Whitesburg KY

My trip to Carcassonne

Let me tell you about my first trip to Carcassonne.

After arriving in Letcher County on July 10, my brother, Richard, came in and called. He said he would take me to Carcassonne. You see, Richard used to teach there back in the 1960s, and he knew the way in and out.

Vernal Hatton went with us, just in case we got lost. He was telling Richard to turn left here, turn right here, slow down. I had Carcassonne pictured as one road in, one road on top of the mountain, and one road out. But I was wrong. There are so many roads at Carcassonne that it would be very easy for a stranger to get lost.

Every once in a while, we passed a house. If the New York reporters came there, they would be hard pressed to find a poverty house to photograph.

It was a very expensive trip. On the way up the first mountain (I didn’t know there were so many mountains to cross) Richard’s car started heating up and we had to pull over and let it cool down. A man and his wife on a four-wheeler stopped and talked to us a few minutes. We never met another car on the road.

After letting the car cool down, we made a mad dash up the next mountain, and made it to the community center/school. It was then that we found out the radiator had a hole in it, and water

ran out the bottom as fast as

Richard poured it in. Jon ~ Henrikson was there cutting grass, and he let us inside the community center to look around. Richard said that concrete foundations were still there where the dorms and kitchen used to be. We didn’t go and look at them.

If it hadn’t been for Vernal, we’d still be up on that mountain. He called his wife on his cell phone, and she brought the Jeep. He hooked up a chain and pulled us up the mountains, where we coasted down the other side. I think we went over two or three mountains.

While we were sitting there at the church waiting for Vernal’s wife, a man on a “Mule” came by. He knew us, but he just waved at us. Later at Blackey Day, he explained that he had some green beans in the back and he didn’t want them to ruin.

My uncle, Raymond Cornett, used to ride his old mule “Mort” from Hot Spot to high school at Carcassonne. There are sure a lot of “Mules” still around there.

Someday, I’d like to go back, take my time, and really look over Carcassonne. Maybe next time, I’ll ride a Mule.

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