Whitesburg KY

Forest fires, hot, dry weather and cool nights

What a month this has been.

Forest fires, hot, dry weather during the day and real cool nights. No rain to amount to say it rained. Just a little, but it did help the fire in the mountains. It was so smoky it as hard to breathe a few days. It has finally cleared out right now. I hope it stays this way.

So much has happened in the last two weeks. I lost my sweet sister-in-law. She died at Pikeville Hospital on Nov. 5. She fought a long battle with cancer. She was a wonderful person. We are grieved and heartbroken over her death. She was a good and gentle person, mother and wife. Always ready to help her family and friends and her church family, the Four Square Church on Linefork and Children’s Home.

The news came that Julie Caine died in Sweetser, Ind. She was the wife of Nicholas Caine and mother of two little sons, Ethan and Evan Caine, 6 years old and 3 years old. She had been sick for 2½ years with cancer. She was a beautiful, sweet and loving mother and wife. Nick, her husband, is my great-nephew, son of my niece Tammy, my brother Emory’s daughter.

I couldn’t go to be with them because of my health problems, and it hurts not to be able to be with family in this time of grief and sorrow.

My dear brother Emory is in real bad shape in a nursing home in Sweetser, Ind. He may not live out the week. Hospital has taken over and I know what that means. It is so heartbreaking not to be able to be with him. He has always been a great brother to all of his sisters and brothers. He is 82 years old and will be 83 Dec. 10. He has been sick for several years with Parkinson disease, not the shaking kind but the kind that weakens you day by day.

My two younger sisters, Georgia Faye and Judith Gail and her husband Don and their daughter Donna, went to be with them during Julie’s funeral to be with Em some while there. Judith is so heartbroken over Em. She’s just waiting to hear bad news again.

He worked for General Motors for 42 years. He did good and had a beautiful home, but didn’t stay well to enjoy it. He has been sick for several years. He was a good and caring gentle brother to all his family.

While he was visiting us one time, we went to church on Leatherwood. He enjoyed going and when we got home he told me to get Dad’s Bible and write this in it. He said these words came to him while in church: “Get behind me, Satan. You cannot win. I opened my heart’s door and Jesus came in.”

He gave his heart to Jesus that night. I loved it when he told me to write those words. I knew he had given his soul to Jesus our Savior.

A neighbor at Gordon died also the past week, Danny Thornsberry. My sons knew him, but I never knew him. I knew his grandmothers and grandfather, Mr. and Mrs. George Polly and Maudie Halcomb Polly. They were good neighbors and people of our community back then. One of my sisters-in-law was Maudie’s sister, Roxie Halcomb Ingram, who was Clyde Ingram’s wife.

Clyde was my husband’s brother. He died years ago in Boone County where he and Roxie had moved to get good jobs during the Johnson presidential era. I never do hear from them anymore, but I loved Roxie and her children, Rondal, Gladys, Michael and Sandra Kay.


I just know that losing loved ones we know and love is the hardest thing to cope with. It is so sad, but we can think about this and say in our hearts that we will meet again in heaven, never to part again. What a reunion that will be.

My cousins in Columbus, Ind., are having health problems and getting up in age. It is so hard to believe that we are all getting to that age to have health problems. I thank God that we’ve had good long lives together. We had such good times when we were all young and going to school and helping each other hoe corn and bean stringings and pie suppers. It was good to grow up together and love each other. I love all.

Two good friends came to see me a few weeks ago. I was so surprised when they came, Glen Whitaker and his younger brother Jim. They were raised on Big Branch, sons of Jim Whitaker. They used to go to school at Kingdom Come High School and had brothers and sisters who were my teachers, Vernon, Evalee, Pauline, Renavae, Arlie and others.

One of their sisters is 101 years old. She is in Florida in a nursing home. She used to teach school all around Letcher County. Her name is Gladys Whitaker Hogg. Their sister Renavae is 92 and Glen is 90. Jim is 80. Most of the family has died.

Glen lost his wife this year early. Her name was Ilene. He is doing good, for now. He lives close to Renavae and Jim and some of the younger family members, and they all get together every day and eat a meal together. That sounded so precious to me.

They used to come back to all the school reunions I used to get together. It was so good to see everyone enjoying themselves. The last one we had was in 2002, and we had a good crowd. But now we don’t have a place to have a reunion since we lost our community center. So many of the ones that came the last time are gone now.

I’m worrying about the state of our county. It is scary to think that it may have to shut down services. I just hope that things will get better if they can get our mines back again.

The coal mines and hardworking miners are what kept our people safe. The men can’t find jobs because there are no other kinds of jobs to get. Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois have all lost their livelihood. Young people don’t have anywhere to find a good paying job. They have to live on food stamps and they can’t buy everything they need with food stamps.

I can remember when times were so bad that my blessed dad had to stand in lines to get a bag of flour and they wouldn’t let him have it because he had an old A Model 1929 car. He was told by the people he would have to sell his car before he could get help. No one could buy it because all the mines were on strike and he couldn’t buy gas for the car anyway. He and one of his good friends were together and his friend told him, “Don’t worry, Victor, I’ll half my flour with you.”

So that was how he had to do at that time. I was only 4 years old at that time. They were trying to get the union in so they could have safe working places and better pay. It was so hard for all workingmen in that time and place.

One of Dad’s friends died during those times. He got polio and died. They all lived in the company houses at Lynch. Our family went to the wake and he was in a casket with a glass lid over him because they were afraid other people would get the disease. His last name was Kitts. He had a wife and two small sons. They were crying for their dad. It was so sad to me. I have always been very sensitive to things and remember them always.

It is so sad to see the young people out on the streets and cities of the United States protesting and burning our American flag, destroying cars and buildings because Donald J. Trump became our president. It is terrible to know that the parents of these protestors are letting their children do such things. If it was me, I wouldn’t let them come home anymore. I’d disown them. They should have taught them better while they were children. That is an abomination in this country, the land of the free and home of the brave.

It seems as if they don’t appreciate a country where we have freedom and our brave men and women who fight in terrible wars to keep us safe. I pray that God will keep us safe and keep war out of our beautiful country.

Donald Trump will be a great president. I believe in him and trust his wanting us to be a better country than what we’ve had for many years. His children seem to be good and want it to be a great place to raise their families.

Trump likes the evangelicals. They helped him win by voting for him.

We went to my sister-inlaw’s visitation at the Four Square Church. It turned out to be a beautiful evening with all her family and friends. The church women had made great food for all that wanted to eat. It was good. Our minister, Mary K. Bennett, told about life with Jewell. She told of the good things that Jewell had brought to our church, and our community. She was a wonderful wife and mother and a friend to all who knew her. She was all smiles and soft-spoken.

It is Sunday and we received the bad news we were expecting. My darling brother Emory died Friday night in Indiana. I was writing my column at the time when Judith called to tell me.

Darlene had been with him all evening and Hospice told them to all go on home, that they were going to get him all cleaned up for the night. They got home and Hospice called and told them he had died.

There won’t be a funeral. He had told all the family he wanted to be sent to the place where they will search for the cause of Parkinson disease and he hoped it would help them to find a cure for the awful disease. So they took him to a research lab in Indianapolis, Ind. He will be there approximately a year, then be cremated and sent back home to his wife and family.

I feel so sad that we won’t see him anymore, but I am proud that he wanted to try to find a cure for Parkinson disease. He cared for people and his loved ones. So I will love his decision and be proud of him, my caring, loving brother. He loved my sons always, and they all loved him.

We will mourn his passing, but will know what a great person he was. Thank God who knew how he felt about human life and want to maybe save someone from the misery he suffered for years.

Hello to all my readers and I hope all is well with everyone.

Jean and Lavene Jones, Glennon and Thelma Ison, Susie and husband in Arizona, Arizona went for Trump. I’m glad I changed to Republican this year. Hope all are well.

Evadean, Juanita, Lawrence and Libby Miller and Ernestine and Ron Haveron, Mae and Bub Pack, Wallace and family and all the others in Columbus, Ind., and all others that read The Eagle, I’ll write again soon.

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