Whitesburg KY
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

Many fond memories of the Ison store


So many things have been going on since I wrote last. It’s hard to keep up with it all.

I have lost another dear friend, Doris Sparkman from Turkey Creek. I loved her so much. She loved to come see me when she could. She came with my cousin, Tannie. She was Tannie’s husband’s cousin.

We went to see her at her home one time, and cooked a big dinner and ate together. It pleased her so much. She was a very sickly person and couldn’t do a lot, but she always tried. She was so kind and thoughtful.

Claude and I went to Cooge and Tannie’s to help with a bean stringing and canning. Doris came also. We strung and broke up two bushels of beans, and Tannie canned them in a big pressure canner and cooked a big dinner also. She sure can do a lot in one day. She is a real good cook.

I live next door to the two Ison brothers who have the country store, which will be closing soon. Their parents started the store 70 years ago. They had just about anything you needed. They had a lot of property and raised cattle and sheep, and other farm animals — hogs to slaughter and chickens for eggs.


They started around 1947, just close to when Claude and I were going to be married. We were dating and we loved to go to the Isons’ store and get stuff for picnics and marshmallows to roast. We would usually go up the hollow to the ‘Holly Patch,’ and have a picnic and sometimes on over on Kingscreek with some other couples, Paul Cornett and his girlfriend and Claude’s sisters, Lonnie Mae and Joy Fae, and Elmo Huff and Sallie Ann Turner.

We had to walk everywhere. There were only paths for horses and mules until the Johnson Project hired a group of men to work and make a road for trucks and cars. Some of the school kids walked to school across the mountain or boarded with families. The ones on Big Branch walked or rode horses. It was hard trying to get an education back then.

Our old high school was so beautiful and everyone loved it so much, “Kingdom Come.” The cabin that was built out of logs was where most of the teachers stayed or lived. It was so homelike.

I stayed many nights with the teachers and family when the ball coaches would go on trips to play basketball. Some of those I stayed with were nervous and scared to stay alone, so I’d stay all night with them. I was never really scary. I was used to being away from anyone else’s house.

I’ll always remember that old stone building and the log cabin on the hill. It was a home away from home.

Forester Ison was the principal all my four years of high school. He would always ask me if I’d stay with Ilavae, his wife, and kids while they went on ball trips. He knew I wasn’t afraid. I always told him I would.

Another of my class in high school died on Dec. 2, 2016. His wife called and told me when she got a Christmas card I sent to them. So now there are just three of us left. It’s so sad to lose loved ones. They lived in Elkhart, Ind.

The big day finally passed for Donald John Trump to become our 45th president. I watched it all day. I thought he might make a good president. I hope he will and can, but there are lots of conflicting talks about him. I just pray God will be with him and with us all in this world. It is a scary time.

One night we were sitting here and heard the sirens of fire trucks going by, and wondered what could be wrong. My granddaughter Lauren called and told me that it came on the news that Jack Meade’s home was burning down on Kingscreek. That broke my heart. Randy took me to see, and it was all burned up.

My niece and her husband lived just a little branch from them, Tim Fields and Dinah. Tim said he had to spray his house down it was getting so hot, but thank God it didn’t hurt it.

Jack has a cabin up Mart’s Fork, so they came over to it. They were lucky to have the cabin.

I guess they will try to build another home when they can. Mart’s Fork is just up the road from where we live. It is a beautiful place. He has a large fish pond out in front, and when Claude took me one time to see it, it was beautiful. It had little lights all around the pond that came on and night from the sun — solar lights.

My son David and wife Denise went to Gatlinburg, Tenn., to meet with their daughter Rachel and her husband for Rachel’s birthday on the 21st. Rachel was born on her mom’s birthday. What a beautiful gift that was.

Rachel and her husband Phillip live in Littleton, Ga. She is a schoolteacher and he is a welder and works where they make Honda motorcycles. They are doing good, and bought a home and have got it fixed up good.

My cousin came to visit us last Friday. She brought a big pan of lasagna and garlic bread. It was ready to bake, so we got it done and had a good meal. She stayed most of the evening and we had a good visit.

My two sweet sisters, Judith and Georgia, and my niece Debbie came recently for a while. They had been to church, and then they came on over here later. They looked so good when I opened the door. I was happy to see them.

Judith hasn’t felt too well for quite a while — being out of balance and dizzy. I worry about her falling and getting hurt. I just pray she doesn’t.

Well, I’d better get this on the way. It’s getting late, and I send my love to all my readers. I’ll write again later.

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