Whitesburg KY
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Tribute to the Browning family



A former neighbor or ours passed away recently and brought back a lot of memories, some bad and some good. Joe Browning Jr. went by the name of Jr., but, when he worked at Whitesburg ARH they called him Shorty Browning. Even though he retired many years before his death I can still almost hear "Shorty Browning" over the intercom.

He lived to be 90 years of age. His parents, Joe and Rebecca, each reached a ripe old age, too.

Jr. liked to fool with chickens and seemed to have an endless supply all the time. When one rooster started crowing they seemed to all get in on the fun. Sometimes I wanted to scream when they got started crowing and other times I enjoyed it. I guess it all depends on which side of the bed I got up on or something to that effect. Like myself, he enjoyed digging ginseng and was pretty good at it.

I don’t think he ever got over losing a daughter in an automobile accident only a few years before his death.

I was attending Stuart Robinson High School, now Calvary Campus, and Joe and Rebecca had a little store just off the campus and every chance I got I would go over there and hang around for a few minutes. She treated me as if I was family and not as if I was trash like a lot of other people did. I wondered why she was so nice to me when so many others weren’t. But still I enjoyed being treated like I was really somebody. I never did have any money to call my own at the time, but I could always count on a little tidbit of something for my sweet tooth.

She just had one good eye but could see that others were too ignorant to see because their nose was blocking their vision as they looked down on other less fortunate people. But Rebecca wasn’t like that at all and neither was Joe, who was a minister.

While getting all the necessary documents together in preparation to enter the army at age 17, I got my first look at my birth certificate and what I saw sent chills up my spine. I was born at home with a midwife attending. The midwife was none other than Rebecca Browning. That old woman had remembered spanking my bottom on September 7, 1942 to start life out right.

She must have done a good job because even though I have had my share of trials and tribulations I am still here 66 years later. And the Lord didn’t promise anyone that life would be a bed of roses, but that all mankind were equal. But people today still can’t see that all are equal in the sight of God.

Well, that’s all from the funny farm till next time.



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