20 February, 2008
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.
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"
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, 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