Whitesburg KY
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Folks would gather on porches to talk




Remembering times of long ago can be a lot of fun and quite relaxing if we allow ourselves this luxury. I guess some people would call it daydreaming or something to that effect. As we stroll down the aisle of memories which started long ago and is now only a dark shadow, we can see comical and even mythical happenings.

In the time period I refer to, the old timers as well as some younger folks would gather on the front porch to gossip and to just socialize while sitting in their sturdy ladderback chairs. When the weather got nippy they would go inside to chat, taking their ladderback chairs inside with them to the sitting room which most folk call the living room today. The people took the chairs inside to chat when the weather got too cold to sit on the porch, where sometimes there would also be a swing because there usually was no such luxury as a sofa to sit on.

The younger generation knew when it got too cold for sitting on the porch it meant it was long handle time. Long Johns in other words, cover from top to bottom for the males and appropriate cover for the female population also. These were worn until it got warm enough in the spring to sit on the porch again.

In the fall at bean stringing time, us kids would sit for countless hours on the bare floor stringing beans to dry for shuckie beans, or as some people called them, “leather britches.” This was in a lot of instances one of the main staples of the winter diet.

If we were working and a hornet kept pestering us we would kill a fly, which is part of the hornet’s diet, and stick the fly on the end of a broom straw and twirl it around between our fingers while holding it in the air. The hornet would attack the fly and not let go as we proceeded to squash it with our bare feet without getting stung in the process.

As we got a string finished and of suitable length, it was usually hung behind the kitchen stove to dry for winter use. Although we never did it, cushaw and pumpkin could also be cut into strips and strung up to dry.

The fall of the year was a busy time for country folks as they made preparations for the long winter ahead. But it could also be a lot of fun because it brought folks together.

In today’s society if folks come calling they are wanting something, preferably free of charge, or else they are wanting to borrow something which they have no intention of returning. A lot of times they don’t ask to borrow, they simply help themselves and take it to a pawn shop somewhere. Sometimes it will be taken to a fence who asks no questions as to where the item came from. Usually nobody has to worry about someone stealing their garden tools because they mean work, which also makes it difficult to resale.

Down on the funny farm.


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