Tuesday, March 16

Howard's Homebrew

I was guilty of lifting the linen cover off of a crock that was in our basement. It was just family business to use the crocks for pickling beans, corn, etc. but there was something else "brewing" in the crock besides kraut. I had several little friends with me and it was fun to lift the cover and dip into the kraut. I pulled back the cover, looked down into the crock and commented as I drank from my cupped up hand, "gee, the kraut is all gone but the juice is shore good." I invited my little friends to partake of the "kraut juice" which they did, cupping their little hands to be sure and get a good "swig". There were three of us and we dipped and drank, dipped and drank, until we all were "crocked". It was a very hot day and the basement was cool and we sat down and began to laugh, non-stopping. The day became evening and then dusky dark. We were still "stewed to the gills" and all we could do is giggle as we heard our parents going up and down the holler trying to find out where we could be. We heard them yelling for us but we could do nothing but giggle. I heard Mom, "Idy, if you are hiding and I find you, you will get a licking." I somewhat knew what she was saying but really didn't let it bother me. We huddled together listening as Mom's voice got closer and closer. She stood outside the basement (the screen door was open) and looked into the coal bin, we weren't there...then she noticed that the basement door was open and she looked and Richard giggled loudly when he saw her and his mother standing there...Mom said, "I hear them but can't see them." Mom stepped inside and almost fainted when she saw me and two of my good little pals "drunk". They pulled us up, Mom stood me up, the other two Moms did the same. Mom was mortified at the situation and said, "Idy, what in pete's name have you been doing?" All I could muster out was, "Mommy, we been drinking kraut juice, the kraut was all gone but the juice shore was good." Mom screamed out, "Lordy mercy, they've been into Howard's homebrew, it shore wan't kraut juice." You see, Daddy had put up some homebrew, and had told me, "Idy, stay away from this crock because we don't want the kraut to spoil." Yep, Daddy was making homebrew."Bless these little youngans, they got "soaked" on Howard's homebrew. Now, don't this take the rag off'n the bush?"Needless to say, Daddy made no more homebrew in the basement.

Monday, March 15

Perpetual Motion

Frank Foreman Sr. offers an old time remedy for the belly ache. Frank says just pour a little liniment (he didn't say what kind) into the navel. It is a sure cure. If it is some I know of that is hotter than a depot stove, I know that it will cure the belly ache because it will start a fire so much worse, that you are bound to forget your ailment. Bunch of us boys used some once on a cat. It hasn't been heard of since. Also used some on a dog. You could hear him running the ridges all night long, his howls were easily followed for about three days and nights. I doubt if he was howling at a fox or coon. Speaking of the dog running like he did, few nights ago I stopped at a drive in to get me a sandwich. Low and behold three young gals were sitting next to me. I mean their car was next to mine. All three had a wad of gum in their mouths and at times they sounded just like that old hound, first it would be a pop, then a clackety clack, wham, jam, bam, then they would get down to a steady rhythm such as this, chomp, champ, chawing gum in my favorite past time. I believe it was the nearest thing that I have ever seen to perpetual motion in all my life. Their jaws were working faster than any motor could have driven them. I often wonder who is to blame, the teenager or the parents? 1960

Friday, March 12

Wonderful Home Made Kraut

In the past few weeks I don't think I have ever heard of so many ailing people. Some call it the flu, others say it is a foreign type such as Asian, I will agree with you what ever it is, or where it came from, it is something hard to wrestle with. I have heard of various remedies that could help. One today was Cherry Bark, Mullen Leaves with a lot of honey. Another was Spirits mixed with rock candy with either molasses or honey. I talked with two of my friends from over Hyden way, that came to Hazard to find the rock candy. I beleive they have the best formula to date. It won't be too hard to make. It will have to be least 120 proof before it will take effect. I received a clipping today stating that Sauerkraut was supposed to have orginated from the German people. It states that kraut was on the menu of the workers that built the great China Wall in the 3rd century B.C. during the reign of Emperor Shih Huang, that they use to use wine to cure the kraut, that it was used until the last century when they found out that salt cured their cabbage into much better kraut. I dare say they haven't eaten any kraut that has been made by our people here in Eastern Kentucky. Well I can rememember going into the cellar, lifting a big rock off the crock, course there was always a linen or cloth cover between the rock and the kraut. I have had my hiney spanked many times for dipping my hands into the crock to get a big handful of that wonderful home made kraut. This was not the only thing that our people here in Kentucky put up this way. They had beans, corn, some of it had an awful smell until it got to your plate, then folks, I didn't see any of them turn their noses up. It is too bad that we have drifted away from the teachings of our forefathers. 1960

Thursday, March 11

It was 1946, and the snow had been falling for several days and the drifts were getting bigger and bigger. My Mom was pregnant with my brother and I could tell something was wrong. I was at the age that I knew she was going to have a new baby but didn't know when (folks didn't discuss that sort of thing where youngans could hear back then) and although they would say that the stork would visit, I knew better. Anyhow, the snow was falling and when lights would hit it purely sparkled like diamonds. Sort of like white fairy dusk, I reckon.It was beginning to get dusky outside and Dad told me that I had to get ready to go next door and visit with my friends for a while. I told him I had rather stay beside the fire and read. My Mom was in another part of the house and I was not to bother her at this time for she needed rest. Dad came to me again and asked me to walk to the window and see what he had done. Well, lo and behold, the drifts had piled so high it was impossible for me to walk across the little street to get to the neighbors who were waiting on me. What did Dad do? He shoveled and shoveled and him and Uncle Matt made a pathway big enough for two people to walk abreast to get me from my porch to theirs without a problem. A snow tunnel, of all things! Mercy, thinking back this was beautiful. I was walking between two walls of frozen snow that hit me about my waist. You talk about being in a wonderland, I was, Idy in a snow wonderland and I could hear my mother but Dad told me they would have a big surprise for me by morning. I heard someone say that Dr. J. P. was with Mom and it wouldn't be long now. The clock showed 11:45. I could not sleep and soon there was a rap at the door and my Dad had come to get me to walk me back to our house through the snow tunnel. Lights were ablaze at 109 Liberty and Dad took me into see Mom and I seen my surprise lying in her arms, Dr. J. P. made sure I got closer and then he handed the baby boy to me. And, you know, it was a while thereafter that I came to the conclusion that Dr. J. P. could not have carried that baby in his little black bag no matter what my Granny told me.

Wednesday, March 10

Keep Your Heels Warm

With about nine inches of snow, the wind is howling, I am beginning to think like Roy Baker, makes a man think what he has done with his summer wages. White Jim Combs says he remembers a winter similar to this and he recalls my grandmother's sister, Aunt Isabelle Feltner. It seems that she had some great big gals, it was getting close to milking time, Aunt Isabelle was worrying about getting the milking done. It seems that the girls were backed up to the fire, picking up first one foot then the other getting them warm. Aunt Isabelle was becoming impatient. She blurted out, "I don't know what has come over you girls. If you don't have enough heat in your hind-parts to keep your heels warm, I don't know what is going to happen to you." I know that many of you can remember those days when it was hard to get started to the stable to feed the stock and milk. I often wonder if the younger generation hasn't had it too easy, or maybe the old folks sorta eased off with the modern times and inventions that made all our lives a little more convenient. 1960

Tuesday, March 9

Global Warming?

I can recall a few years ago some crack pot stated that the universe of our country was changing. Believe he predicted that in some areas that was having cold weather would in time reverse itself with sunshine such as the good state of Florida advertises.

We've had the worst winter some say since 1917, others say 1925, some say 1934. Regardless of how bad the others were, this has been a hum dinger. It was up to 16 inches deep on a flat surface. This last snow I would say has been the more damaging. It was a wet snow that hung on to everything. It has broken down trees, power lines, caused roads to be more hazardous. As I sit here this morning looking out over the mountains in their white cloaked snow drifts, it is hard for me to admire this kind of beauty. It is a beautiful sight in one angle of one's mind. To me I am the worry wart I guess. I am thinking what should happen if we had a very quick melting of all this snow, maybe linked with a warm rain. I can only visualize the muddy waters that could cause another great flood. Our last flood was in 1957. Some say these things only happen once every 20 years. We had better get busy now if you recall the Buckhorn Dam and the Jackson cut off was started back in the thirties. Regardless of what the weather man says, this can't last too much longer because Spring is officially here coming March 20th. We all know that date is authentic and I know you are expecting everything to be good and clear by that date. 1960

Monday, March 8

Hello From 50 Years Ago

We are still snowed in with from ten to twenty four inches on the north sides. Your roads in some of the rural areas have been a mess and it will be for months. I want to hear from any of you that has ever seen a worse two months as we have had. I have talked to several old timers and they say this will equal anything they have ever seen. George Campbell, who is 84 years young, stated that the only difference in this weather than in 1917 was the river froze over then. He stated it would have been this time if the river had not been too flush. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that old man river doesn't get too flush when all this snow does start to melt in a big way. You know the old saying -"a burnt child is always afraid of fire." I am afraid many of us will be watching old man river if it starts coming up as the thaw goes out, if and when the thaw will come. As some one said today it will take until the Fourth of July for all this snow to melt. Others say it will be one of the finest fruit years that we have ever known. Confound if I can see it, because the big cherry tree in my yard just split in two from all this snow. 1960