Wednesday, 03 October 2012 12:37
With nine children, Daddy, Mother and Grandmother all living in one house, we had to grow everything we could to live. Every level piece of gorund was planted in something. There were four pieces of ground that we used. One had only the driveway between it and the house.
We mowed very little, what we called the ‘yard’ or lawn. One Saturday for many years, we ‘swept’ the yard. We actually took a broom and swept in front of the house.
Daddy plowed the fields with a pony and a plow. He never talked about buying a tractor, or tiller. Daddy’s job was plowing the garden, the hoeing and planting was done by Mother and us children. The pony ate on pasture land in the summer and sweet feed, corn and fodder in the winter months.
I cannot remember, but there must have been a time when Daddy did not own a car. He walked to the ‘cut’, the junction of 1524 and 421 at Goose Rock, to catch a ride to the mines. A distance of at least three or four miles one way. When needed, he would carry a 25 lb. bag of flour or meal from the store. Next time he carried a 50 lb. stand of lard.
He bought groceries from these stores: Bob Howards’, Raleigh Walkers’, J.D. Walkers’ or Chester Corums’ store. Daddy could get anything from these stores, on credit. He had a good name for paying his depts..
We always had a cow for our own milk and butter. Chickens for their meat and eggs. It was not unusual for Mother and Grandmother to get up before breakfast to kill a chicken to fry. We feed ‘slop’ to our hog. In our home, Thanksgiving was not a day for a turkey dinner, but it was hog killing time. We worked all day, in cold wind and sometimes snow, to get the hog butchered.
That night we ate fresh hog meat, until we would say that it went to our ‘heads’. We didn’t know it then, but the pork made our blood pressure go up. I have watched our grandmothers dip bread in pure meat grease and eat it, but back then, we worked hard and worked the grease out of us.
We ate ‘poke’ salad, picked blackberries and gathered walnuts and whatever else God provided. There was not as much ‘give away’ then as there is now. Or at least, we didn’t know about it. No food stamps. There was a program, where the government gave away food. People would say they were going to get their ‘commodies’.
This was free food, but we did not receive much of it and not every month, like people do now. I remember we receive cans of roast beef and cans of peanut butter. One time a man was running for sheriff and he was promising, that if elected, he would see that the ‘commodies’ were of a better quality.
On a radio ad, he asked voters, “Does your peanut butter have holes in it?”
I am serious, this actually happened, but with or without the help of the government, we survived. Daddy provided for this family and taught his children that the world did not owe us a living, but just an opportunity to work for what we got.
Charlie Murphy Jr.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:19
Martins Creek Memories
This article is in response to this newspaper asking people in Clay County to write about things from the past. Since I seem to live in the past as much as I do in the present, it is ideal for me to write. I hope someone gets enjoyment out of it.
Most of my childhood was lived on Martins Creek (Highway 2000), on Lipps Branch. Daddy rented a house from Carlo ‘Peanut’ Lipps. For the longest time I remember that we only paid ten dollars a month for rent. Not much compared to today, but we’re talking about the 1950’s and 60’s. Paying such a small amount of rent, Daddy made any repairs that the house needed. It was rare that Daddy asked Peanut to buy anything for the house.
I have a picture of the old house, which had long since been torn down. If you could see the old house, you would think it was a barn. As a matter of fact, when my brother started dating his wife, he gave her a picture of himself in front of the house. At which, she asked him why he took a picture in front of a barn.
But for me it holds many childhood memories. it may have looked bad on the outside, but inside it was filled with love. Daddy worked in the mines. Mother never worked out of our home, her and Daddy had nine children, so Mother had a career, her family. To her it was the most important job.
It was a four room house, but the living room and a bedroom were actually two large rooms, with no door to divide them. In those days we had beds in the living room. One or two of us children slept with Mother until we were considered to be too old. Brothers slept together and so did sisters. It was unheard of for each child to have their own room.
Heated by a large stove in the middle of the house, in the winter time we slept under several thick home-made quilts. We didn’t dare try to turn over under those quilts.
In the winter months, Mother and grandmother (who lived with us) set up a large quilting frame across the living room. To get passed it, to other parts of the house, we had to stoop down and go under it. No fancy store-bought material for quilts, they used whatever material they could find. If pants, shirts and coats became un-wearable, they were cut up and made into quilts. But we never froze to death.
I was already married, when one day I thought about how that in winter months when we got out of bed, breakfast was ready and the house was warm, because Mother had gotten up early and made things ready for her family.
Ah! The old home place, how I would like to spend one more night there. Under those home-made quilts without a care in the world.
Charlie Murphy Jr.
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:42
Do you have a small corner where your readers can express the positives they've encountered? It could be something during an ordinary day that made it extraordinary, during a difficult time when the encounter uplifted and encouraged, or just an insignificant gesture that brightened a dreary day?
My shout out would go to Oneida Baptist Institute cooks. I recently fractured my foot, had it immobilized in a cast, and was ordered to avoid weight bearing. Subsequently, I walked on one leg and wobbled on crutches for four weeks. That rendered me hand-less at the bathroom door, exit and entrance doors, and even at the cafeteria food line. OBI cooks learned my work schedule and held hydraulic doors, ladled food, carted away empty trays and beverage glasses, carried my folders, and even volunteered to carry out garbage and mop my kitchen floor. Some days they simply slowed down and walked alongside to keep me steady. It has been a difficult four weeks, but their acts of kindness has been a constant ray of sunshine. They were my temporary angels, and hopefully, my lifetime friends. They rock!!
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:41
I’m writing in response to an article published in the Wednesday, August 22nd paper about Jimbo Lyttle. Jimbo would have been my father-in-law this coming November, although he already was in my mind. When I first read your article, I wanted to write a letter chastising you and your staff for the complete inappropriateness of such an article, to write such horrible things about a man who is not here to defend himself and to attack a family that has already been through so much is unbelievable in my mind. But then I decided that your actions by putting the article in the paper spoke volumes louder about the lack of morals and general lack of sense than any letter that I could ever write. So I will let your actions speak for themselves, and I instead would like to write a letter inspired by a verse.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” –Ephesians 4:29
After seeing this I thought, wow, what if everyone only spoke in a way that would help others, or build other up. So that is exactly what I intend to do.
Anyone who knew Jimbo knew what a wonderful person he was. A man with those kinds of morals and manners only comes along once in a lifetime. Of the 5 years that I knew him, he always called me, “Ms. Steph,” and would jump up at any opportunity to help me with something. If I even stood up to get off the couch he would say, “what do you need Ms. Steph, I can get it!” Jimbo always wanted to help others, and always put everyone before himself. I can’t tell you how many stories I have heard from people in this town about a time when they were down and Jimbo helped, or a time that they needed a strong back and he volunteered. Jimbo was also the friendliest man I have ever been around. He knew no strangers, and would speak to anyone rather than standing to the side and seeming rude. Sometimes he would get to talking to a stranger in the mall, and JW would have to go interrupt so that we could go on to the next store. Jimbo was first and foremost a family man. He adored his wife and their 2 boys, as well as all of his extended family. I’ve never seen someone work so hard to try and provide for his family, and it was something I admired in him.
No matter what is written, or what is said, or who knows this story or that story, no one can change my mind about the man I knew. He was kind, funny, friendly, loving, and he adored his family more than life itself. I challenge everyone that knew him to hang on to those memories, and to never allow anyone to change your opinion. Rather than jumping at an opportunity to gossip or say negative things, let’s remember the good memories and share them with his family, in hope that it will build them up in their time of need.
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:41
Letter to the Editor
I want to express my appreciation to the Clay County High School ROTC Honor Guard for their outstanding performance during the opening ceremony at the Clay County Days in downtown Manchester. I was there with the Vietnam Veterans, as we were part of the Ceremony also. I was very impressed with these young people. Everyone of this group made it a point to come to us veterans and shake our hands. I am proud of these people and their leader. They deserve to be recognized because you rarely find this character in young people anymore. They deserve to be commended.
Vietnam Veterans of America
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