Monday, February 28

Dab Blame Middle Of The Night

My Granny, Aunt Nancy Ann Stacy (lovingly known as Aunt Noonie, cause us youngans couldn't say her name),and Uncle Matt had been fussing at her for not getting her "slop jar" under the bed properly and one early morning, snow was on the ground, our fire had died down, and I had to get up. I slept with Granny that night cause she has a feather bed. I jumped up unbeknowings that Granny had used her slop jar during the night and bless pete I socked my foot right into the dab blame middle of Granny's privy, turning it over, making one mess that I will never forget.

My heart flipped when Roscoe shared a memory of my Uncle Matt Horn, my best friend and mentor. I learned something about him I didn't know. I had no idea my Uncle Matt delivered or help deliver mail. Uncle Matt was a gem. I would sit on his knee in front of the hearth, snow would be falling outside and he would take me around the world, introduce me to places I would never see. That is where I received my early history and geography lessons. He would fill his old pipe (which I have now) and the smoke would curl and the smell of George Washington pipe tobacco would fill the room. There was never a worry there of second hand smoke but only the pleasant smell of that ripe tobacco. Second hand smoke was not a worry then and you know, everyone in my family blew that second hand smoke into the air, but so far I haven't felt any of the results they preach about. Oh, I know it is an enemy of our lungs but back then, was it purer or what?

I have great memories of Goad's and Davis Brothers in Hazard. I bought my horseshoes from Goad's Hardware and I loved new ones so I would save money and go in and buy new ones when the old ones were almost brand new. I sort of collected them you might say.

I looked everyday for Roscoe and Bill to add a new addition to their window. I remember so well the old relics that were "relics" back then and how I wish I had saved some of the old "relics" in our household in the 40's and 50's. I treasured our old piano stool until it broke rightin the middle and cracked so badly it could not be salvaged. I think I still have it though someone in the storage facility we call our "stow-a-way place".

Friday, February 25

Window Shopping 50 Years Ago

Hi! Glad to have you with us again. The weather has changed from cold and snowy to sunny and warm which makes Window Shopping this week even more fun. Join us as we tell you what we see in the windows of businesses on Main Street in Hazard in 1961.

A few of the stores are decorating their windows with new Spring clothes. We saw a child's dress in the window of Watson's Department Store. It's aqua and white checks, with an organdy covered skirt.

For the little boys, the Hazard Bargain Store has a suit in the window that consists of gray slacks, pink checked shirt and gray bow tie.

On down the street, we stopped to admire the shoes in the Family Shoe Store. One pair that particularly caught our eye was a pair of toast-colored pumps with little bows.

Lasslo Jewelry Store has a silver musical powder box in their window. It was the first one we had seen in a long time.

There is a cute rocking chair in Goad Hardware's window. It's a small green leather platform rocker.

Last week, we described a painting in Sherwin Williams' window. When we stopped there this week, we found the window changed. They have it filled with pictures all painted by one artist. Also there is a very good photograph by Hal Cooner titled, "The Artist."

We hope you enjoyed our visit to Main Street, Hazard in 1961 for some Window Shopping. Join us again next week. 1961

Thursday, February 24

Have You Forgotten What Day This Is?

His name is Billy Blair Maggard, little son of Mr. and Mrs. Glen Maggard. Billy asked me several times if I would come and see him get his diploma. It was the Kindergarten Graduating Class of the Good Counsel Church. Naturally, I told him I would be there. On the day of the event, he approached me again and said, "Ross, you haven't forgotten what day this is have you?" I said, "Yes, Billy, I am afraid I have." He went into detail to tell me all about it. His last words before he left were, "I know you are coming to see me get my diploma." What in the world is a man to do in a case such as this? I made up my mind to go. This we did, Greeba and I did go. Must say it was a very enjoyable evening, to see these little youngsters go through their program. The next day Billy came to tell me how much he appreciated us going to see him.

Folks, from now on, when one invites me to attend a program of this type, I will. Normally I brush it aside because he or she is a little tyke but this is an important event in their small life. I am afraid that we elders don't take our kids, our neighbors and others too seriously. I am afraid that we are too wrapped up in our own affairs to give the short time and attention to the youth of our area. 1961

Wednesday, February 23

Privy & Sears & Roebuck

I have known Ira Duff, an old timer down Chavies way, for many a moon. He has seen many more than I, therefore I respect his advice. He says our river needs cleaning up, such as cutting back the willows and other vegetation that almost overlaps in certain points up and down our streams. Ira says that in the days of bringing goods into the mountains by flat boats, they kept the brush cut back to keep the goods from being knocked off the boats. Now he says that with all this brush holding back the drift, it could suddenly break away and pile up behind a bridge, then the bridge will go out. Ira suggested we start a clean-up program from Jackson to Whitesburg. If we are to continue to want to put Eastern Kentucky on a tourist map, I say the streams must be cleaned up.

A timely suggestion was offered by Mrs. Allie Gorman. She suggests that we place permanent markers upon our highways to point out interesting spots for tourists. One in particular is in regard to the Daniel Boone rock up near Glomawr. There are many other such spots that will attract the attention of our section if the public is properly informed to where they are. I can recall Window Rock, Ball Knob and there are many others if the time was taken to point out these various scenic spots right in the vicinity of Hazard. Let's look ahead and plan for future happenings that could make us grow, instead of going backwards. Efforts must be made to make better times. Let's not sit idly by and pass up the chances of making progress.

I overheard a conversation a few days ago. They were typical old residents. One said he had only a privy with a Sears and Roebuck catalogue. He could see nothing wrong with it, only he didn't have running water. The other spoke up and said, "Old fellow, you don't know how well off you are. I haven't had a Sears catalogue for years. Neither do I have a privy. That patch of woods back of my house serves the job right well. The corn crib is on the way, cold nights - the slop jar is always handy." 1961

Tuesday, February 22

Not What It Use To Be

Have you ever seen someone going up and down the creek, what we now call streets, that never offer a smile or speak a friendly word to anyone? My old friend, Zeke Branson, up the river way, has a very good answer to it. He says they were weaned on vinegar. I believe Zeke has something there. Vinegar in the old days was really something. It would make you pucker up your lips. I say the type vinegar you get today is very mild compared to what it use to be. Today maybe the vinegar has been diluted too much along with other things. The coffee is not what it use to be. The ground coffee of years ago - you could smell for a mile at least before you reached someone's place - up and down those hollars. It is not what we have had in the past. I think it is good to remember those days. I trust that we never forget what we have been raised to.

It has been a long time ago since Sam Stamper hauled goods from my dad's store to Blue Grass Hollow in a wheel barrow. No doubt, Sam did a lot of trading on the way of genuine Barlow knifes, salt, & bacon with a wheelbarrow and a lot of muscle power. I can see those plank sidewalks as we had in those days in Hazard. We've made a lot of progress since then. I also remember Matt Horn & Bill Campbell. Matt worked with me on the mail route back in the thirties and when I was first married in 1930, we purchased our first furniture from Bill Campbell. Some of it is still in use today in my home. Memories will long linger in my mind to the fatherly advice I received from both.

Good to hear from Mr. and Mrs. George Mistler, along with Mom Mistler. I can never forget you folks. I recall those days in the thirties when we were neighbors on Oakhurst Avenue. Those were days I will never forget. 1961

Monday, February 21

That Great Divide

On not too long a trip, so many things happened in my own neighborhood, the passing of a very dear friend, Farmer Brashear, a school mate & a team mate on both basketball and football teams at Hazard High School. Farmer was a great athlete, he gave his all in his school work as he had done in the business world. He was devoted to his family & was interested in the welfare of our area. When in school he worked as a team mate fast of foot. So many youngsters today have profited from the advice he has offered. He looked forward each year to taking his kids or others to the Kentucky High School Tournament. Folks, it is hard to come back home to learn of such a friend that has crossed that great divide. To me I have no fear for Farmer. He lived the life that we all need to, faithful to his community, to his family, to his work. I don't know what other assets a man could have.

While sitting on a stool at Don's, drinking coffee, Mark Baker, an old school chum of mine, was talking about various things. We discussed the passing of Farmer Brashear and our school days together. Mark related to me his sojourn in Florida, that he lived across the street from a family almost a year before he found out their name. This I have found from so many of our people that have moved away to try and live and make a living. To me, a dissatisfied mind is hard to overcome, after you have been use to friendly and understanding people. Mark is now running a business in the Walkertown area of our city. I believe that he has come home to where he can say hello to his neighbor across the street without making him mad. 1961

Monday, February 14

Crowded Streets

Hazard - center of the Hazard Coal Fields - a city with narrow streets crowded with people. Yes, that just about describes Hazard, but behind that scene of people crowding about the streets to shop are citizens who are not taking the opportunity to make Hazard one of the really large cities of Kentucky.

In 1910 the population of Hazard was around 1,000. In 1920 the town had increased to over four thousand. Then in 1930 the population was over seven thousand. But - in 1940 the Census reports showed a gain of only some three hundred persons. Will it be that way in 1950?

New factories are being built throughout Kentucky. Is anyone trying to secure a new factory for our city?

Some argue there is no nearby place to build a factory. Obviously they have not seen the large area of land across from the airport. 1945

Friday, February 11

Did You Ever Walk Down Broadway?

Did you ever walk down Broadway in Hazard in the early morning before the sun has had half a chance to dispel the clouds? So early that the paper boy is still delivering the morning news and there is the brisk tinge of winter to the air. And the billboard movie notices that looked exciting and alluring the night before, by morning light seem pallid and dull. Have you ever walked that early down Broadway to the center of town?

After a while you can judge how early or late you are by where you meet the paper boy. If he's close to town, you're early, but if he's nearing Eversole Street, brother dash along! You can gauge the time by the house lights too or by the wizened black man that goes that way each day.

Did you ever notice people who walk to work in the mornings - how much more cheerful they are than those big old plutocrats who drive the Tin-Lizzie to a parking meter? Sometimes you begin as a grouch, but a few minutes of walking, noticing the hint of frost on the grass and the invigorating coolness in the air, and God in His heaven - all's right with the world. Then as you near town and really begin the descent, you see the glistening silver dome of the Methodist church that seems to say "Good morning, brother! God be with you this day!" And you go a little further and come upon the Presbyterian church, friendly and dignified. It almost pats you on the shoulder and nods benignly, "Go, my son - but think of us."

Finally you pass the Telephone Company on High Street and a few more steps and the wonderfulness of the early morn is smothered by the stirring wheels of commerce that go forth to do battle for the dollar.

But say, did YOU ever walk down Broadway in the early morning? 1945

Thursday, February 10

Window Shopping in Hazard

Even though the weather is cold and snowy, people still enjoy window shopping. We hope that you will join us each week as we describe a few things that attract our attention on Main Street in Hazard in 1961.

As we walk up the street, one of Dawahare's Tots and Teens window decorations remind us that this is Boy Scout Week. The Boy Scout uniforms they have advertised there brings to mind the many fine things that our boys learn in this organization.

If you enjoy reading, we saw just the thing for you in Newberry's window. They have a stand of books that can be bought at a bargain price. Being bargain hunters, we looked through them and found quite a few we will enjoy reading.

The art work in Sherwin William's window is certainly an eye-catcher. They have a beautiful landscape picture on display. Stile's Jewelry Store really has a cute advertisement in the window. We just adored the little Prehistoric Men they are using to advertise Bulova watches.

The windows in George's Shoe Store are covered with "Sale" banners, but we were able to see in the door. Our curiosity was well satisfied. The signs on Wills Ready To Wear window aroused our curiosity.

The Fout's Drug Store window is decorated with heart-shaped boxes of candy for Valentine's Day. We also saw some nice Valentine Cards in Engle Florist Shop's window. We see that there is a new business open next to the Bus Station - Payne & Hurt - who handle wholesale plumbing equipment. We hated to see the PX Trading Post go out of business, but we wish this new business good luck.

On our way home we stopped to admire the cute little what-nots in Baker Furniture Store. Well, we hope you enjoyed our trip down Main Street Hazard in 1961. Join us next week when we go window shopping again.

Well, we hope you enjoyed our trip down Main Street Hazard in 1961. Join us next week when we go window shopping again. 1961

Wednesday, February 9

Run For The Shower Stall

Rex Stacy, one of my childhood buddies at Vicco, has decided I need a little ribbing. So, he ambled in the other day with a little yarn he wrote. Here it is for what its worth:"As I take typewriter under hand, it is with humor in my heart that I recall growing up in the Vicco area and remember funny situations that took place there and elsewhere. One of the "elsewhere" incidents took place during the 1953-54 Kentucky High School basketball tournament at Lexington, Kentucky. As you no doubt recall, this is the year Dilce Combs went to the state tournament.

"As I recall, you and Dacker Combs were members of the team up until the tournament and were under suspension and did not get to make the trip to the state tournament with the team. But wait. All was not lost yet for the Courier-Journal had a pick the "Sweet Sixteen" contest and who was destined to win that year? An entry submitted by Kenneth Paul Mink (not in your name, as that entry lost) in the name of a cousin. The cousin was not able to make the trip but his delegated guest, none other than Kenneth Paul Mink, did make the trip. All he had to do was sign the tab for meals and room at the now defunct Kentucky Hotel. And being the kindly soul that you are, you remembered your friends and buddies from Vicco, Dacker Combs and Rex Stacy.

"As you know, it is generally proper to "tip" the bell boy for room service. Toward the end of the stay at the hotel, you ordered a case of pop, twenty-four ham sandwiches and two dozen potato chips for us to snack on after the dining room closed for the night. After placing the order it was discovered that none of us had any change or paper money less than a five dollar bill and to three young boys from Vicco five dollars represented a small fortune.

"About the same time we made our discovery about our money, the bell boy knocked upon the door. Dacker ran for the closet, you (Kenneth Paul Mink) ran for the shower stall, fully clothed, and pulled the curtain closed. I was left to answer the door. (Oh, what was I going to do?) Upon opening the door the bell boy handed me a bill to sign. I asked, "What is this for?" and he said the Courier-Journal had to have a bill for each order signed by Kenneth Paul Mink. I knew right then we were in trouble. The only thing left to do was open the bath room door (to make things worse, the bell boy could see the shower from where he stood), and call out to you to come sign the ticket. So fully clothed, shoes and all, you walked out of the shower to sign the bill."

Tuesday, February 8

Mrs. Elizabeth Metcalf of 733 Oakhurst Avenue in Hazard is one of those kindly old ladies who make Boy Scouts feel they're proud to be Boy Scouts.

"Boy Scouts are wonderful," she says. Everyone should support them." Mrs. Metcalf told of last summer having some apple trees in her yard: one close enough to her house that some of the apples drop off onto her roof.

"I was worried about some of those apples rotting on my roof, but I am not capable of getting them down. I asked a couple of neighborhood boys if they would sweep the apples off if I would pay them and they refused. A few minutes later, about half a dozen Boy Scouts came by. I asked them to help and they got some brooms and climbed up on the house and swept the apples off. All they wanted in payment was one apple each to eat on their way up the mountain. I later called the mother of each one of those little boys to tell how proud they should be of their son. Its kids like that that make the Boy Scouts great, I think." 1971

Monday, February 7

Handlebar Rides

Many years ago when I was about 12 years old and living in Vicco, I had a brand-new bike and was giving lots of friends handlebar rides around town.

I suddenly got the notion to ride the thing to Hazard. Several of my little pals wanted to go along. I figured out how five of us could ride at one time, so we took off for Hazard with five of us on that bike (me on the seat, another on the handlebars, one on the main support bar, and two on the tail-brace. We all walked up the hills and all rode down. I remember when we got to Christopher Hill that we got up such speed going down that we passed a coal truck on the right. We're lucky we didn't get killed that way....or sneaking rides on coal gondola cars. 1971