Every year, about the first week in May, I take a week’s trip alone to Letcher County for R&R (rest and relaxation). I have a room in the boys’ dorm on the former Stuart Robinson School’s campus and I stay there.
Usually, I’m the only one in the dorm for that week, but sometimes other people come in and stay a night or two.
I am almost 76 years old. In my early years, I had hundreds of relatives in the county, but they are all gone except for a few Lucas second and third cousins scattered about on Cowan and Dry Fork.
I usually eat a large breakfast at DQ in Whitesburg every morning. While there, people my age and older and younger come in a sit with us, some I know and some I just met.
I learn a lot about what has been happening in the county and what is happening now.
The apple trees are blooming, and peaches are as big as your thumb. Plums are doing good. Trips have been made to Tennessee and Ohio. Relatives have been home to visit and some asked for money.
Who’s going to be the next superintendent? I hope it’s not this one (name intentionally left out of this article).
I missed old Leroy, and learned that he is now in a nursing home. One friends has recently had a knee replacement. Another asked about what’s going on in Burnside, because he used to have a home about a mile from me.
There was a long discussion about where a certain Christian high school is near Jackson. I learned Georgeann, my former neighbor at Graveyard Hollow, is still in Chicago.
A certain Lucas woman has been to the library in Whitesburg looking for Lucas information, and she needs to contact me because I’ve got it all.
I enjoyed these discussions so much that I was usually one of the last ones to leave. World relations, the drug war, and what’s Obama going to do next were all discussed and settled.
We got through talking early one morning so I went to the Ermine Senior Citizens Center and made some new friend, met some distant relatives, and enjoyed that lunch of liver and onions.
On my R&R trips, I eat lunch with the Blackey Senior Citizens, but this time it was undergoing remodeling and enlarging so I missed my friends there.
I took my latest book to the Blackey Library and checked my email a couple of time, and bought some used books to read. I read 2 ½ of them that week in my room.
I dropped off some of my books for them to sell at a couple of thrift stores, and that will pay for my gas for this trip.
On Friday, Mr. Adams, Mr. Boggs and I talked until after 11:30, then I made a rainy trip back to Burnside.
The lake is rising after the dam repairs, and the white bass are running.
I’m coming back, Lord willing, to the Seedtime Festival June 7–8, and that’s right across the old railroad tracks from the DQ. I’ll be coming for breakfast on both days so I’ll see y’all there.
Did you know that in the 1940s there was a drive-in theater where the rec center and DQ are now?