Whitesburg KY

Childhood memories aren’t all good

Well, here we go again, thinking about times gone by. Water over the falls, so to speak. Times that were but can never be again.

I have heard people say again and again that they wish they could live their childhood over, but this old man definitely and most certainly would not want to relive his childhood over, even if I could, because the negatives outweigh the positives by far

There were four of us children, and we lost Mother on Jan. 29, 1946, and on July 27, 1946, we got a new stepmother. Things went from bad to worse after that, putting it mildly.

I believe that woman could yell like a banshee. If we wandered out of hearing range where she couldn’t hear us, she would yell loud enough for us to hear her if we were within half a mile.

Seems like me and my late brother were always wandering too far from home, and we suff ered the consequences once we were rounded up.

We got the switch on a daily basis, and a good many of those beatings were the result of, like I said, wandering too far from home.

Brother I.D. Back was born July 4, and they always had church services on that day with dinner on the ground after church.

My brother and I would position ourselves so as to hear the singing. We didn’t get very much out of the preaching because we couldn’t hear too well from where we were, but Lord, how we loved the singing, and I still do.

Brother I.D.’s home was the next one below us up on the river road above Blackey. They always had the church services under a big elm tree below the family cemetery and about halfway between our house and Aunt Callie Back’s (his mother).

They are about all gone now, including that big elm tree. When the singing stopped at the end of the service, we knew it was time to eat, and eat all we wanted.

One of us would go eat, and the other stayed in case our stepmother hollered. When the first one returned along with a plate of food, the other went and also brought a spare plate of food.

We were just sprouts, maybe 8 or 10 years of age at the time. We had a halfbrother and when he got old enough to start school, we moved down to the upper end of Blackey so he wouldn’t have so far to walk to school. There were no school buses.

Where we moved to had a six-foot-high fence around it, and we were forbidden to go outside the fence unless we were told to do so, and none of our friends were allowed inside. So we did our talking through the fence.

No matter how bad things were, I can still look back and find a laugh or two.

For instance, some time after we moved closer to Blackey, our stepmom got herself a set of store-bought teeth and every time she put them in her mouth, she would start gagging.

Us kids would run outside and laugh at her. We knew better then to let her see or hear us laughing at her.

And that’s all from the funny farm until next time.

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