Whitesburg KY
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Springtime on Smith’s Creek



When it’s springtime in the mountains, lazy little Smith’s Creek can get out of bounds easily with lots of rain.

It had been raining for two days when Uncle Oscar, our postmaster, dropped Wilma, Wayne and me off at Aunt Myrtie’s house (Wilma’s mom). He said he would have to park somewhere and walk around the hill to get to his house.

There were no bridges across the creek, cars just drove through. He would tell my mom where we were.

By evening, Aunt Myrtie was concerned that water would surround the house during the night. So we gathered water, snacks, blankets, dry socks, a couple of flashlights, and headed for the barn. It was on higher ground and closer to the road.

As eighth graders, Wilma and I thought it was an adventure. Wayne was seven, and went along with us — not afraid.

We climbed the ladder to the hayloft and spread our blankets and belongings on the sweet-smelling hay. We told stories, “haint” tales and jokes, but Aunt Myrtie prayed.

She was concerned about us, and her home being flooded. I don’t remember if any of slept very much.

During the night the rain stopped, and by daylight we could see only three to four inches of water to wade through to get to the house.

The creek waters had gone on down the holler to join the headwaters of the Cumberland River.

Aunt Myrtie fixed us a hot breakfast, and we told Uncle Check (Chester Sturgill) all about our night when he got home from his third shift at the mines.

Wayne and I went home when Uncle Oscar came by after work, and naturally, we had to tell him all about our adventure. Mother (Louanna Shepherd Boggs) was glad to have us home and also listened to our big night adventure.

From the desk of Wayne Boggs, Dayton, Oh.:

Nancy is 82 years young. She was born in Letcher County and went to school at Eolia Consolidated, and two years at Whitesburg, where she had to ride the old Greyhound across the mountain every school day from Eolia.

She migrated to Dayton in 1948, when our dad moved here to work at Frigidaire.

She has always shown a gift for writing, and I have encouraged her to send these to you.

She is a great-grandma, in reasonably good health, and has been widowed for five years.

We still have many cousins, et. al., in and around Whitesburg and Cumberland. Our parents rest in the Sturgill Cemetery up Bowman Holler in Eolia.

Nancy still loves the mountains and still calls them home. Her beautiful memories abound.

We try to return every fall to the Shepherd family reunion held at the state park in Cumberland.



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