Whitesburg KY

Horse trading over a bottle of wine

The men at Camden, Cane Branch and Joe’s Branch would get together over a cheap bottle of wine and do some horse trading.

They would trade on just about anything. Some of the guys made a living out of this business.

My brothers and I came home from school one day, and our mom was in the bedroom crying. She said my dad came home riding a big horse and a man was with him driving a truck.

They went into our house, took the only couch she had ever had, loaded it on the man’s truck and he drove off. Dad told Mom he traded the couch for the horse.

We never had a horse before. We always had a mule we used for plowing on our farm.

Some time later my dad asked me to ride the horse bareback to Number One Store in Burdine, and pick up a bag of feed for our animals. I did as I was told.

I was riding the horse near the Williams’s home at the mouth of Cane Branch. A train came by with a load of coal. When the train was near me, the engineer blew his whistle. The horse spooked, threw me to the ground, and took off running as fast as he could go. That horse was very wild.

I walked the mile back home. When I told my dad what happened, he was very upset. My dad and a friend went looking for the horse.

My dad found his horse munching on grass in the yard of the Gallions in Joe’s Branch. After he brought the horse home, he went trading again. He traded the horse for a Model A Ford that did not have a top. He had to park the car next to our corncrib that had a cover to keep it out of the weather.

Let’s face it, my dad was never a good horse trader.

Needless to say, I never rode that horse again. I was very sore for a month.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfi eld, Calif.

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