Thursday, June 30

Sterling Hardware

Sterling Hardware Company opened on Main Street in Hazard on June 30th 1916.

E.P. Phelps was manager of the Philco Department at Sterling Hardware. He was replaced by Rex Farmer in 1952 who was also manager of the furniture department.

Frank Medaris joined the company in 1946. He lived at Harveyton where he was president of Harvey Coal Company.

Joe Eversole became a retail clerk at Sterling Hardware in 1947. He was a traveling salesman for the company in the 1950s. Joe was the buyer of hardware and mine supplies.

Guyn Haydon went to work in the Shipping Department of Sterling in 1927. He was the Shipping Clerk. He became manager and stayed with the company over 30 years.

Ed Farmer joined the company as a salesman in 1953. He lived in Hyden.

Wednesday, June 29

Pleasant Surprise

In the early 50s Hazard had a nice little dive called the Colonial Club. Out on State route 15 on the other side of Walkertown. I usually visited the Club on Saturday night and it was usually packed. They always had a live band and all the cold beer you could drink. But if you asked for a whiskey sour or a martini you got a blank look from the bar tender. It was usually a well behaved, friendly group and every body just had a great time.

The one night I remember the best was when Dick McIntyre and I came down from Dayton for the long Labor Day weekend. I had a nice 40 Ford coupe and we made a lot of trips to Hazard with it. On that particular night he had borrowed his Dad's Plymouth and we left the Ford parked in town. That turned out to be a problem because I met a very good looking girl at the dance and I really needed my own car. So when it neared closing time, Dick and I jumped into the Plymouth and drove back to town to get my Ford. On the way back I needed to hurry not wanting to keep the girl waiting too long. As I drove down the hill off high street where it curves into East Main I did a power slide through the curve and really stepped on it. Unfortunately there was a cop parked there and he ran me down in Walkertown. I explained the situation to him and once convinced I had not just stuck up a carryout, he gave me a ticket and I proceeded to the Colonial Club. I got there in plenty of time and everything worked out fine. I told the girl everything that happened and was pleasantly surprised to find out that her uncle was the Traffic Court Judge. Yes, she had the ticket fixed. Was that a friendly town or what...

Tuesday, June 28

Now & Then

Hazard has grown from a village of some 240 people to a city of nearly 10,000 population. The city had been built up around the location of an early post office, established for the convenience of mail carriers between Manchester in Clay County and Prestonsburg in Floyd County as an overnight stopping place. Being in the midst of a thickly timbered section on the north fork of the Kentucky River, it was no uncommon sight to see oxen pulling poplar logs down what is now Main Street in Hazard.

Highways, railroads and newspapers were seldom heard of and few people had any hopes of living to see them. Mail reached the town about once a week, depending upon the weather. All supplies for merchants were hauled from Jackson, 45 miles down the river, via mule and wagon. During periods of high water in the winter season, many merchants were forced to have their supplies shipped to Stonegap, Virginia from which city they were hauled across Black Mountain and into Hazard.

When the first automobile arrived in Hazard on August 27, 1914, many people were there to greet the driver. 1939

Monday, June 27

It was a sad moment in my life when I heard that the last run of our passenger train had been discontinued after being in service 44 years. As a small boy I can recall the first trip a train made to Hazard. What a thrill it was.

Thanks to you Al Mazer at Al's house of bargains. You state that I write like some of the people from Letcher County. Al, to me that is a compliment. Also, to you Hugh Moore in regard to this column, you state I write along the lines of Allan Trout of the Courier Journal. Thanks to both you gentlemen that you enjoy reading this column. Also to you Mr. Tom Moore, Dr. G.M. Adams. Well I can remember the days of Dr. Adams when a real toothache hit one of us kids. Also, thanks to you Mr. and Mrs. Chris Brown about your nice remarks about his column. Cris and Pearl have moved their Button & Bows Shop from East Main Street to the Walkertown section just across the street from Lee Lykins new IGA market. 1956

Friday, June 24

Outdo The Rainbow

No one who knows me would remark to anybody else that there is a sprig of the artist sprouting in my makeup. It doesn't show from any angle from which one can view me. It doesn't exert itself except on occasions and no one but another artist of the same category could recognize it.

There is at least one fellow in Hazard who has the same artistic whim. He is Hal Cooner of the Hal Cooner Studio and this has nothing to do with photography. Hal is a good man in his profession. I've has some experience in mine. We both have a common ground, appreciation of an art that has disappeared almost from the scene.

A discussion of this almost-gone art occurred a few days in a place where soft drinks and sundaes are served. The eating of a sundae and the watching of several sodas and sundaes being served to other persons brought up recollections. We both talked about times we worked behind fountains, back in the days when fountain work was more than a job. It was a privilege, an opportunity to be something "extra" in a community, not just a soda jerk.

Maybe it was Hal who started the subject. "I remember when I worked at a fountain, when a fellow who served what we get today would be looking for another job next day," Hal mused. "This is nothing more than a scoop of ice cream with some flavor slapped on the sides. No thought behind it, no effort, no art." He sounded sad.

I could understand such words. I felt just as Hal. Art of a grand stature of years ago...going...going...almost gone. It has been run over by the modern times, degraded by the hurry of today.

There was a time when a banana split bought most anyplace, was a delight of color and fascination, created by a fountain artist who knew just how to cut the long golden fruit which formed the base in a long, shining clear glass container. The ice cream was not slapped onto the dish, but placed there gently in varied colors, each with a tantalizing beckoning, as if the handler loved what he was doing. The many fruits that sought to hide the glow of the ice cream, and failed, were an artist's effort to outdo the rainbow, and the gently crushed nuts were placed lightly as culler would handle a diamond. And the marshmallow, always a "must," was guided around the edges of the dish to form a white rivulet which reflected the peaks of the ice cream now capped with flaming red cherries.

That, my friends, was what used to be placed before anyone who ordered a banana split. It represented time, affection, and love of customer. It was never meant to be disheveled, rushed and smeared. It was never meant to be created by anyone but an artist's hands. It was never meant to be ordered by anyone but one who had time to relax.

Hal and I didn't stop with banana splits. We talked about the careless sodas of 1955, the ruthless creations now called sundaes. Just ice cream and fruit or ice cream and water to too many fountain workers today. We longed for the old days, and as we did we let our tears fall into the mess that would have been a beautiful concoction several years ago.

We didn't blame the boys and girls, men and women who work behind soda fountains today. We blamed their bosses for failing to insist on the artistic standards that once lived. 1955

Thursday, June 23

The Past Lives Again

Let me grab my books and away I will go to the Lower Broadway school. I will meet you all at the front door. I can smell the old wood now.

How I would love to walk those halls again and somehow I feel if I could I could hear the laughter and the scolding of Mrs. Oldham through the walls. You know, God is awesome for He gave us such a visionary and imagination and put them together and we can just about make it through a school day, huh? I hate to see what is happening to the young and some of the old these days. They do not even know what imagination is. Brain dead to the many things they left behind as they grew. I love all of my memories and the past still lives again, in my present.

Wednesday, June 22

Quite Again On Lyttle Boulevard

I saw something Tuesday night about 8 p.m. that made me wonder if both Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett had come to life again. It was raw courage, daring of the type which has written our history. I was proud to have been a witness to a night of cunning maneuvering and bravery for the safety of others.

Right after Kiwanis Club meeting, I rode up to Lyttle Boulevard with Robert Bergman and the Reverend Frank McGuire of the Hazard Christian Church. We're all neighbors, including the church building. After a minute or two of lingering, I started on down the street to home when I heard Mr. McGuire and Mr. Bergman discussing wasps. That was too much, so I turned back and asked why such a conversation at that time of night.

They revealed that a swarm of wasps had made their nest near a light just outside one of the front doors of the Christian Church. Mr. Bergman and Mr. McGuire had agreed to get rid of the situation. I don't know whether the decision was theirs or whether the church's ruling board decided it.

As I hid behind a telephone post on the opposite side of the street, obviously a coward, these two nerveless men entered the church, Mr. Bergman carrying a six-foot cane pole. From the telephone post shadow I saw the front door eased open just enough for the cane pole to be slipped through. Mr. Bergman moved quickly, and the pole brought down most of the wasp nest. The night's usual quietness was broken by the cane pole being hastily withdrawn into the church. Mr. McGuire and Mr. Bergman could be seen looking out at the damage they had done. But they weren't through. Again the action took place and the last of the wasp nest fell to the concrete.

In a few minutes I heard the backdoor of the church open. Two shadows hurried out. One went in to the church dwelling next door, and the other ran across the street, hunched over, and literally flew into the Bergman home. Quite again took over Lyttle Boulevard. There was no showing sign that two brave men once stood near the white columns of the stately church edifice. Only the buzz-zzz of homeless wasps could be heard. 1955

Tuesday, June 21

Something Unusual

Ah, but what is so rare as a day in June! Don't give me credit for such an expression, but it does give vent to my feelings. I remember about this time last year when I was living in Lexington in an apartment house facing U.S. 27. No cool night, no quite.

A few minutes ago I looked out of the office door and was hit in the face by something unusual. At first I was startled, but there was no pain to it. I wiped my face with a handkerchief, but nothing came off. However, it was a strange feeling, but not unpleasant. I looked around at Clifford Bullard and saw something on his face. He was standing near me. Then I had to laugh. It was nothing but plain old sunshine!

I suppose you've heard comments during the last several days about the weather. Almost everybody I have talked to about the weather has said there has been nothing like it in his lifetime. But there are a few who remember snow in July.

My good friend Victor Tedesco, manager of Papania's Jewelry, stirred his coffee and remarked: "My boss is coming to town. I just received his suitcases." Which made me wonder how his boss, Sam Papania, is traveling these days out of his headquarters at Miami. Vic quickly explained that he apparently was coming by plane and had too much luggage, so he expressed the surplus. 1955

Monday, June 20

As a kid I think I visited every town in Eastern Kentucky, usually with my Dad. Jackson, Vicco, Hyden, Campton, Prestonburg, Irving and many others. There was no comparison between those towns and our down town Hazard.

Our Main Street was always bigger and better and cleaner. We had more schools and more churches. There was a big variety of retail stores, grocery stores, restaurants, and drug stores.

Major’s Department Store carried a good line of clothing merchandize and shoes. Sterling Hardware had everything else you might need. Besides just hardware they sold sporting goods, refrigerators, radios, and a selection of American Flyer electric trains for Christmas.

Down town had banks, two nice movie theaters, two Dime Stores, Firestone and Western Auto stores, pool rooms, liquor stores and a fully equipped shoe repair store.

If you could afford it you could buy any kind of new automobile you desired. Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, Oldsmobile. They were all well represented. I remember right after the end of WWII, people heard that the American factories would soon be cranking out new cars once again. What would the new 1946 Fords and Chevys look like and what would they cost. They hurried down to their favorite dealers and plunked down a hundred dollars to get in line for the first cars to arrive in Hazard. Sure, they were going to cost more than they did in 1941 but nobody cared. They all wanted a new car!

One of my favorite places was Western Auto. Besides auto supplies, they sold Bicycle tires & tubes and parts. They also sold air rifles and BBs. My Dad bought a .22 rifle and pistol there along with .22 caliber ammo.

I enjoyed eating lunch at the J.J. Newberry dime store. Around 1946 “Birdseye” first came out with their packages of frozen vegetables. The giant frozen peas were new and different and they were a standard item on the Newberry Lunch Menu. Wow, they were really good. Lunch was about 50 cents.

If you wanted a nice dinner you could get a T-bone steak across the street at the Hazard Lunch for a dollar,with all the trimmings. Ma Combs served a great meal for Lunch, also for Fifty cents.

Main Street in Hazard was busy day and night. Something for everybody. Especially on Saturday night when everybody went to down town and jockeyed around for a good parking space where you could get a good view of all the action.

The big sports attraction was the Hazard High basketball gym up there on top of Baker Hill. It was small but there were a lot of classic games played there along with some classic players & coaches.

There have been a lot of changes between the old and the new since the 40s. If I still had a choice I would still prefer the older.

Friday, June 17


I spent six years in the old Broadway School. Most of that time I lived on Lyttle Boulevard. Every morning I left the house at 7:30 walking across the old wooden bridge and up the hill to the school. It didn't matter if it was raining or snowing or freezing we always had to be inside the front door before the bell rang at 8:00am. You didn't dare be "tardy". That would be a fate worse than death. If you wore a coat you hung it up in the "cloak room". I never really knew why it was called a cloak room and didn't ask.

Most of my teachers were old and old fashioned with their long dowdy dresses and their high top button shoes. Always walking around the halls with their noses in the air trying to look proper. I always thought they would cringe with disbelief when they saw me coming or going. Me with the overalls, marbles in the pockets and chewing bubblegum with an occasional bubble sticking to my nose. A total disregard of protocol of any kind. How many times did Miss Harris demand I open my mouth so she could look all the way down my throat for candy or gum or remind me that I didn't wash behind my ears or cautioned me from pulling Rita Fay's pigtails. The most vile word in her vocabulary was that disgusting "homework". Would I ever, in my life, be able to breathe freely again without that terrible burden I had to bear five days a week. Lois Faye apparently liked homework. She carried all her books home every day. I decided it was people like her that made it tough on the rest of us. My hands were never clean enough for miss Mobely and she didn't like it when I wiped my runny nose on my shirt sleeve. But my just reward always came when that bell sounded at 3:15. Freedom! Isn't that what we all strived for? How many more weeks to Summer Vacation...

Thursday, June 16

It's A Great Game, Aint' It?

When we were kids in Hazard we all dreamed of Kentucky. No not the State, we dreamed of The University of Kentucky Wildcats. Any kid in Hazard that ever picked up a ball dreamed every night of playing basketball at the most famous University in the United States of America.

Bill Davis, Garland Townes and Johnnie Cox all made the big jump. Dick Mitchell made it to the football team.

I remember when Hazard finally got the big TV tower up on top of the hill. My Uncle, Sammy Burke, was an avid UK fan. He would sit in front of that little B&W TV to watch UK games which was mainly a lot of snow off and on. Occasionally the picture would clear up enough to watch the game and then it would fade away again and you could hear Uncle Sam cursing all the way downtown.

By that time I was living in Dayton, Ohio and enjoyed many seasons of UK basketball on TV. I have been fortunate enough to see games in person always during road games. I've seen them play at Vanderbilt in Nashville and Knoxville in Tennessee, Gainsville Florida and Notre Dame.

I had two good friends from Hazard, Don Grey and Bill Marcum, who went to school at UK. We could not get basketball tickets but during Football Season several Hazard friends and I drove down to Lexington on Saturday and met them at the Sigma Chi Fraternity House. We didn't have tickets but we had a plan. We went to the old stadium right there in downtown and Bill & Don used their student IDs to get inside. They went up to the second floor tossed the cards down to us and we used them to get ourselves in. A total of six got in that day on two cards. I remember Georgia Tech was there that day. Dick Mitchell was playing for the Cats. He was the kick returner. Being a small stadium it was packed. I had my 35mm camera with the telephoto lens so I eased down to the Georgia Tech bench and they squeezed up and gave me a seat on the end, thinking I was an official photographer. Of course UK lost. Georgia Tech was a powerhouse back then in 1953.

Over the years the Wildcats have furnished us with thousands of hours of entertainment. Anywhere we went and somebody mentioned basketball we held our heads high. And now it looks like the good days are coming back again. So now when the game comes on my new HD TV in Dayton, I'll be thinking of all you guys way back up there in the Eastern Kentucky Mountains glued to your own sets watching the Wildcats. Its a great game, ain't it?

Wednesday, June 15

Up My Britches' Leg

I was sitting here thinking about the hot day outside and where I would be back in time and I found myself sitting on the sidewalk that led from our bottom porch down to the lower yard. We played hopscotch, skated, jacks, etc. on this sidewalk as it was concrete and cool. There was a big tree and I would take one of those canvas fold up chairs down there, and being an avid reader, of course, my book was with me. I always read about 3:00 in the evening and where I sat I could watch the fellers that drove the Double Cola Trucks coming in to reload, and, of course, flirt as much as I could. Well, this one day I had on capri pants and was engrossed in my book (Grace Livingston Hill) and my leg began to sort of itch; I just jiggled my leg a little and kept on reading, then up above my knee it really "tickled" not itched. I reached down and ran my hand up my britches' leg and looked down and saw something sticking out of my britches, and Dad saw it too as he was above me looking down and he said, "Idy, take it easy, there is a snake up your britches, reach down and pull it out with its tail." Oh, Lordy, I couldn't do that and I started crying and jumping around, and by that time I had alerted everyone on Liberty Street it seems, for in no time I had an audience. Dad said, "Oh, its a little green snake, I can tell, and you have scared it to death too..." He told me to hit the concrete and jump as hard as I could and shake my legs at the same time. This I did and out come that little green snake. It was confused as I was and laid there to gain its composure I suppose and then off it went into the bushes.

Tuesday, June 14

The Newspaper Was King

During the '30s & '40s if you wanted to know what was going on in the World you read a newspaper. Hazard was a small town but it was well informed. You had your choice of the Hazard Herald, The Lexington Times, and the great Louisville Courier Journal. The Courier Journal was the dominant paper in Kentucky. It had a huge Sunday edition with several sections including my favorite the Sunday Comics. There was the Katz and Jammer Kids, Smokey Stover, Smilin' Jack, Little Orphan Annie, and Blondie. You could swing through the Jungle with Tarzan, fly through the clouds with Tailspin Tommy and shoot up the bad guys with Dick Tracy all in living color. Popeye and Olive Oil were always good for a laugh even if you didn't like spinach.

Newspapers kept us up to date with WWII. Kept us informed about Major League Baseball, College Football and Basketball. We all followed the Cincinnati Reds, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Kentucky Derby. We learned about the exploits of Ernie Lombardy, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Lujac, Ralph Beard, Wah Wah Jones and Glen Davis and Doc Blanchard.

For the local, county and state news we read the Hazard Herald. No TV back then and very little radio. Today the competition for the news is huge. Radio, TV, and the Internet are all great but back in the good ole days in Hazard, Kentucky, the Newspaper was King.

Monday, June 13

The Parking Baby

On June 13, 1945, I came to Hazard. My mission was in the interest of my health, and my memory being very poor, I forgot for the moment to pay the parking baby. I went over to the post office to pay $5 for a vehicle usage stamp, another car owner’s unpleasant baby. As I came out of the post office I thought of the parking baby, but lo and behold, too late; I was tagged. I had to pay a dollar to another baby. We car owners have a lot of babies to care for.

Now I have in the past truly appreciated those meters, because I find it, easier to find parking space, but if they are going to be used to rob people, then I wouldn’t mind seeing one of Uncle Sam’s bulldozers come up one side of the street and go down the other at full speed ahead. I was taught that the law was to serve, protect, and help the people, not mistreat them. Now I am just a plain, dumb, got no sense, gump, and may have the wrong idea, but it isn’t making me respect the law any more to be treated like that by the law.

Well, anyway, I wish to thank the chief for not holding me until one o’clock for I had a date with a hypodermic needle at Allock at twelve and I would have been plenty wrong had they kept me there too long and I ain’t just tickled pink about the affair anyway. I know as well as a grown person when I am unjustly treated.

Well, whoever thinks I am wrong about this, go stand on your head. Those who think I am right, please give me a dime. My memory is very bad and I may park down there again and I guess they need their coffee. 1945

Friday, June 10

Hazard People

A friend of mine came through Jackson a few evenings ago, driving at a moderate rate of speed. When some distance outside the city he heard a siren and was ordered to pull over to the side of the road. A Jackson policeman told him he had been speeding when he passed through the city, and the driver had quite a tussle to prevent being “taken in” and forced to go to court.

The policeman said during the coversation that Hazard people must stop speeding through Jackson. The police force is determined to “get” anyone from Hazard who speeds in the future, he said.

Jackson is a good town, and is full of good people. The people of Jackson have members of their families in Hazard and surrounding territory. We are of the same families in most cases. It is regrettable that officials of Jackson feel that Hazard drivers are taking advantage of their good nature and have started speeding through the city.

We feel sure that drivers from here have no intention of violating traffic rules
while driving through Jackson. We feel equally certain that the good people of
our neighboring city are not anxious to allow the news to get around that “speed traps” are being set for Hazard drivers.

Speed traps create adverse publicity for any town. They accomplish little or
nothing. Speeders should be dealt with, however, but we are of the opinion that the average driver from this section has no intention of violating traffic rules while driving through Jackson.

Let’s continue the good neighbor policy and all cooperate. 1945

Thursday, June 9

School Was Not So Bad, After All

Back around 1944 my parents decided to move into a nicer house. We had previously lived on East Main and then on Laurel Street since 1937.

The new place was on Walnut Street right behind Hazard High School that winds around the back. This neighborhood was a new environment for me and I soon realized it improved my plight in life quiet a bit. I was about halfway through the eighth grade at Upper Broadway and the following year I would be a Freshman at Hazard High. Instead of walking a half mile to school every day the new trip would only be about 50 feet.

School traditionally began at 8:00 AM. For eight years I had been getting up at 7:00 AM to make it on time. Now I could get up at fifteen minutes to eight and make it to the side door before that hateful bell rang. I did not have to waste any of my precious time eating breakfast because around 10 0’clock the cafeteria prepared a snack bar in the hallway full of goodies. That’s where I developed a taste for pimento cheese sandwiches. School was not so bad, after all.

Wednesday, June 8

What A Day

On a daily basis I would take a walk through the alley that went from my house behind the bakery, behind the Howards, behind the Lykins, and then at the apartment that sat between the Lykins and P. L. Johnson where Alva Hollon and his young family lived; then to P. L. and Bess' back yard where I would stop and visit with them from the fence; they would be in their Victory Garden and precisely the same time of day. I can see them as they were then, she in her sunbonnet hat, he with his hoe in hand, busy as bees. They were special people to me, she was my Sunday School favorite teacher, and he was one of my favorite conversationalists. Together, they comprised almost, in my young eyes, a perfect couple. I loved watching them giving tender loving care to their victory garden, and you could see the pride on their faces as they pointed to their veggies. Yep, my daily visits I kept watch with them over their Victory Garden.

I would continue on my way out the alley, past the Heaths, the Maggards, the Schuttes, etc. until I got to the place to turn down onto East Main Street from the Alley. At the end sat the beautiful old home of Jim "White Jim" Combs and his family. I would then take my skates off of my shoulder, put them on and skate down the sidewalk back to Liberty Street. A fun filled evening with the best of Big Bottom. What a day!!!!

Tuesday, June 7

Three very important things right now we should do for our country. First, pray for those in authority. Second, buy war bonds. Third, plant and cultivate a victory garden.

It is clear to most people the importance of the first two. Regarding the third or victory garden, many of us are missing a fine opportunity to help in the world’s food supplies for the war ridden countries.

The planting and cultivation for this garden food is a great source of comfort when we are somewhat confused with worldly cares, for the garden work for many of us, in so doing, permits us to forget shop.

Furthermore the food from your garden is fresh, and much lower in cost than from the local markets.

There is another way to speak of its lower costs. This is outstanding for the labor spent in the garden. One efficient day’s work in the garden by one person will produce enough food, as far as pounds are concerned, for that one person to eat from twenty-five to fifty days. Or one half hour average spent each day for one person or an approximate total of sixty-five hours in the planting and growing seasons will produce enough food for that one person for over two hundred days.

If records are kept one should find that, taking a dry season like 1944, one dollar spent for seeds and other material will show a profit of approximately eight dollars.

If you need information on war bonds, Mr. W.W. Reeves or his assistants will take care of that matter. Mr. E.R. Russell, the Perry County Agent, will help you with garden information.

With further reference to the first paragraph, if you don’t know how to pray, get in touch with an old-fashioned soul winning preacher. 1945

Monday, June 6

Road Trip

I remember the Hazard Bulldogs football team in the Fall of 1946. I was a student manager on the team coached by Pop Collins. We had Jack Steele at Quarterback, Bobby McGuire at End and Bill Ross was the Half Back. There was Charles Davis, I. G. Manus and Bobby Cisco in the line. The toughest game of the season was at Pikeville. We loaded up the old school bus and left early Saturday morning. It was a long tiresome trip through the mountains but it was a night game and we had plenty of time.

It was a rough game. McGuire finally scored on a long pass from Steele. But the great play of the game came when Bill Ross scored a touchdown on the kickoff to start off the second half. During the season, Ross did that several times. He was a remarkable open field runner. We played as well as we could but Pikeville eventually won the contest.

After the game we loaded up all the equipment in the back of the bus and I climbed up on the pile and found a nice level place to sleep. About three o'clock in the morning I woke up with a bang. I didn't know what was going on. We had some kind of wreck and I was tossed all over the back. During the melee I banged my head on something hard and got a big knot over my left eye. Everybody else was OK, though. I guess the brakes failed on the old bus on top of the mountain and the driver drove into the ditch on the side of the road to stop us before we went to the downhill. After they got it all sorted out I climbed back into my bed and finished the trip back home. It was several days before my black eye cleared up and I was fine.

Friday, June 3

Second Fiddle

We were down talking with Don Fouts about newspapers. He worked on newspapers in 37 states in his journalistic life, and has really had some experience. He was with some of the largest newspapers in America.

Majors is, according to their slogan, Hazard’s “oldest and leading department store,” and greatly benefits the community by bringing thousands to town through their promotion. Major’s has always been a good promotion minded store and are really going to town under the direction of “Buddy” and Mrs. Bea Mazer.

My wife writes that our little daughter, age two, is acting very forlorn these days. Mike, our boy, had his tonsils out and is being treated like a king while he recuperates and the daughter has to play second fiddle. She’ll learn. 1945

Thursday, June 2

Nervous Wreck

After a week under a shade tree in Ohio and some business traveling, I finally arrived home in Hazard and a lot of work piled up. Finally got out from under it at last.

While my wife was at her home, where someone can take care of our little daughter, we decided to have the boy’s tonsils out. Saturday they did the job.

Now, I’m like a lot of people, I kid myself. I made myself believe I didn’t worry much or get excited but Saturday my wife was to call me at noon after the boy’s tonsils were out and give me the good news. I started getting nervous and worried about ten o’clock and when she finally called about 12:30 I was a nervous wreck. I knew that it was a simple operation, not dangerous, but still it made me jumpy.

I’m sure many of you enjoy the comments of C.H. Combs on here. His son , who was in a German prison camp, is home and C.H. has been neglecting us. We are mighty glad to know the boy is home safe and sound and don’t mind at all being neglected while C.H. visits with the boy. Have a good visit. We know you will. 1945

Wednesday, June 1

Lower Broadway School

Sunday afternoon the wife, baby and I took a walk. We left the boy at the neighbors’. We went over the Broadway bridge, up Lyttle Boulevard, down Cedar Street and out past the Lower Broadway School.

My, but it is beautiful on that walk. So many pretty houses and lawns. We certainly enjoyed the walk.

When we turned back on Broadway, as we passed the school, my wife asked me if that was the school where our boy would start next year. I told her it was. “Do the children play on that hard, rocky ground?” she asked. I told her I guessed they did. “What about those big rocks sticking up out of the ground everywhere? Wouldn’t a first grader be in danger playing in a place like that?” I told her it looked like it. “And what are those wooden stairs coming down out of the building?” I told her I imagined it was an emergency exit in case of fire. “Half of the protecting banister is broken off,” she said. “A first grader, especially in an emergency, might fall down those dangerous stairs, mightn’t he?” I told her it looked like it. “Why do they have such awful playgrounds and dangerous stairs, Bob?” she asked. I told her I didn’t know. “Are the schools hard up for money?” I told her I thought the tax rate here was about as high as any place in the state. She just shook her head. You see, we love our little boy and he is going to have to go to school next year. 1945