Whitesburg KY

Come home for Blackey Day Celebration

I wonder as I sit here on my front porch swing at the Frog Pond listening to the spring frog holler and watching the birds building their nest, how many people out there in other parts of the country remember growing up in the Letcher County Blackey area in simpler times or have heard their parents or grandparents talk about growing up here where you knew everybody in your neighborhood and your whole school by name.

Most of us walked to and from school and played there and back. We could play in the streets of Blackey without bothering anybody or worrying about the traffic. And everybody looked after everybody’s children.

Blackey is still a good place to be. It’s just a wide place in the road with a road sign that says Blackey, but in the hearts and memories of the people who grew up here the memories are as big as the mountains that surround our little village. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in the Blackey area on Elk Creek Mountain and later at the Frog Pond.

I remember walking from Elk Creek Mountain on Sunday afternoon to Blackey to the movies with my mom, Hettie Caudill, and my sister, Betty. Then we would rush to get back on the mountain before dark. Sometimes we didn’t make it. That part wasn’t much fun. But it seems like the days were longer back then.

I have wonderful memories of growing up here in the mountains. Then, like so many other people, I left Kentucky when I was 18 years old to find work and a different lifestyle. I was gone many years before we realized we could be better off to move back home to the mountains and raise our children here near family and friends.

It is a precious thing to hear someone who had lived away from the mountains as long as 50 years refer to the mountains as going home. I don’t think you ever quite get away from the feeling. And I really dont want to be anywhere else.

So I, along with the Blackey Improvement Committee, am inviting everyone who remembered growing up in Blackey or eastern Kentucky to make plans to come home for the Blackey Day Celebration, Saturday, Oct. 10. Bring your family and friends and come to the mountains. The weather is just about perfect here in the fall and the mountains look like a flower garden. We will have venders, food and music and lots of fun, a silent auction, and more. And it will be in Blackey the little place beside the road with the big heart and fond memories.

For information, call Loye Caudill, 606-633-4029; Doris Adams, 606-632-3777; or Kathy Back, 606-633- 4138.

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