I was born on High Street in 1928 in a large house with a long boardwalk that ran from the front of the house up past the house to our outhouse. We had electricity, but we had to buy an icebox, which was filled every day except Sunday by the ice company that came by in a wagon, pulled by a mule.
We would buy 50 pounds of ice and put it in the top of our icebox to keep everything cold all day. We kids would follow the ice wagon around when he went door to door, and take pieces of ice and eat it. There was not much for the kids to do in those days; we even followed the ‘honey wagon’ when they came around to clean out outhouses.
On washday, and after my mom had hung our clothes on the line to dry, she had to watch for the train to start loading the cars. If she did not take the clothes off of the line, the soot from the coal train would make a mess and she would have to rewash the clothes.
My mom told me that on my birthday, Thanksgiving Day in 1930, some organization named me the ‘cutest kid in Jenkins.’
I went to Jenkins Grade School my first year of school. My teacher was Miss Botto, who taught about everyone in Jenkins. Because of my birth date I got a late start in school.
My next-door neighbor and one of my best friends, Johnny Blizzard, could not walk to school, so I pulled him in my wagon. He later became a fixture in Jenkins and knew almost everyone in Letcher County.
When I was eight years old we moved to Camden and the Blizzards moved two doors from us. They had a dog named Buster, and he stayed at our house so much that when we moved to our farm on Cane Branch, he went with us and would never go back to the Blizzards. At last they told us to keep him. He lived to be 14 years old and loved the country life of Cane Branch. He was the best dog we ever had.