you, Dr. Oz, I don't watch your show and I bet your watching audience has fallen, or has it?

Saturday, November 14

A few days ago I talked with a family from a large city. They stated that Hazard was the most friendly city that they had been in. To me this sounded good. They stated that all through the area that they had never met such accommodating people. This makes me feel good and makes my chest swell out to know that our people are so well thought of. 1961

Thursday, November 5

First Moon Shot From Hazard

I get such a kick out of reading Roscoe's quips that I found myself this morning reading his Red Longhandles again and I giggled out loud as I remembered so vividly one of Roscoe's friends who lived near us who would, like all the others, put their longhandles away when Spring came and they would start wearing their nightshirts. Yep, the old men would don nightshirts that hit them about the knee with slits on both sides, and even some of them, who were bald, would add a nightcap to this sleeping attire. Uncle Matt was famous for his nightshirt and nightcap at our house.

Back to the neighbor who always went to bed at the first sign of darkness creeping in. We children would play tag under the street lights until the call to come in sounded. Well, one evening we were playing tag and running up and down the holler, and one hid near this neighbor's porch, running up on it for a short period, knocking over one of the porch chairs. The lights went on inside and here came the neighbor, and his wife, right behind him, to see what all the "racket" was about. Not knowing that the chair had been pushed over, here he belted out of the screen door, and mind you, the street light, haloed him real good, he stood out, and while we were all huddled around the street light he fell over the fallen chair. Well, what a sight to behold!!! Young eyes were glued as this poor feller's nightshirt flew up his back and there he was in the street light's gleam, butt naked, lying there yelling for his wife to "kiver me up, kiver me up, for these hellcats have done seen my a__, Lordy, Lordy, hurry..." She tried to "kiver" him up but we had all seen "sich a horrible sight for young eyes". Giggling we all parted and went home. You might say this was the beginning of streaking. Yep, old man Campbell "mooned" us that night and that was one sight not easily forgotten. To this day, I can recall it with a giggle.

Monday, November 2

Old Time Gadgets

With November comes the cold temperatures and many of you have been hunting for the long handles during this spell. Believe me, I was one of them. I started a little late, I tramped the town over, couldn't find any to fit. Maybe I was a little too particular. I wanted a modern version of them, without the flap and all the buttons. Finally, after two trips, Rusty over at Watsons said, "I believe I have a red suit that will fit you." I said, "I don't care what the color or what have you, if it will keep me warm." Now I am the proud owner of one pair of red drawers. I have heard of them all my life, never did think I would have a pair. By granny, they feel good, so good I wanted to sleep in them. You know how it is, I am not the only one in my household, my wife says no to that. I can remember when these kinds of garments was as popular during the night as they were in the day time. Since times have changed so much with all the modern gadgets, such as steam heat, gas heat, insulated houses, I can see why some of the old time gadgets have gone out of style. I will still say I like my long handles regardless of what color. 1962