Whitesburg KY

Struttin’ Time:

Remembering a childhood hero

In life we all have a hero. In my life there have been many, but Mr. Henry Sword is one of those who has stayed with me throughout my life.

Growing up in McRoberts had many advantages. All of the adults watched after you, just like you were one of theirs. The women fixed lots of cookies, gave you homemade lemonade, and didn’t care one bit to tell your parents if they saw you do anything you shouldn’t. The men all worked together in the coalmine, were all members of United Mine Workers, and would take time to show you a new knot to tie in your fishing line. They would also take you hunting or fishing, and were never too busy to spend time with you.

Mr. Sword was our next-door neighbor for years. He was one cool dude. I never heard one mean word come from his mouth, or saw one mean thing in his actions. He also hunted with us. Mr. Sword had a little feisty dog, named Scotty. While the years and the groundhogs and raccoons had worn on Scotty’s body, he was still one of the best I ever hunted with.

Dad called Mr. Sword by several different names — Shorty, Bro, or just Henry, but Mr. Sword never seemed to mind, he would always answer. Mr. Sword would go to Quicksand or to the Cumberland National Forest to hunt with us. It seemed he was always ready to go.

His family and I are still friends to this day — best of friends I might add. The Great Spirit of Life took Mr. Sword across the Silent River, but the memory of the life he lived will stay with me forever.

February 28 would have been his birthday Happy birthday, Mr. Henry Sword. You are a giant in my book. The life you showed me I could live will never be forgotten.

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