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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Week 56: Who are you in Louisa/Lawrence County?

 

Last weeks picture: Masonic Lodge officers: H. H. (Harry) Roberts, Max Smith (my step-father), G. A. Simpson, Chesley Wright, Arnold Mullins Jr., Clifford Potter, Robert Riply and Johnny Burton. Dated: Dec. 27, 1952...It was submitted by Nina Jean Pelfrey Fraley...

I can be contacted at the below addresses, and your comments are welcome in the space at the bottom of this page…

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Weekly Feature... by Michael Coburn 

 

One thing I liked to do, much the same as a few kids I knew growing up, was to visit with elderly people and listen to the stories of their experiences. One had to be on guard less we be duped, but usually you could tell if they were playing straight with you. Often I would visit the homes of people, like Mrs. Clayton that lived down the block from me on Clay Street. She was a very old lady and rather on the thin side, and a little weak. She seemed to be in her eighties, but could have been a hundred and twenty for all I knew. I had been warned to never ask a lady her age, so even with a curious mind, I avoided going to the subject.

With a little luck some will tell you, as if it is a badge of achievement to have lived so long. As I now evaluate things from closer to that end of life’s short tunnel, I think it is a kind of achievement. I look forward to those golden years and some kid visiting me and asking what it was like growing up in the dark ages.

 

I remember helping Mrs. Clayton with this or that, but mostly I sat in one of her Lincoln rockers while she sat and knitted or crocheted on something, perhaps for a grandchild. She had some nice antique furniture including at least two Lincoln rockers, but not a lot of expensive decorations like some in town had. It was hard for me to fathom that she had traveled by wagon and buggies most of her life. She had been born just after the Civil War and had experienced many, many things in her life. I would drill her sometimes, just to milk all the history I could before it would be lost forever. We talked about automobiles, airplanes, telephones, electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, movies, radio, old barn dances, house and barn raising, doctors and hospitals, medicine, school and foods. She no longer made soap or bread, but still mended her clothes and made tablecloths and doilies.

Lizzie Shannon (I think that was her last name) and her sister lived across Clay Street from me. I usually helped them by mowing their grass, but was only allowed in their kitchen once or twice. She once showed me her parlor from the doorway, but I wasn’t allowed in. Nobody let kids into the parlors in those days. That’s where the ‘good stuff’ was kept, usually with shades drawn to prevent ‘sun-fading.’ Lizzie, (this is all I learned to call her) explained that the sofa (I have several like them, now) was stuffed with horse hair and were high and hard to sit on, usually causing shorter people to slide right off into the floor. Ha! She thought that was a turnoff. Actually, it sounded like fun. I thought, Someday I’ll have me one of those of my own. Well I do, but many people eschew the idea of having such old stuff.


 

Every time I went into the homes of some of the prominent citizens of the little town I was quick to look at the old oil lamps with their prisms hanging to reflect the sun’s light, (some of the lights had been electrified) and the wonderful carved couches and wingback chairs. I came to equate having those things as having arrived, or being wealthy. Most of my generation prefers ‘modern’ furniture with sleek designs, but I found early on that they often didn’t last and were not as comfortable. In fact, I saw those modern sticks as cheaply made and unsupportive for regular use. So now I have tons of antiques and find they hold up and look much better than the particle board rip-off’s they sell today. Some Victorian or Arts & Crafts (missions) are truly beautiful and very functional. I’ve come to love them.

 


Just a couple of weeks ago I spent about a half a day in the Abby Rockefeller Art Museum in Williamsburg looking at old painting, quilts, artifacts, wind chimes, weather vanes, instruments, pottery, silver, and some of the prettiest and best crafted furniture I’ve ever seen. The early American styles, wood finishes and grains, and shapes and sizes were breath-taking. I saw an old fretless banjo similar to one I’d made years ago, but even older. The old craftsmen knew how to make good furniture and took the time to do it right. It took years and talent to learn the trade and the products are sought today in the best markets. Watch Antiques Road Show on PBS and see some fine examples.

You know, our American heritage is really rich, and should not be put down by anyone. Whether it was an old stage coach, a buggy, a lantern, a box grand piano, a weaving loom, a churn or crock, our tools and belonging define who we are. Whether rich or poor, educated or not, or regardless of our family history, this is a great nation and Lawrence County is a great place to live and grow up. I have really come to appreciate Louisa and how it contributed to my life and how important that even our local history is as we consider its application in our lives.

I would encourage young people to stop with the texting long enough to talk to those ‘round-about, that have lived through ‘the war’ and know about the ‘great depression.’ I loved to stop and listen to the old men sitting, whittling on the benches at the courthouse, or folks visiting after a hard day’s work. There are very few left and their stories are worth saving. Take on a project of gathering stories and learning about your roots. After all, it’s who you are.


The author is a member of the LHS Class of 1960. He is writing and compiling stories about life’s experiences in growing up in Louisa during the late forties, fifties and early sixties. He would look forward to hearing a few tales, worthy of inclusion in a potential forthcoming book. Excerpts may be published in future editions of the ‘Lazer.’ His email is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He’d love to hear from you.

Think about it...  

 

 Weekly Feature ...by U.C. "Liss" Jones

 

From time to time things come across the Internet that brings back memories of days gone by and made sense back then. Here are a few that I found…and some that I added…some remembered, some forgotten…and some that should be put to use today…See what you think.

 

* Be sure to refill the ice trays, we're going to have company.
 

* Watch for the postman, I want to get this letter to Willie in the mail today.

 * Quit slamming the screen door when you go out!

* Be sure and pull the windows down when you leave, it looks like a shower is coming up.

* Don't forget to wind the clock before you go to bed.

* Wash your feet before you go to bed, you've been playing outside all day barefoot.

* Why can't you remember to roll up your britches legs, getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up?

* You have torn the knees out of that pair of pants so many times there is  nothing left to put a patch on.

* Don't you go outside with your school clothes on!

* Go comb your hair; it looks like the rats have nested in it all night.

* Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle.

* Take that empty bottle to the store with you so you won't have to pay a deposit on another one.

* Put a dishtowel over the cake so the flies won't get on it.

* Quit jumping on the floor!  I have a cake in the oven and you are going to make it fall if you don't quit!

* Let me know when the Fuller Brush man comes by, I need to get a few things from him.

* You boys stay close by, the car may not start and I will need you to help push it off.

* Hi…I’m the new insurance man and I come by to collect this month’s premium.

* That rabbit will make some good stew.

* The cars battery is dead…guess we will have to crank it now.

* Give me that towel…the windows are fogging up inside.

* Here comes the Jewell T man!

* There's a dollar in my purse, get 5 gallons of gas when you go to town.

* Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here, it's getting hot.

* You can walk to the store; it won't hurt you to get some exercise.

* Don't sit too close to the TV. It's hard on your eyes.

* If you pull that stunt again, I am going to wear you out!

* Don't lose that button; I'll sew it back on after while.

* Wash under your neck before you come to the table, you have beads of dirt and sweat all under there.

* Come here and let me see if you got behind your ears clean.

* Get out from under the sewing machine; pumping it messes up the thread!

* Be sure and fill the lamps this morning so we don't have to do that tonight in the dark.

* Here, take this old magazine to the toilet with you when you go, we are almost out of paper out there.

* Go out to the well and draw a bucket of water so I can wash dishes.

* Don't turn the radio on now; I want the battery to be up when the Grand Ole Opry comes on.

* No! I don't have 10 cents for you to go to the show. Do you think money grows on trees?

* Eat those turnips; they'll make you big and strong like your daddy.

* That dog is NOT coming in this house! I don't care how cold it is out there. Dogs don't belong in the house.

* Sit still!! I'm trying to get your hair cut straight and you keep moving and it is all messed up.

* Hush your mouth! I don't want to hear words like that! I'll wash your mouth out with soap!

* Make sure you put on clean underwear, just in case we have a wreck.

* Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to really to cry about.

* Go catch me the biggest chicken, the Preacher is coming for Sunday dinner.

* Make sure you burn all the garbage.

 

There are many more 'Things You Don’t Hear Anymore' out there that you remember…but through the ages…there is one thing we will here from the Cradle to the Grave….

 

IT’S TAX TIME!!!!!

 

I can be contacted at the below addresses, and your comments are welcome in the space at the bottom of this page…

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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