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I was making cornbread this morning and thought back to my grandmother who raised her family at the head of Scuttlehole Gap. She told me about the times she had to wrap sackcloth around her feet to go out and chop wood to keep the kids warm. As I was scraping out the bowl I remember what she said when I was a little boy. She said, ‘Every spoonful you get out is another bite of food in our mouths.’ You children have got it made nowadays. God bless you. The old-timers are fading fast. But there’s one thing you need to know: The valley of the winds is our country, but they destroyed it by strip-mining and they killed our rivers. It’s pitiful what they did to eastern Kentucky in the name of progress and money. Cumberland River will always be the people who were born there.
. Hello, Letcher Countians. If you don’t know who to vote for, come to the Harry M. Caudill Library in Whitesburg on October 22 at 5:30 p.m. to listen to the candidates talk about their opinions and views.
. I read in Speak Your Piece where Jim Ward’s people were blaming Wayne Fleming and Terry Adams for the state audit that was just done. I can tell the callers that Fleming and Adams did not get the audit started, but I know who did do it. You people better watch who you keep voting for, because this place is going to hell.
. I would like to tell Hillary Clinton she is not the only person who counts in this country. She said you can’t be civil to a political party that is trying to destroy what you believe. In my world the shoe is on the other foot. She has done more to destroy this country than anyone else has in my 75 years of life.
. Don’t you think we have enough politics in our schools as it is already? The Letcher School had its fall festival and all that were there were politicians at their tables campaigning. Do we need that type of politics in our schools?
. Well, well, well, Mr. Red Ford Extended Cab. You know what? People are in the woods digging ginseng and everything else. Would you like for someone to know what you were doing out on Sandlick? I saw what you were doing and I’ve got some good video of what you were doing. Do you want me to tell what you were really doing? That’s what you need to ask yourself.
. If I were accused of a crime and were to go on trial, there are thousands
of people out there who I wouldn’t want to be on the jury. They would have me guilty before the trial started without one shred of evidence.
. To the guys or gals at Appalshop: We do not now nor have we ever spelled Sandlick as Sand Lick. As a Sandlick native, I am very insulted by your referring to my community as Sand Lick on your radio promotion about fire departments. Did you ever think to let some of the older people there look over your work before posting it?
. I want to wish Mack Fields, our uncle, a happy birthday. It was on October 12. He is 90 years young. Lives in Florida. Debra, his daughter, takes care of him. A little friend, Big Dee, will have a birthday on the 21st. Now on to other matters. Let’s vote Mike Watts as circuit clerk and I’m in favor of Barry Engle being sheriff. Also consider Bobby Ray Howard as well, okay? Please print this? Thank you, Stanley Pack.
. I am familiar with Jenkins and have on several occasions seeked help from Mayor Todd Depriest. I am an outside observer of eastern Kentucky and I find Todd to be an exception compared to most mayors I seek help from. He is very knowledgeable in his responsibilities and anxious to assist if the request will be good for the people of Jenkins. He is always around and I have never called or visited Jenkins and found him unavailable. This kind of dedication is rare in most cities and I think deserves recognition.
. Letcher County Judge/ Executive Jim Ward was the major force in the organizing and approval to build the recreation center that has been the most important addition ever brought to this county to help our youth that now have a safe and chaperoned place to spend their free time. No other county of our population and size has such an outstanding youth center. I think county or city employees should not be taken lightly because much experience and management ability is needed as much as any sizable business, maybe even more. In fact several other counties in eastern Kentucky are using Letcher County Recreation Center as the preferred model for their county. Take a close look when you go to vote. Prospects that can’t manage their own business affairs surely don’t need to be managing your affairs countywide.
It hurts so bad knowing someone came to you after two years wanting to be your friend again, but then all they do is use you. You don’t know how happy I was when I opened the door and saw you standing there, but in the end I wish I had never answered that door. How can you do what you did to me and say you love me? You never loved me. But you know what, girl? I did love you like the daughter I never had.
. Between Hillary and Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Diane Feinstein, and that Kamala out there in California, they’re our best assets as Republicans. If they’ll just keep talking and the Republicans keep quiet, that’s all they need to do. They are cutting their own throats and hanging themselves. Thank you very much.
. Woo hoo, yippee yay, if we didn’t just have good old Blackey Days. Same old junk, same old stuff, same old music. What good does it do? All that money they make in that community and nothing ever transpires. (Instead of complaining about Blackey Days each and every year, why don’t you offer up your festival expertise to the planning committee? Why complain about a free event you were not forced to attend and one you had not one single thing to do with making happen?)
How do you get in touch with Kentucky Power Company? I called the operator and asked for the number of Kentucky Power in Whitesburg, Hazard, Lexington, Canton, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is where my bill goes. The operator said she had no phone numbers to give out for Kentucky Power Company. I asked her, ‘What if I call 9-1-1 to get it?’ She said I couldn’t do that because that is for fire and police only. There was a live wire down in the road here and I couldn’t get in touch with them. It just floored me that people have no way of getting in touch with them. Thank you. (Kentucky Power Company’s number for 24-hour customer service and for reporting a power outage or similar problem is 1-800- 572-1113. The number is available in Letcher County telephone directories in the Yellow Pages only.)
I am calling about the mayor’s race in Jenkins. I just want everyone to know that Wayne Fleming is the guy for the job. He’s lived in Jenkins all of his life and has served in the military. If we ever want Jenkins to get back to what it once was, a nice, beautiful town with people in it, they better put Wayne Fleming in as mayor. The guy knows what he’s doing and he is relentless on the job.
. To anyone in the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg who will listen to the people from Marshall’s Branch, which the county is responsible for: We are going to quit voting for any of you people if you don’t get up here and start cutting these weeds. We can’t see to get in and out of this hollow. And you people are asking for our votes? You better get busy. Thank you.
. I sure am glad to see my friend from Pine Creek come back home. They have been gone way too long. He’s my friend until the day I die. And to the lady he was with: You will pay for the things you did to him.
. I’m a resident of Jenkins and I would like to ask everyone here to keep our present mayor in office. We don’t need to go back to the Stone Age. If we elect two candidates like Wayne Fleming for mayor and Terry Adams for county judge, our town will be destroyed. Let’s get together and vote to keep Todd Depriest. He’s doing a good job.
. Well I see where they’re jumping the dog owners and cat owners in Whitesburg for
letting their pets poop here and poop there. I think that is just fine. But what about all these people with their sewers and straight pipes running right into the creek? Why don’t they do something about that? This is the old cat killer saying have a great big old meow day. (The pet waste ordinance is the work of the Whitesburg City Council, not the Letcher Fiscal Court. The City of Whitesburg doesn’t have a problem with straight pipes dumping sewage directly into the river or creeks.)
To the voters of Letcher County: You need to wake up and see what’s coming down the pike. Mr. Ward has had the county judge’s offi ce for more than ten years and we’ve gone backward. I don’t know Terry Adams, but it’s time for a change. Let’s put him in office. It’s time for something new. Maybe he can think outside the box. Why doesn’t the Letcher County Judge/Executive’s Office get out and recruit businesses to come into our county like they do in other counties in Kentucky? Why is it that Letcher County has gotten nothing? Put Jim Ward in office for four more years and we’ll be set back another four years.
. Hello, good citizens of Letcher County. My Speak Your Piece topic for the day is the City of Jenkins election coming up and the slumlords of Jenkins and Burdine. Everybody knows who they are, just as they do the drug lords of Jenkins. It’s all really getting out of hand. The slumlords and the drug lords go hand-inhand here. The slumlords rent the slums to the drug people, who do business in those slums. If the mayor would get the slumlords out I think he would be able to do a good job. If the current mayor doesn’t get rid of the slumlords, another good and viable candidate is running and I believe he’ll be able to do a good job. He may just win.
. If I won that big lottery — it was $654 million going into Tuesday night — I would spend every penny of it to expose those lying bunch of faith-healing preachers on TV. They are frauds, people.
. I think it’s a shame when a grade school has a fall festival and when you walk in all that’s there are campaign tables. We didn’t get to see anything the kids had done. Do you really think a grade school fall festival is a place for campaigners?
. My neighbor isn’t planning to vote, but he’s going to be awfully mad when his granny loses her Medicare and that sweet young daughter of his can’t get health care because of her pre-existing conditions. And he better not complain to me. He’s so proud of his pessimism he won’t even try to shake these Congress members up and out. How can he face his kids if he won’t even try?
. To the Burton Hill Bandit: You should be in jail, but you’re still out running around. And to your family: You say you’re Christians and one of you even claims to be a preacher. Quit lying for him. Yes, he’s back on the stuff. I saw him the other day with his head stuck out the window with slobber hanging out of his mouth a foot long. He didn’t even know he was in this world.
. To the woman who commented on a picture of her ex-husband: Have you still got a thing for him?
. I would like to put in Speak your Piece that I feel like I was treated rudely at Gracie’s Closet when I went in there with a need for clothes. If you have items to give away please think about taking them somewhere else.
. To the voters of Letcher County: Ask Jim Ward what he’s going to do if he gets re-elected. When he tells you, ask him why he hasn’t
done it before. The man has done nothing, so why put him back into office? Wake up, people, you’re stupid. You keep voting these fools in who make promises they can’t keep, which is the reason Letcher County never has anything. Have you ever wondered why the Letcher County Sanitation Department workers are riding around in junk vehicles that are patched together and not safe to be on the roads? Every piece of equipment the county has is worn out, patched up and broken down. Where did the money go? It did not go to buy garbage trucks or dump trucks. We still operate with the equipment Carroll Smith bought when he was judge.
. The Appalshop radio station now plays some of the sorriest music on Saturday nights I’ve ever heard in my life. They used to take requests, but now they don’t even have live DJ’s on the air most of the time. How dumb is that? Also, I call up Classic Country on WTCW and they don’t even take requests anymore. What is up with this?
. Speak Your Piece, I hate to say this, but we need a Purge Night for these women having drug babies. We need to take all those women out.
. Thanks to the David A. Zegeer Museum Committee for a wonderful Twentieth Anniversary celebration on Saturday, October 6. Three committee members did most of the work for the celebration. They include Randall Tackett, Elaine Sanders and Kathy Hughes. These members had several new displays set up. One interesting item was a pistol that Bad John Wright owned. Thanks to Mayor Todd Depriest and the city workers for their hard work — painting, scrubbing, mowing, and cleaning the area of the museum. Several people attended the open house. There was a special tribute to former Mayor Shubert, who obtained the funds to save the old depot for the coal and railroad museum. Ellen Compton catered the food for the hungry crowd and did her usual great work. The people of Jenkins and Letcher County have a hidden jewel in the mountains. If you have not visited this museum, do so soon.
. It would be nice if the construction of the improved U.S. 119 would also start at Payne Gap, toward Whitesburg. If the Gateway Business Park is to be fully developed, a new and better entrance must be built into the park. Construction seems to be going on on many of the roads in the area. I can think of no better project than a new road for Payne Gap for the safety of the driving public. Thank you.
. What is the purpose of these constables in Letcher County? I never see them out doing anything. They are never on the roads. Why
do we need them? Why don’t we put the question of whether we need a constable or not on the ballot? I don’t see the point in having constables myself, but I guess that’s more checks handed out.
. There are two people right now working for the Letcher County Sheriff’s Department while they are running for the office of sheriff. When you go into the sheriff’s office there is a poster of ‘Letcher County’s Most Wanted’ on the wall, yet they refuse to go and pick him up. That is dereliction of duty. Why should we hire either of you to do a job in the future that you won’t even do right now? I think we need to do like they did in West Virginia and call out the National Guard. Everybody can tell you where the most wanted is located — holed up in a camper on Pert Creek. Go and get him.
. I went to a certain beauty shop and had my hair done and they destroyed it. The staff was very rude and I would advise everyone not to go there.
. This is about two places in the Bible where the word ‘again’ is used. If something happens again and again it can mean it continues, as with Cain and Abel, Genesis 4:1-2. Even ‘touch’ is a sexual term in Genesis 3:3. Adam and Eve covered their private parts with an apron after their encounter with the serpent, also called Satan, Dragon and Devil. In Revelations 12:9, Cain was Satan’s son and he killed Adam and Eve’s son Abel and became the first murderer. Eve told God in Genesis 3:13, ‘the serpent beguiled me and I did eat,’ which means seduced. The other place again is used is in John 3:3-5. Jesus tells us three things we have to do to see God. We have to be born from above and of the water, which is the water of the mother’s womb.
. Questions for Mickey Stines, candidate for sheriff of Letcher County: Will you keep the sheriff’s office open 24 hours? Also, are you going to have all new deputies and not the deputies we have now?
. My wife says, ‘All us women want is for you men to be gentle.’ Listen, I could jump out of an airplane from 30,000 feet and land on a soap bubble and not even bust it, and still even that is not gentle enough.
. It is sickening to see candidates for countywide offices campaigning during funeral home visitations. It was as if it were a campaign rally for one candidate and his wife. That is no place for campaigning. And then we walk outside only to see two women jump on a man and his wife. That looked so silly and so sickening. What is happening to the people in this country? It is sad to see what people do and why they can’t respect a funeral. Take your campaigns to rallies, not funerals.