Whitesburg KY
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New year brings memories of past



Happy New Year!

As I reflect back over the past, it is ironic how many changes have transpired through the years.

Take the computer as an example. I can remember when you couldn’t have given me one free as I didn’t want any part of one. I still am not that computer savvy, yet I manage to hunt and peck a column out, then push a button that says send, and away it goes to The Mountain Eagle.

When I started writing this column in 2003 I would write a letter and send it to the paper by mail.

Just look at our telephones how far technology has come. I have an old oak wooden crank phone hanging on the wall in my living room. It’s the kind you crank. I remember a few people back home having these when I was growing up.

It took me a long time to agree to get a cordless phone as my kids kept insisting I get one so finally I gave in.

Then once more the word technology found its way as cell phone has replaced landlines. You can’t go anyplace that someone doesn’t have a cell phone glued to his or her ears. It is dangerous to try to walk down the street because people are walking and talking or texting. You have to listen to their conversations every place you turn.

When I walk to my living room to turn the thermostat on the wall, I think of the old fireplace in homes that we lived in as a child. How cold the house would get at night after Mom banked the fire so it would hold over night. The snow would blow through the cracks of the windowsills, so Mom would take old rags to put around the window.

Southern Ohio

Now as lots of you remember there was not such a thing as water in the house. Mom would start her day by shaking the embers in the fireplace and stoking the almost dead coals to get the fire going of the morning.

She’d then go to the kitchen to build a fire in the coal and wood stove. Mom would have to set the water bucket on the stove to thaw out before she could get water to boil coffee with, and to wash her face and hands.

Of course with no such thing as plumbing, that meant no such as a thing called indoor bathroom. So I know lots remember the white porcelain chamber pot, or slop jar, as it was cold.

Now I don’t ever remember Dad and Mom not having electricity, but when I hear people talking about having television, why that was a foreign word.

Daddy did get a radio when I was little. Oh, how I loved it when he would turn it on and you could hear music. The first one I remember had a square battery in it. Daddy would only turn it on for a little while because the battery would run down. Finally Daddy managed to get an electric radio, and the first station I can remember was WCKY in Cincinnati, Oh.

I can remember listening to a DJ named Wayne Rainey.

I recall a certain song he played and I still remember most of the words, “By the Singing Water Falls”. I think Hank Williams sang it.

Daddy would turn the radio to WTCW when he came home from working in the mines, and the last song the announcer played would be a recording called “Come Home It’s Supper Time” by Jimmie Davis.

Mommy finally started listening to the radio as she would do her housework. I can still see her tiny feet dancing as she would hear “Doing My Time” by Flatt and Scruggs or Jimmy Skinner.

Mom and Dad finally got a television long after I left home. I recall how so many times Mom threatened to bust that thing in a million pieces and throw it out the door as there was no reception back then. As time progressed someone put cable lines so Mom did enjoy television down through the years. Sometimes I wonder if all the modern ways are better or not.

There are so much vulgar things done with all this technology nowadays. People meeting each other online, and using cellphones to keep secrets. I know there was cheating going on way back when, it just seems more in the open now.

Before I finish my recollection, look at our automobiles. The first time I learned to drive in a car that had what was called “three on a tree”, where the gearshift was on the steering column. I was barely 14 and couldn’t even reach the floor, and barely could see over the steering wheel!

Now there are cars being tested without drivers. Enough of my wandering and pondering.

I hope everyone had a safe New Year’s Eve, and didn’t drink too much nor eat too much either.

New Year Eve was a very quiet one for me as I did the same thing this year as I did last year and slept right through it. I actually I slept most of the day as I was very sick.

One year ago I was in the hospital, and I really didn’t think I would make it another year. The day I was released from the hospital my friend Nancy Dierkes was sent to the same hospital. As I was on my way home she was being admitted. I never dreamed Nancy wouldn’t be here another year.

My brain still doesn’t want to comprehend the fact that Nancy isn’t here anymore.

I can say I have spent many New Year’s Eves dancing the old year out and the new year in. It has been several years since I’ve gone out celebrating.

I can never understand why someone has to have drinks to enjoy having a good time. I saw enough drinking as a child while growing up, so I have a low tolerance as I really don’t like to be around anyone drinking.

Belated happy birthday to Joseph Smith, better known as “Poppa Joe”, who was 88 years young last week. I am sorry I forgot the date. Poppa Joe lives on Johnson Fork at Premium. His wife Imogene cooked a special birthday supper.

Jan. 2 would have been my sister Loretta Church’s birthday. It is still very diffi- cult to realize all my siblings are gone.

I finally talked to Ann Calihan, and she has been having trouble with her knee. I think her hand has finally eased a little.

Ann has an unwanted visitor that she would like to get rid of by the name of arthritis. Johnny is so good to help her as she has trouble doing things at times.

Please keep their daughter Sue Wagner in your prayers as Sue is still having health issues. Sue and her husband had to move away due to her husband’s job. I wish there was some way she could move back here so she could be close to her parents.

My sympathy goes out to Ann’s brother Bill Ison as his son lost his wife on Christmas Eve. It seems sadness never ends.

Les and Pat Wagner are doing fine. I think when they head to the mountains I will ask if they will save a spot for me so I can ride down with them.

I would like to go to Hemphill Community Center, as I hear that is a spot where a lot of action is going on. I want to go mingle and maybe dance a little.

My daughter Kay Gray and her husband, along with my granddaughter Jodi Gray and a friend, spend spent several days at Kay and Clarence’s home in Destin, Fla. I hope someday Kay will take me back again.

I still have my Christmas decorations up. I am enjoying them so much, and since I got them put up rather late I may leave them for a while. It is so beautiful to sit at night and enjoy the decorations without any other lights on except the Christmas tree and my beautiful Christmas villages. I have a lighted strand across the beam that used to divide two rooms, which is now a huge living room.

I haven’t checked on Doyle and Betty Ison as I have been very sick since Thanksgiving. There are days I never get out of my gown unless it is to change into a clean one, I feel so bad.

Thanks Mike and Marcia for sending me the most beautiful picture of Mike dressed as Santa Claus and Marcia dressed as Mrs. Claus. I printed it off and I am going to frame it. I will always be grateful I met these two wonderful people.

Friday night Sunrise Ridge played at Hemphill Community Center, then New Year’s Eve at a place called Thirsty Heifer. At first I wondered about a name like that, then someone explained the origin and I understand. Seems like I missed out on a lot of fun by not being able to go to this event. Who knows? Maybe I will just pop in the next time Sunrise Ridge plays if the weather permits.

As you all know, no one knows where I will turn up next .

Well, I am tired since I’ve had a rather rough day. Until next time.



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