I have had breakfast, lunch or supper in about every hollow in Letcher County. As a lifelong resident I feel I know my county fairly well, and our people. That is not so with my new county of Estill.
When we moved here it didn’t take long to figure that we had downgraded. I lived in Letcher County for 65-plus years and never had anything stolen. We had not even moved into our house here before the neighbor we paid to cut grass in the day was cutting the locks at night. He stole around $12,000 worth of items before we even knew he was doing it. He had spent over half his adult life in prison, and he was only 45 years old.
This thief got three months in the county jail for stealing from us. A year later he stole from the wrong people and he paid for it with his life. I could not then, nor can I now, find any tears for him or his family. They knew he was doing it, but never did anything to stop him. Needless to say, Sharon and I stay close to home, and we have installed an $8,000 alarm system.
Well I am trying to do better, and this past weekend the county held a “weekend on the water.” I broke out my trusted fishing raft to go with my friends, all dozen of them, and ride the river. The weather people are the only people I know of that can do their jobs wrong 60 percent of the time but still draw 100 percent of their paychecks. They said it was to be a wonderful day to get out and enjoy, with the highs near 80 degrees.
I had never been to the river along the road I was going in on, and I saw this beautiful body of water. I launched my raft and floated about 15 minutes, but there were no other people. I watched the road and it was full of vehicles carrying kayaks and rafts going by me. I noticed I was on a lake — someone’s private lake.
I sneaked out of the water, and followed some kayak-carrying vehicles about a mile on up the hollow. There was Kentucky River. Did I mention I need to start getting out in my new county more often?