Whitesburg KY

The mountains I loved so much

I understand the road up Cane Branch Hollow is much better now than it was when I was a young boy. My thoughts wander back to those childhood days . ose days were

Th something very special to me. It was very hard times in the ‘30s and ‘40s, but those were the best times of my life.

I remember driving my dad’s old Model A pick-up truck to #3 Store to buy food for our family and livestock when I was about 10 years old. I was able to drive because most of the controls were on the steering wheel column. I did not drive on the main road at my young age.

Since then I have driven in 36 states, Hawaii, Japan and most of Europe.

I’ve seen a lot of this world, but I can truly say that I have never seen a more beautiful place than the mountains of Letcher County. I have not been back to those mountains since we had our 50th Jenkins High School reunion in 1997.

While I was in the military and not overseas, I tried to come home on leave every other year.

When my dad found out that he had black lung, he and Mom moved to Payne Gap. My dad, mom and brother Roger are buried on a little hill above their last home. I need to go back for a visit soon.

My mom worried about me when I was overseas all those times. After she got sick I went back to Jenkins and asked her to come back to California and live with me. She told me that she would never leave the Kentucky mountains.

I’ve always thought that when the time came I would retire in Letcher

County, but it never worked out that way.

Writing these stories in The Mountain Eagle is my way of keeping in touch with folks back there.

I really miss those beautiful mountains.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.

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