07 March, 2008

The Goat Man and Stock Market Day in Wise Va

THE GOAT MAN, AND STOCK MARKET DAY IN WISE COUNTY. In our town’s we all knew that Wednesday was stock market day and that meant a lot of action would be going on for the lucky one’s who got to attend or in a child’s eyes it did because back then it was not just yard sale items to be found no sir they had live stock and you never knew what kind unless you went.Some people would buy with cash, others traded around and got what they wanted. and so was the case of my neighbor, Bill who was a kind and always happy man some what older than my parents and he had a very jolly wife Rosie. who just happened to be a MAIL ORDER bride from some big city and together they made a very happy couple ,except on Wednesday’s .You see Bill was said to catch trading fever on those days and on top of that he always walked the rail road tracks about six miles to get there and as a child it was great fun during the summer months to set out side and watch for his return now my brother who is three years older than I assured me he knew when to get off the tracks when the train came .And it was so much fun to see him come up those tracks just a singing a good old mountain song like old Susanna and leading a string of goats well most time he led or maybe they were leading him it all depended on how high he was stepping or how loud his songs were . Now just as he would pass in front of the house we could see he most times had found another banjo and it would be hanging from his back and he sure could play any one he had and if he was really happy why I bet you could have heard him over that old coal train. Now my mother could be strict at times and she often did not find his ways funny but my daddy sure did and he would just laugh at mom and say
where could you find a "Happier" neighbor, than Bill at and mom would reply not to say things like that in front of us children .I Did not see why because everyone should be happy, but Rosie agreed with her at least on Wednesdays because you sure could here her yelling real LOUD!!!!....

04 March, 2008

A Visit From The Tooth Fairy in The Appalachian Coal Field's

A visit from the tooth fairy----In the Appalachian Coal Fields In the coal fields men getting out of work from time to time was not uncommon ,But it did cause things to be hard on their family money would run out until the mine was up and going or until they found other work and such was the case in our house daddy had been out of work for some time ,People had gardens and cows so most people could at least feed there family but no one had any money, I am telling you this in case you do not know about the coal fields and how people survived now to children life went on and so did our hopes and dreams and when it come to a lost tooth among myself and my sisters and brother we still believed in things like the tooth fairy I mean after all it was simple if you lost a tooth all you had to do was put it under your pillow and go to sleep knowing that when you awoke your tooth would be gone and a dime would be in place of it. Now the day before when I was four years old I lost a small tooth and I was happy you see because it meant that night the tooth fairy would come and as I danced around waiting for night fall, My parents were very unhappy because as the story goes there was no money to be found in the house at that time they had emptied out every jar of change to pay the light bill payment that was one thing that scared all miners when they were out of work ,How to keep the lights on, So when I lost my tooth that day my parents were not as over joyed as I was they was wondering what to do when night fall come, Now my mother had a cross necklace that I liked to borrow and wear to church as in our home church was like school you went unless you were really sick,So she thought I would be just as happy to receive the necklace and she had thought that she would tell me she had given it to the tooth fairy to wear, Now this may not have been the best plan seeing how my mother did not like or approve of little white fibs, But she said she had thought she would do some extra talking to the , Lord that night and she slid the necklace in place of the tooth and she reach my dad the tooth to place up high on the shelf in there room where I could not see it, Now with mother talking it over with the Lord she told daddy she felt sure all would be ok, Now they were early risers and got up with the sun to start the day and although they had what was called a,Big Ben clock they wound up and set the alarm each night but most mornings were up before the clock went off, But on this one morning I awoke first and was looking under my pillow now I might add that being still small I slept with my parents as at that time I was still the baby one ,Now mother said she told me to keep looking and then she said a ray of sun caught her eye threw through the window and it was like a sun beam that led to the floor, And there lay a mercury dime, And she said it was as bright as if it had just been maid she said daddy sat up and was as puzzled as she was but I had saw my tooth fairy dime in the floor and was out of bed dancing around, Now what became of the necklace well I will tell you both my parents said it was in mothers pillow case, how did it get there, and where did that dime come from , Both of my parents said they never placed it there and my mother added that when she let me wear the cross she felt that I was safer as though a warm felling would come over her when she placed it on my neck by the way she placed it on me a few years later when it was my first day of school and she felt comfort from this and why some children cry the first day mother said I was happy and that when she left me in the school room I was chatting with my new teacher about my necklace ,and she said tears came down her cheeks as she knew that I would be ok and this story is a true fact that both my parents told over the years, and God rest there soul’s I “BELIEVE”.......By, Oaneatta Stanley Smith .........For more story‘s visit often.

20 February, 2008

The Robber In The Mines

As time pass'es all little girl's grow up and realize maybe dad was not as tall as she thought. But when he held my hand and we would walk through the mountain paths,or close to the rail road tracks, He seemed like a giant to me telling me stories of how things use to be ,or maybe talking of the honey bees and their need for the flowers and the tree's, Yes those days were truley grand the one spent hand and hand , He never made me fill small and this was no easy task,Because their were four of us children in all ,And he wanted better for each and every one .And with a kiss we were off to school, And we all knew he belived in the golden rule,Some people say he was a simple man from,Eastern Kentucky, who never had a chance at school instead he became a miner of the land,I recall running to great him ,How strange this work made him lookCovered in black from head to foot ,He need an hour to scrub and still his skin looked dark almost blue,but he never really complained.Not even a shift called the hoot owl shift which was the last shift of the day ,What shift was better for once inside you could not tell night from day, Payday allway's brought a smile to his face, But then that awfull cough would take it away, The doctors had said the bright colored blood was coming from his lungs that he needed to leave the mine's for this problem was called, Black Lung, Rock dust would help hold the dust down he would say and he used a dust mask to help protect anyway,Besides this was the only work he knew, So with mask, battery light and water pail that allso held lunch off he would go ,So his children could stay in school ,And that was where we were when an Uncle came to bring us back home, We knew something was wrong, Mother could not find word's to tell us dad was gone she said, Remember he loved you all, The details of his death was very faint leaving unanswered questions in our mind's ,It seemed no two men told the story the same.No matter mother said it won't bring him back,I feared this would happen some day.The funeral was so sad, I was never able to see how he was in a better home now that he was gone For a seven year old girl it was plainly wrong, I wanted my daddy and I wanted him home. To touch his face to walk hand in hand , But that could never be again, ---The Robber had struck once more ,---The Robber of life that lurks in those dark holes underneath the land . The one that separates a father and a child's hand's, I am now grown with a child of my own , And I know now how my father feltToward his children's hand's. His death left holes in my heart , and still brings tears to my eyes, for you see that robber not only stole him from me, He took my daughter's grandfather to She never knew him , execpt through my memory's, And if this seem's sad Then you will surley understand when I say he robbed from her twice, He also claimed her dad's father much the same way ,Another place, Another time yet still with a coal mine ,Leaving little children behind.-----------------------by - Oaneatta Stanley Smith ---------------In Loveing memory of Troy E. Stanley---1928-1967-- May God Bless All Miners And Protect Them. "Photo is Not Of Troy E. Stanley" but repersents a Father and Child.

Chicken Look Behind You !!

One spring day I went to check on a setting hen who had about 6 eggs it was a big event to see baby Diddle's and each day I was checking to see if they had hatched ,Now the chicken lot was up on a hill side and there was all so a hog lot next to the chickens and I knew to leave them alone because hog's will eat people they are very scary to a little five year old girl as they grunt and groan,But my curiosity about the diddles helped me get past that hog lot,Now my daddy was a very devoted Bee Keeper and he often went out and went what he called Bee hunting and would rise early before I got up,Now the coal camp house had no running water so my parents washed our cloths in a ringer washer machine and Mom would hang them out on a cloths line and that was what she was doing as, she no doubt was keeping a sharp eye on me at the same time.Now all at once she hollered out loud for me to look behind myself.Well THAT WAS ALL IT Took For me to take off like my life was about to end I think the wind must have helped me get down that hill Because I don't recall how I lost a shoe but ,mom said as she laughed until tears rolled down her check's that when I hit the white sheet she had just hung out she caught me and untangled me from the cloths line,And as I was crying and out of breath she turned me around and said look up the hill, Well with tears still in my eyes I , Looked up and there was my daddy bringing in a Bee hive stump and he had his bee keepers stuff on,He to thought what he had just seen his little girl flying down that hill was very funny as he recalled it my feet were not touching the ground, NOW I KNOW THEY ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHICKENS AS MY NICK NAME BECAME "LITTLE CHICKEN",REAL FUNNY --HA, HA. you might like to know that old chicken was right behind me...... by Oaneatta Stanley Smith, aka "little chicken"

Muskrat - Eye To Eye

It was a cold day in march,and living in a coal camp house we had no running water.I am pretty sure the year was 1965 and,Iwas about four year's old. To obtain drinking water we had to cross a river that the coal tipple turned the wash water from the coal into.Now keep in mind we used water buckets to carry the water back in.My Mother with me intow,set out for the mountain spring.We had to cross a foot log to reach the spring,this was always a scary trip for me.But she wouldnt leave me behind. Now the rule she had for crossing the log, was that i had to stay in front of her,just in case.you know how kid's are,Well all i recall was falling off into that nasty black water from the tipple in the Guest River.Thank God it wasnt very deep that day,when i opened my eye's.I STARTED SCREAMING,there sat a great big muskrat LOOKING at me EYE to EYE,and belive me there was no Muskrat Love,Who ever wrote the song "Muskrat Love" must never had looked one in the EYE!. Now my mother pulled me out of the river,I was ok BUT COVERED in Coal Sludge "YUCK!!".Well her laughing was not Funny to me,but she swore that poor old muskrat took off like a Jet of sort's.All i could say was I AM GOING TO TELL MY DADDY ON YOU FOR TRYING TO FEED ME TO THAT OLD MUSKRAT.now as I look back I wonder about the muskrat and his family,and if he ever relayed the story to his family about the little girl who scared him to death...Yes that way of life was hard on the miner's and their family'sBut it made you tough, after all how many kid's get to meet a muskrat in a river eye to eye and live to tell it her way....... by Oaneatta Stanley Smith

The Mole Children

The Mole Children, Deep down in these Appalachian Mountains’ live the mole children , Who go through their live’s unnoticed by the rest of the world, They are the not a healthy race and in most generations the death rate is very high,And disabilitys are even higher, The ones I Speak of now are the ones who try to go on with a normal life,But are shackled by the heritage passed them,And even worse is the fact the next generation coming up is not any better off. Sickness of all sorts ,Sudden deaths that come to early in life,And now another generation growing up will endur the same,They are no other people like this,They all are ,Children Of The Appalachian Coal Fields,And while the rest of the world enjoys comforts from heritage passed them, Most have no choice but to carry on,In the shadows of the mountains and hollows from which their problems came,The mole children carry on and the next ones will to,And for the rest of the world if you ask of them they reply, Who Knew,Are you allso a mole child,And while we depend on our way of life we must ask our selfs, Are we producing fuel for hell. By, Oaneatta Stanley Smith