Whitesburg KY

Looking back at younger days

I planned on going to Campbell’s Branch tonight, but plans changed. At about 5 o’clock I started feeling real bad with a cold and we called it off. It was so cold out and I just thought I better stay in the house for the evening.

I got news that a good friend in Florida told me that Bertha Turner had been in a car wreck. It really shocked me that he had heard it all the way down there and I live about 2½ miles from her and I hadn’t heard it. I still don’t know how or where she was. She likes to get out and go places. She lives alone. Her daughter and grandson live in Alabama and she works in the mines.

Bertha was a grandchild of my uncle Jasper Cornett. My grandpa D.D. Dock Cornett was Uncle Jasper’s brother. They lived on Cornetts Branch of Linefork. Jasper was the postmaster back in the early years. He was a good scribe. His writing was so beautiful.

One of his daughters, Lorra, married Jonah Roark, son of Joe and Susan Roark. She had Bertha and Curtis. She was staying with Susan and Joe and Jonah was working in Indiana. Lorra was expecting a third child. She was making blackberry jelly and it was a very hot summer day and she got sick and had to go out on the back porch to cool off. But she got worse and just fell over and died. I was just a young girl and it scared me so bad I almost fainted but I got better.

Back then they made homemade caskets and she was outside under a big apple tree. My grandma took me with her and I always was scary after that to go where death was in a family.

She took me to see Claude’s grandpap. His name was Leander Ingram. A bunch of workhands was on their way to work one morning real early and Woodard Cornett was Claude’s uncle. They were working on the WPA workforce in order to feed their families. He noticed that no smoke was coming out the chimney. He told the others that was unusual. He always got up early. He went to check on him and found him sitting at the end of his porch. He is buried in the cemetery by his five little babies that had died at birth.

His wife was my Grandma Rachel’s sister. She lived alone until she died. Her daughter Cora Ingram came and took her to Charlestown, Ind., and that is where she died. They brought her back and buried her by her little children also.

I was sitting here on Valentine’s Day and saw the Letcher hearse go by taking Gail Ingram to bury him on Ingrams Creek. It was so sad to think of him and his family members growing up on my grandfather’s property and now all are gone. It makes it seem so sad.

My son Randy and I went to Campbells Branch to hear the music and watch the dancing. It makes one think back to younger days. I used to love to square dance but I don’t try that at my age. It’s too hard. I get to see people I have known for so long. They usually have a good crowd. It looks good to see a lot of the men get out and dance. None of my boys like to dance but I always did like dancing at school pie suppers and other get-togethers.

All the people on the Campbell side of my family loved to dance. The people down in that area have always loved music and dancing and still do

Lee Sexton (the great banjo player) is one of my third cousins on my mom’s side of the family. When his dad was young they used to have all the cousins get together and have a big holiday party. They would shoot dynamite for the noise and play music and dance. “Lee Boy’s” dance got in a bad, bad accident. One of the dynamite sticks went off in his hands before he could throw it and he lost both arms. I don’t know all of the story but it was awful news my mom said and I don’t think they shot dynamite anymore after that.’

I have grown up with Lee Boy and all my cousins down near Ulvah, Long Branch, Turkey Creek and Campbells Branch and love them like brothers and sisters. So many are gone now and I miss them and all the special smiles and teardrops we shared through life — 89 years

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