Whitesburg KY

Speak Your Piece

Tell us what's on your mind. No need to give your name.

E-m@il address

In addition to the telephone and the U.S. Mail, The Mountain

Eagle accepts comments to Speak Your Piece by electronic mail. Our address is: mteagle@tgtel.com

Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as they see fit. In order to get that paycheck I am required to pass a random urine test, which I have no problem with. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don’t have to pass a urine test. Shouldn’t one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check, because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sit on their behind. Could you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

I would like to comment on how some of the coaches are handling Pee Wee football this year. I have to say that I’m pretty disgusted with some of them. I was at a Pee Wee game on the evening of September 6. The game was going great. The little ones were having fun, and just about everybody was getting to play. Well, then I heard one of the coaches from the opposing team tell one of their players to ‘Knock number (blank) flat on his back!’ He was instructing his players to ram into others just as hard as they could. Since when did Letcher County Pee Wee football turn into the NFL? Tell me that. I think this is probably the most disgusting and irresponsible thing I’ve seen an adult do in a long time. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed of yourself. What if it was your child that was getting pile-driven at the instruction of an adult? Are you serious? You know, people like that should really not be allowed to be around kids, let alone be coaching them. Pee Wee football shouldn’t be about points or winning and losing. It should be about having fun – about everybody getting to be part of the team. This is the kind of thing that’s going to build their character for when they get older. Instead of turning them into monsters, why not turn them into team players that respect each other and their opponents? If that isn’t how it’s done, then you’ve lost the mission. Step down and let real men do it. Thank you.

I understand why people who make work strip mining would defend it, as a couple did in last week’s Speak Your Piece. After all, that’s how they make their living. But they need to recognize and admit that the money they are making comes at a high cost to the rest of us who live here. It costs us in health, in lives, in land, in clean water, in scenery, in control by the coal companies, in pollution, and in many other ways. The truth is that the counties in Kentucky whose economy is based on coal are the poorest counties in the state. There’s a reason for that. Coal is not a blessing, it’s a curse. Like all other natural resources, it brings people who want to exploit it for their personal gain, and who leave none of the wealth behind. If we didn’t have the blight brought by coal, we might be able to attract retirees, tourists, and more businesses. I know that a person who makes a living by mining coal doesn’t like the thought of having to find another way to make a living, so they are not likely to have a balanced view of mining, but they are a minor part of the jobs in this county. If you could be fair enough to look at the overall picture, you wouldn’t defend coal and what it does to this place.

I was just writing to let you guys know that a certain woman is out again. I know, we all thought she was through, but it seems she cannot keep herself at home with her husband. I heard that little boy is not even her husband’s. Rumor is, he belongs to the crack head from across the road, and judging from that kid’s ears I would agree. Her and the crack head, imagine that, as crazy as it may sound. I believe she has run out of men. Besides, he is so drugged he doesn’t care. Stay at home, woman. You went out with the ’80s and honestly, your boobs are starting to look like udders. Really, we as a community need to do something about this. We cannot allow her and women like her to be running around selling and doing drugs and hooking. That’s not a good environment for our children. Just the other day, I had to save a poor little guy from her. Can you believe she was trying to corner him in the bushes? He was frightened to death. Imagine a city full of crack heads. When will it stop? Please help. A concerned citizen.

To a certain woman: I just wanted to tell you that I will always love you with all my heart. I know things with me and your family were not good. You’re a grown woman who can make choices on your own. I don’t care about the past. The only thing I wanted was to be with and spend the rest of my life with you and only you. When you read this, just please think about me. I’m no longer around, but you know where I am. I know I could not give you things that you probably wanted. All I had for you was my heart and love. Your family can’t buy you that. I will always remember the times we shared. Love always, K.B.

In response to the comment made in last week’s issue of The Mountain Eagle referring to the Southern Ohio writer Rose Durham’s objection to strip mining: You said it all when you said ‘that’s the only way they can make money.’ Isn’t it a shame that the only money-making industry available to Letcher County citizens is one of destruction and despair? Why are you not as upset with the failed leadership of your elected officials for not providing better opportunities to you than coal jobs? Everyone should have the opportunity to ‘feed their families,’ but they should not have to work for a coal company to do it. All coal has done for Letcher County is rape and pillage it of its most valuable asset – natural resources. Direct your anger at your state senator, state legislator, county judge/executive and all the other elected officials asleep at the wheel. Tell them to improve the economic development for the county by bringing in industries and businesses here other than coal. If they don’t, vote them out and get someone who will. Fayette County is the wealthiest county in Kentucky and it doesn’t have one single coal mine. If coal is so great for Letcher County then you explain to me why we are one of the poorest, least educated and most economically depressed counties in the state. Letcher County has been ranked economically distressed for more than 45 years, all the while we have had the coal industry. Those numbers don’t add up. Coal has been here forever and we are still poor. Coal companies destroy our roads and drain our community and its citizens. I appreciate your passion for your perspective but advise you to direct it toward something less harmful to us all. You are being used.

As September 24 approaches we cannot help but think of our dear family member and friend, and we would like to wish her a very happy birthday.

I see the coal companies or their toadies used Speak Your Piece to attack Rose Ballard Durham for telling the truth about mountaintop removal and strip mining. If they were going to do that, you’d think they’d have the courage to write a signed letter, or at least try to do a better job of disguising themselves. It was obvious that the same person wrote both attacks. Rose, you’re right. Don’t let them get to you.

I think the Letcher County Board of Education should change the way the school system calls for substitutes. Why should the retired teachers have first call? They have had their day in the school system. Let the other qualified people, such as non-hired teachers and education students, be called first. Most of the retired teachers don’t interact with the kids anyway. They just want to sit at the teacher’s desk, give out the work and be very hateful with our kids. They are ‘retired.’ Let the other qualified people have fun with the kids, interact with them, and teach them their lesson for the day instead of being tortured by these retired teachers. The school board talks about budget problems all the time. Well here’s a simple solution: Instead of paying the retired teachers $90 a day for 100 days each, give the other people a shot at trying to survive and work for a living. They are paid less with no guaranteed days. Question: Have you ever tried raising your family on less than $200 a week? Give it a try once and you’ll see it’s not very easy. Retired teachers have their income, plus more. Most of the substitutes try to live on waiting and hoping to be called each school morning. Think about it. Curious minds would like a response.

To a certain granny: We all know that blonde wig can’t hide everything.

It’s something that a man claiming to be a pastor won’t go and visit a member and sick spouse because of the living conditions, but if they live in a nicer home and hand out twenties and fifties he would be there with bells on. I always thought that when we profess to be a Christian we are to love everyone. As long as he receives his weekly payday from the church he will do whatever he wants. Is there a real true church out in this world that actually lives by what the Word of God says? If so, please let me know. I’m tired of this. He thinks that he is the only one that had a rough life while growing up. Well, buddy, let me tell you something. You are wrong. You are not the only one that has had a hard life.

Lady, nobody is trying to boycott your column. How stupid is that? You take what people say too seriously. You need to learn to loosen up and try to enjoy life.

How can a student learn anything if they are sent out of the room to sit in the hallway? Teachers are to be patient and understanding. If you can’t handle it, retire or transfer to another school. If this matter keeps persisting, the school board will be notified and things will change.

I am sending a hello from Crawfordsville, Indiana to all my family and friends down there. I love you all and am always thinking of you. You know who you are.

It was interesting to see the spirited response to a letter condemning mountaintop removal. However, you don’t really have your facts straight. Overall, very few people in Letcher County actually work for the coal industry at all, much less for strip miners conducting mountaintop removal operations. The highest concentrations of poorest people in Kentucky are in areas with the highest rates of coal production. Not a coincidence. Because mountaintop removal is much less labor intensive than other kinds of mining, employment is kept at a minimum. Also, most coal companies now work their miners to death instead of hiring enough workers to do the job. Mountaintop removal destroys the future. If you don’t care about the future of this area, then perhaps you should leave and find a nice factory job in Tennessee or Dalton, Georgia. Your so-called right to a job does not override my right to have water or to live in a house that hasn’t been blasted to pieces by overuse of explosives on mountaintop mines. It doesn’t preclude my right not to have my home and property destroyed by floods caused by mountaintop mining and it doesn’t override my right to breathe clean air instead of the mixture of explosives and dust that comes from these sites. Coal companies doing mountaintop removal might provide a few decent paying jobs, but so do pimps and dope pushers.

To David: I see they are taking you to trial. I just wanted to wish you luck and to let you know that I miss you and think about you a lot. Love always, your punk face.

I think you should let all of Letcher County be strip mined. Then we’ll look just like Pike County – ugly.

Why do people care so much about strip mining? What does it hurt? We don’t need to protect all those streams – they are just dirty little ditches anyway. I would rather have a paycheck than a nice view. My kids don’t care. They have all moved away to Lexington and Ohio to find a job already. I don’t understand why it matters.

A county official steals over sixteen thousand dollars which was intended to be used to pay non-profits for road cleanup. He got a pat on the head and no jail time. Yet, the Letcher County Jail is full of people who committed much smaller crimes. What kind of a justice system do we have here? Do they have some kind of an inverted sentencing system? This is grossly unjust and insane.

How many people in Letcher County are actually employed by coal companies which strip mine? I don’t know anyone who is. Why should they ruin it for the rest of us?

The FBI has arrested 11 officials in New Jersey. This is going on from one end of the country to the other and it has come close to Letcher County here in Kentucky. Pike, Knott, and others have been hit. Contractors routinely get contracts by bribing officials. Officials just as routinely take these bribes and apparently consider them to be nothing more than fringe benefits. How are they missing Letcher County? Maybe they haven’t. Maybe they just haven’t announced it yet. After all, some of these investigations were going on five or six years before they were disclosed.

Everyone should check out the web site www.iLovemountains.org. It is really cool.

Letcher County should pass a law forcing coal companies to give the citizens of Letcher County five dollars for every ton of coal they haul out of here and 10 dollars for every ton taken out by mountaintop removal. That way we can pay for all the damage they leave behind.

The calls made in reaction to Rose Ballard Durham’s comments on mountaintop removal were very likely made by coal company public relations. Anybody can recognize them as the same old line they’ve been parroting for decades. People here do need and want jobs, but they want them to be less brutal, dangerous, and destructive to the earth. One of the great hopes here is for tourism and that is reasonable. There can be no tourism, though, if there is much more destruction from mining and logging. What we need is employment diversity and to be freed from the control of these robber barons who have enslaved these communities their whole history.

I think that it is impressive that The Mountain Eagle is online now. The page layout is fantastic. Everything is so easy to find and read. Job well done and thank you.

(Thank you for the compliment.)

When we see wisdom crying out of the streets of Whitesburg saying, ‘Judge people, go eat another five course meal,’ that will be sincerity. Seriously, and like I said before, don’t bang your car getting out of the parking lot. I hate to say it, but just like Larry Craig, most of the time people are hypocrites.

In reply to the snide remark about Southern Ohio column concerning mountaintop mining, I sure am glad to know you do work. However you aren’t the only one that works for a living. Oh and by the way, I guess you could join a few others that sell their medication to make money. I do have my own opinion and I can dish out as much as you want to write. Mountaintop mining is damaging the beauty. As far as me staying away, I will be back to Letcher County when I want to come. I wonder if you ever watched ‘Mel’s Diner’ on television. There used to be a favorite saying, ‘kiss my grits.’ Well, honey, that is what you can do. I did not mean to step on anyone’s toes. But since I did, deal with it. Now you have a nice day.

To a senior citizen biker: It’s been over two years, does your hefty biker woman still know you call your ex from a pay phone in Pound and laugh in the phone or hang up? What’s the point? You didn’t want her then, so now she has a good man who loves her and makes her happy. Why are you so miserable? You wanted rid of her and now you have your dream woman, but she needs to go home and take care of her own two kids that her mom is raising. Get over it. You can draw Medicare soon and ride off into the sunset. It’s funny in a pathetic kind of way. Grow up. You’ll soon be in your mid-fifties – way too old to be acting like a twit. If you had worked this hard to save your marriage, you would still have your trophy wife instead of what you have now. Oh well, what goes around comes around.

There’s a rumor going around that the current grand jury was on the verge of investigating some of the serious problems in Letcher County, but word has it that it was more threat to the status quo than the establishment could stand, so the investigations won’t be happening. A small group of powerful people have always called the shots here, always to the benefit of themselves. Law is the anchor of civilization. If that’s gone, then we have nothing. How long is power going to be allowed to rule in this county instead of law?

On the question of whether the last house in a hollow deserves gravel on their road, the answer is, ‘It depends.’ If there’s an existing county road up the hollow that goes past your house – not to it – then the county should gravel at least to where your driveway takes off that road, or even farther if there is some purpose to keeping the road maintained past your house. If there is no such existing county road across your land, then if you will give the county either the land for the road to continue or at least a right-of-way across your land, then it’s fair to expect the county to gravel the road at least to where your driveway would take off the new road. But if you are the last house in the hollow and there is no road past your house and you are not willing to give the county any rightof way for such a road, then if the county lays gravel up to your house, what it is doing is graveling your driveway. The county has no business graveling a private driveway with taxpayer money unless it is going to gravel or pave every private driveway in the county, which it can’t. Not only can’t the county and the taxpayers afford that, but it’s flat illegal.

In one of her songs, Jean Ritchie said ‘I own my land, but my land’s not my own.’ She is a native of this area and knows what she’s writing about. That is the essence of land ownership in eastern Kentucky. When someone can bulldoze a four-wheeler road across your property and the law won’t let you defend your property and they won’t defend it for you, why say you own it? All you get to do is pay taxes on it. What if you’re an 81-year-old widowed lady and loggers come onto your property and steal your timber, what can you do? You can’t afford a survey and you can’t afford the civil suit recommended by the officials? What if a group of four-wheelers drive through and destroy your garden and you’re old and outnumbered and the law won’t do anything? Why are we bothering to pretend that anybody actually owns any land?

This week’s word: malfeasance, n., definition: law, doing what a person ought not to do; illegal deed. Additional explanation for public officials: Acting in opposition to your charter, duty, and public trust responsibilities.

Happy anniversary, Bernetta and Dickie York.

The Isom Area Days Festival has once again come and gone. Keeping with tradition, the Isom Festival Committee did an amazing job. At no other time of the year can thousands of people be found in the once bustling hub of commerce and cattle trade that is Isom, Kentucky. While I have for the most part praise for the Isom festival – which I feel is one of the best to be found anywhere – there are a couple of things that could make this festival much better. First of all, all food booths had drink prices set at $1.50. According to what one of the beverage company employees told me, the vendors pay 68 cents for each bottle of drink and the festival committee sets the price that the vendors are required to sell the product to the public. While I have no objection with paying $1 for a drink, charging $1.50 is unreasonable and simply inexcusable. The other thing that really bothered me is something that I saw this year as well as last year. In front of the stage were 75 to 100 metal folding chairs. None of these chairs were marked as being reserved seating. Thus, several dozen patrons at the Isom Days Festival claimed their spot and had hoped to have a front row seat to see Restless Heart perform. Unbeknownst to those patrons – many of which had sat in these spots for several hours – a member of the Isom Days Committee would come around about an hour before the concert was to begin and inform those patrons that the seats, although no one had seen the importance of roping them off or otherwise marking them as reserved seating, were in fact reserved for the sponsors of the event. Now, have no problem with keeping the best seats for the individuals who donated money to help pay the bills – all I ask is that the person who is in charge of marking these seats has enough respect for the patrons to mark off these seats at the beginning of the day, long before anyone can make the mistake of sitting in one of these reserved seats. Again, overall I was very pleased with the Isom festival, but the committee really needs to give more attention to the small details. After all, they are what people notice the most.

I saw in the paper where people want to have a place where they can ride horses and all-terrain vehicles. Why not use the old Kingdom Come School for this? It would be the perfect place for it. You could go through Cornett’s Branch, and it would bring you out in Jewel Ridge where they have a lookout place and you can watch for elk, deer, and bears. The school building also could be made into sort of a bed and breakfast. The classrooms could be turned into bedrooms and the gym could be a restaurant-gift shop. Instead of leaving it empty, why not put it to good use and help put a few jobs in the area? If Harlan County can do it, why not Letcher County? This would be a great way to get out-of-state people to come to Letcher County to spend their money. Besides, if they can put thousands of dollars into a skateboard ramp, why can’t they do something that will bring a little revenue to this place? We sure need something here.

Next time, let’s elect a president who will protect us from attacks like we suffered on 9-11- 01 and who is intelligent enough to catch Osama bin Laden. And as icing on the cake, a vice-president who doesn’t shoot people.

The other day I had occasion to visit both the Whitesburg hospital (ARH) and the Whitesburg clinic (MCHC). I was disgusted to see at each place unhealthy looking nurses standing outside sucking cigarettes. How are we supposed to entrust our health to people who don’t give a damn about their own? Don’t these places realize what horrible PR this is for their organizations?

Does anyone know why one of our elected officials would have an unlisted phone number?

The Isom Days Festival has come and gone. I noticed where Jim ‘Move The County Forward’ Ward approved the expenditure of county money for gravel and other things at the Isom fairgrounds. This is good, but most people will have a problem with it just like I do. The reason I have a problem with it is because it is private property not owned by the Isom Days Committee. They only use it four days out of the year. Even the last house in a hollow can’t get gravel or their road graded, but the fairgrounds that is private property can get gravel and graders. Is this legal?

It is a shame that in our grade schools there are 26 to 30 kids per class. How do our school officials expect our kids to learn? And how do they expect the teachers to teach this many kids? I am sure if Superintendent Anna Craft were back teaching she would not like a classroom this full. We hear about how much our school officials care about our children getting a ‘grade A education’ here, and then they put this many kids in a classroom.

I just wanted to say congratulations to Bryan Fleming for his placement in the Sleepy Hollow Golf Tournament. I am so proud of him.

From now on I’m going to start being nice to people, especially a friend of mine from Blair Branch who I like to go hunting with. If I’ve learned one thing it is that friends are a whole lot more important than anything else in this world. So maybe we can be like Cheech & Chong. If you want to be my friend then I’ll be yours.

Happy early 18th birthday, Jeff. From your loving sister, Brit.

To a certain boy in Neon: You need to stop crying all the time and start acting like a man. Instead of acting like your IQ you need to start acting your age.

To my boyfriend in Haymond: I love you so much, and since I’ve been with you my world has changed. I had low self-esteem and thought I couldn’t get a boyfriend, but you have made my world brighter and better. Thank you so much. Please don’t hurt me.

Welcome back, Greg. We love you. From the family.

To my new daddy in Dry Fork: I love you.

I’ve got this letter that a certain pastor wrote to my husband and put on his vehicle. I would like to know where his church is. I would like to stand up in front of his congregation and read this letter to them. I hope he’s asked God for forgiveness. He needs to ask my husband also. Thank you.

To the guy who used to live in Neon and has all the tattoos: I will always love you. If you ever need me I will always be here for you. I love you with everything in me. Blue Eyes.

To a certain drug dealer: It’s pretty bad when your son is doing all the time – ten years or so – and you only had to do a couple of months. But you’re the ringleader and your time is coming. I repeat: Your time is coming.

I would just like to say hi to Trina and her daughter Telina.

Jesus Christ rebukes you and every unGodly thing you stand for. You’ve beaten, pulled, torn, or burned anyone you thought was a Christian in times past and today still prey upon the Biblically illiterate. I’ll let you know that Jesus Christ is taking His churches back. In Time magazine last week, you just had to print the letters of the woman they called Mother Teresa. No one can take this woman’s good work she did away from her. However, in one of the pictures she is kneeling in front of a statue of Mary with a rosary in her hand. Being a Christian, I can understand why she did not hear from my God. So, Mr. Pope and Vatican, I challenge you to a sign of faith. You, from the top honcho to the mop boy in your faith, pray that I die by the end of the month. And I, in our Lord Jesus Christ’s name, pray that there will be an earthquake and fire in your monastery. From a Christian that is tired of you, a mere man, thinking that you can forgive sin. This will get your attention. P.S. The water will come later. Please print this.

(Why such hatred for Catholics? Aren’t they entitled to their religious beliefs the same as you are to yours?)

They’re finally starting a neighborhood watch group at Mayking, Cram Creek, and Pine Creek. Now anybody can turn in drug dealers and people who frequent drug dealers by reporting their license plate numbers or whatever. It’s good to know also that cameras have been installed at certain places. Your picture will be on ‘Mountain News’ if you come around trying to steal copper again. Thank you.

This comment is to a woman who goes out of Harrison’s Branch on Little Colley between 7 and 7:15 in the mornings: It’s past time for you to slow it down, girl. There are school kids out at this time of the morning in this hollow. The next time you are warned it will be with a citation to go to court. When your kids start going to grade school, will you continue to fly out of the hollow? It’s a narrow road, one way, with blind curves. You are being monitored. Your money is no good when you hit a kid. Think about it. Have you learned yet?

I would like to start this off by saying that I have never called Speak Your Piece in my life, but this time I felt I had to. Several weeks ago, a friend of mine’s son received a beating and I’m not talking about just getting beat up. This kid took a beating that hospitalized him for two days and nights and we know for a fact it has changed their lives forever. The reason I’m calling Speak Your Piece now is the fact that I have only seen one little comment printed in there concerning this, and that was a few weeks ago. The comment told of a neighbor’s child being beaten up and asked where all the coaches were. Well, I, too, would like to know where all the Letcher County Central High School football coaches were when this beating took place. I would also like to know why something hasn’t been done about this by the school. The only charges against the boy who did this had to be filed by the parents. That doesn’t seem right to me because my son got into a fight on school property and the school filed charges itself against both boys involved in the fight, and these boys weren’t even hurt other than a few little scratches. Yet when you get a kid that’s been beaten to the point where he now has a brain injury, and the school hasn’t done anything, well to say the least it’s thrown up a bunch of red flags for me and a bunch of other parents. The only conclusions we can come up with are: number one, somebody’s trying to cover up something or somebody. This group of parents here, and there are eight of us, are really uncomfortable about things concerning Letcher Central and its football program, especially since the beating this kid took was in the locker room right after football practice. We could go on for days and will continue to do so until something is done about this. We eight parents, and we are not the only ones by far who feel this way, know that the best coach on the team was Ed Vanhoose, who was let go because of ‘money problems.’ We know that he was the coach who actually cared about all those boys and not just certain ones. We all hated losing Coach Vanhoose, but we all know that what goes around comes around. We feel the same attention should be placed on the safety of those children that play on that Astroturf that was placed on the actual Astroturf itself. Signed, a bunch of fed-up parents.

To someone who used to be very special to me: I hate you now, you ‘B.’ You know who you are and you know exactly what ‘B’ means.

I would like to direct this question to LKLP: I was up there today to sign up on energy assistance. I was wondering why a big non-profit organization like you does not have a public restroom where a person can relieve his or herself. You leave visitors with the choice of going over to the riverbank or walking a block and a half up to the courthouse. You should at least have a Port-a- Potty or something out in the parking lot. This is unreal. So many people visit your facility, yet you don’t even have a restroom. Thank you.

I was just wondering if anybody in the county has any idea how a guy would get on with one of the tree cutters. Thank you.

I believe that my neighbor needs to come home to take care of her 16-year-old son. He has been alone all summer long and she doesn’t have a clue to what he is doing. Thank you.

Please turn Jenkins Days back over to Ernestine Flint, because this year it really sucked.

This goes out to a certain woman in Jenkins: Lady, you sure messed up by doing your husband that way you did and taking all his stuff. You should have waiting about two months more and you would have had a whole lot more.

I would like to say happy birthday to my best friend, Haley Howard. From Kayla Smith.

To everybody in Neon, Jenkins, and Haymond: Get drunk and be somebody.

I just wanted to comment on the turnout for the Jenkins Homecoming Festival. Someone wrote in Speak Your Piece that it was a flop with no fireworks, no sound, no space for people, and no Drifters. The caller forgot to mention that there were no members of a certain family, either. So if this is what they call a flop we’ll take it every year.

I would like to wish Sandy Handshoe a happy 32nd birthday. It was on September 11. Thanks.

I just want one good man. Is there not one in this whole state? Isn’t there just one good man who works and wants to come home at night and live a peaceful life?

To a certain woman: Just wanted to say hi and tell you that I love you. From Hawk.

Ambulance services should be careful not to hire women who can’t handle patients and do their job correctly.

Hi, little baby. I don’t know why, but I had you on my mind all day today. I guess I was just worrying about you and hoping you were doing okay. I do love you, little baby. If you need anything, just let me know. I left something under the doormat for you.

This is for the copper man: If you were driving how did you not see your copper leave?

To whomever wrote to someone special: What happened is this person has a spouse and a family that they don’t want to lose because of you. What’s going on is you need to quit trying to break up homes and settle for what you have, which is nothing. You don’t love someone that belongs to someone else.

Someone called in and thanked me for being the school lady who won the victory at Letcher School. By the way, I like that name. This wasn’t my victory. It was the students in grades five through eight that won. As for the government, I don’t have time to fix that problem. Maybe you can do that. I just help kids out. I also agree with you that Letcher County should have more people like me. I get things done instead of just sitting around complaining about them. Thanks again. From Lisa Caudill of Jeremiah, a very proud parent.

To Aunt and Uncle in Iowa: I know you get The Mountain Eagle. I don’t know what you got mad at me for, but if you are you need to call me. I think you got a bad story from your brother-inlaw.

I want to wish my best friend, Karen Church, a happy 33rd birthday on the 13th of September. From her best friend, Sandy.

Me and my husband were just wondering if the drug problem is as bad in Cram Creek and the rest of the Mayking area as the people who comment in Speak Your Piece say it is.

To the person who commented about the jail being overcrowded: I think they ought to take the hard-core ones to the pen – the ones doing over a year – to do their time and put the ones in jail for drugs out here on chains and in orange jump suits cleaning up the hollows and roads in Letcher County. We need to make them clean up the roads between Virginia and Hazard, because we are the worst looking place around here. We need to let the drug offenders do the work instead of hiring the Mexicans.

To Unbridled Power: You need to stay away, because I’m coming after you. You’re not going to be able to hide. I know what you drive, where you live, what you look like, and where you work. I know everything about you. Your time is coming.

I can’t believe you went to Harlan when I know you love me.

This one person who was president for eight years did accomplish two things. Number one, he proved anyone can be president. Number two, he showed me what a low opinion one political party has for the other one.

To the 30-year-old single mom looking for a man: Just leave the place, time, and date you want to meet a single man and I will meet you there.

To a certain used-to-be friend of mine: I see you are still a compulsive liar, just like you were in 2001. Your husband already knows what happened the night he was in the hospital and who you were with. In my opinion, you have lost out on a whole lot, lady. And your friend at Burdine is not your friend. She’s talking about you like a dog. Thank you very much.

I don’t understand what this world is coming to. You evict people from your house and then they come back. People who try to take care of them get stepped on. I don’t understand this. Old people, save your money and take care of yourself. Don’t go back to where you’ve been. It will be the same.

To the schools in Letcher County: I would like to let you know I pay enough school tax already every year on every bill going around and through property tax. Our schools should get this coal severance tax. Where is that money going? We thought we were going to get the money from the lottery for the schools. Why do our schools have to send little children door-to-door to sell stuff like magazines? Parents, beware and stop allowing your kids to sell this junk. The schools already get enough money while the rest of us get nothing back from our taxes.

We don’t approve of the hiring of a certain person as a deputy in the sheriff’s office. There will be no help from us ever again. A lot of other people are talking about it, too.

To my dirty little secret: I made a wasted trip to Virginia today if you know what I mean.

The members of the Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival Committee are still patting ourselves on the back for getting Chuck Johnson for master of ceremonies. Not only is he a good emcee, he is also a fine entertainer. He and his band were crowd favorites. Better still, when another band canceled, Chuck and his band were able to step in with only a few hours’ notice and do another great performance. We’re looking forward to having them back next year.

To the group in Jenkins whose members like to refer to themselves as the Jenkins Days Festival Inc.: It looks to me like you would do well to change your name so I won’t have to explain to everyone why you are no longer allowed to produce the real Jenkins festival in Jenkins. Maybe you could change your name to ‘Banished From Jenkins Days Festival Inc.’ or ‘Not Jenkins Days Festival Inc.’ I think I will sell T-shirts at the next Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival. I could put your picture on the T-shirt with a big X over it. This would make a fortune for the real Jenkins festival committee.

When you meet somebody that always reflects the current situation we’re in and what happened 60 years ago, it reminds you of the good things the United States of America stands for. This happened to me on Labor Day in Centerville, Indiana, when I was leaving Webb’s Antiques. When I was checking out I saw a gentleman with a World War II hat on. As always, you feel the need out of respect to go up and shake their hand and tell them how much you appreciate their service to our country. I asked this gentleman where he served in World War II for the U.S. Army. He answered, sort of in shock, ‘Persian Gulf Service Command.’ This man was sharp for someone 86 years old. He told me that in 1942 he was in Basra, Iraq, and that the mission was to ensure supplies being sent to Russia. In 1943, his service command was sent to Tehran, Iran. This was 60 years ago when the world was a better place to live. Who would have thought then that the region would be such a troubled place now? Think of how much the world has changed in 60 years.

To the woman in Jenkins who made a walk-through of the city park during the real Jenkins festival: You have criticized every aspect of the festival from the committee, to the sound system, to the entertainment, to the seating, to the parking, to the placement of the tents and picnic tables. Just remember that our committee is on the inside looking out and you are on the outside looking in. You make me think of a pathetic little snottynosed kid with your face pressed against the window with teardrops as big as horse manure streaming down your cheeks. Just think about it. You could have still been on the inside looking out if you could have kept your nose clean.

To the woman in Jenkins: You see, that’s all I have to say and everyone knows to whom I am referring. I saw you in the IGA parking lot last Tuesday waiting for The Mountain Eagle to be delivered. You nearly stumbled and fell trying to read Speak Your Piece as you walked. You were checking to see if they published all the things you called in praising yourself and your committee. I saw your face when you read my zinger. I haven’t had so much fun since you got caught in the washing machine ringer.

A certain man who lives in Doty Creek has been going around putting ‘no hunting’ and ‘no trespassing’ signs up on land he doesn’t even own. Let me tell you something, pal. You think you’re smart, but you’re not. You’re posting signs on my land that you don’t even own. Come hunting time, I will start hunting deer wherever I want. All you are doing is trying to claim land you don’t even own.

This comment is about the man with a boat whose wife and kids live in a trailer: Why. they love that house. And they love that boat. He loves his wife and kids more than anything in the world.

I would like to leave a message for the lady who was looking for ‘plumb granny’ seeds: We do have some. If she will reply in Speak Your Piece we will try to see that she gets some if she is still interested.

What is Jenkins doing with the money that could be used to purchase new football uniforms?

To Frosted Flakes: I love you so much and I am glad we’ve been going out for five months. From Lucky Charms.

I hear two of your daughters are doing their men like you do yours – taking everything.

This is a 39-year-old young woman looking for a guy between 25 and 41: If anyone is out there, respond in next week’s Speak Your Piece.

I think more women should run for office in Letcher County. Maybe the women could get something done, because all the men know how to do is lie to people.

I want to address this to the Letcher County Fiscal Court: You need to hire a dog warden who is trustworthy. The current dog warden came and picked up my dog for no reason. When I confronted him about it he said he wasn’t even there even though he was. The paperwork at the county highway garage and the paperwork at the animal shelter in Hazard proved him wrong. Then he suddenly remembered. I suggest you get a dog warden who is straightforward.

To the man who lives at Eolia: You are trashier than I thought. You are pure trash. Your wife is an idiot, plus she’s trashy, too.

To a certain biker: That was pretty low what you did – lying to me from the start and saying you were single when you had a girlfriend you were living with. You also said you had never been married when really you had been married six times and divorced. You also said you only had one kid when you really had eight. You used me. That was wrong, and it will come back to you.

To a certain man: This is a lady who dated you about three years ago. You gave me a number for me to call you at your sister in-law’s. When I called you gave her the phone. I live at Isom and you know who I am. I would love to get up with you again.

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