Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Random Combination

The Jones/Monroe genes and the Ewen/Morton genes came together May 8, 1948. My older brother arrived one year later, and in another 18 months the 23 chromosomes of Dad (the Y-chromosome group) and the 23 chromosomes of Mom (fifty-fifty chance of Ewen group) united. Of all the people who ever lived, this combination of genes is uniquely mine. Just imagine, at the very beginning of life there is a random combination of these chromosomes (genes) at the biochemical level. Unless you are an identical twin (like my wife), this random combination is unique among the human race. My brother seemed to get more of the Jones side, (blue eyes and light brown hair), and I seemed to get more of the Ewen side, (brown eyes and black hair). I did seem to get being left-handed from the Jones/Monroe side, since my Dad is also left-handed. This event, the random combination of genetic material, would certainly provide a way for the human race to present itself "new" each time life begins. New combinations, new life, new opportunities, new beginnings...well new everything. We did not choose the combination of genes that make us, US. At birth we did not choose the color of our eyes or the color of our hair. We have had to make the best of what we got from this random beginning. The future is yet to come. Soon enough, the choices will be ours.

The picture to the right shows Mother and Dad on their wedding day May 8, 1948. The choices they made brought my brother and I to life. Thanks Mom and Dad, I came to like my random combination.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clan Monroe

Unlike the Clan MacEwen (Ewen) that some have called a lost Clan, the Clan Munro has been front and center of the Scottish Clans. Hot tempered and combative, you learned to stay out of Mam maw's way when she had her dander up. In Gaelic the clan were called "Rothack" and are thought to have taken the name Munro from a place in Northern Ireland where they are thought to have originated. In time of clan warfare, they called the clan together by lighting a single tower on the highest point in their castle. Fighting seemed to be their middle name and warfare was their game. As early as 1369 Munro chiefs were being killed in battles. They became Protestants in the reformation, and remained so for the rest of our families history. Many Munroes became professional soldiers, fighting in Sweden where 27 of the Swedish officers had the name Munro. Fight, fight, fight, what a life. It certainly came in handy in the frontier of Virgina where my Monroe side first arrived. Mam maw use to say we were "kined" to President James Monroe (1758-1831)but I have not been able to establish this story yet. Any Munroes out there?

The picture to the right shows the tartan of the Munro Clan. The standard definition of a tartan is "a kind of wollen cloth woven in stripes of various colours crossing at right angles so as to form a regular pattern". The weave used is called the "twill". Here the threads cross first over two, then under two producing the effect of a diagonal rib on the weaver's loom. A love of bright colors has long been a characteristic of the Scottish Clans.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ms Blue Racer and Family

The childhood story of my Mom and her encounter with a Blue Racer snake has been part of our family's legacy. [see blog titled "The Blue Racer"] Growing up in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky during the depression would be hard enough, little lone running into snakes every now and then. The picture to the right shows Mom around eight years of age with her family. This would have been around the time the Blue Racer knocked on the front screen door to their house. My Mom is the dark haired little girl to the right front row with the sweater. She has that determined look about her which housed a tough fighting spirit that only growing up in the hills could have produced. Granny and Granddad Ewen with their slue of kids. Starting from left to right: Granddad Ewen (b.1899), Granny Ewen (b.1899), she is holding Wanda Bernice Ewen (b. 1937), then John Clearnce Ewen (b.1922) [we called J.C.]. Back to the left is Sidney Brent Ewen (b.1924) who took his dad's name so we called him "Junior"...then Cordius Allene Ewen (b.1926), Eva Faye Ewen (b.1928),then little sister Edith Delorese Ewen (b.1934) and finally Mom, Myrna Jean Ewen (b.1930). Two additional little brothers are yet to come. Three older sisters had already died. What a crew this is. This would have been around the time Granddad would have written what I have called "Possum Hollar". Enough to keep you off the streets in Slade, KY, 1937.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Scottish Women

My Jones Y-chromosome seemed to have problems saying no to Scottish women. My Dad married a Ewen (MacEwen). Pap paw Jones, my grandfather, married a Monroe (Munro). My great grandfather, Edward Turner, married a Henderson. My great great great grandfather, Thomas Jones, married a Chisholm. (Chism) All this happened in Kentucky. What's the deal? Scottish women seemed to have their way, along the way.

I suspect that some had to do with the fact that the Welsh and Scots shared a common Celtic ancestry if you go far enough out the family tree. The "phenomes" [hormones that cause sexual attraction] must have been well tuned. The Welsh and Scots also shared a common social identity based upon the family unit. Called a Tribe in Wales, and a Clan in Scotland, this family orientation provided a common bond. The family as a culture would be readily understood and agreed upon. The Welsh and Scots also shared many of the same enemy all the way back to the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Danes, Normans, and finally the English. This certainly helped shape attitudes, prejudices, and cultural biases. Finally, I think it was the frontier that brought these two cultures together. They had to learn how to trust one another since their very survival depended upon covering one another backs so they didn't loose their scalps. Scottish women, who would have guessed.

The picture to the right shows the tartan of the MacEwen Clan. The first Scottish Clan Society formed 1725. Since that time the Clans have given their heritage to a few folks on this side of the great pond. The best book I have read on the subject is titled: "Highland Clans a & Tartans" by of course a Munro, R.W. Munro, Crescent Books, NY, 1977.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Generation to Generation

Generation to generation, what we are is past down to us. We don't have a choice to select our parents or our ancestors. We can only take what we get at the beginning of the union of the chromosomes and try to make the best of it, or the worst of it. It is a rare occurrence to have the opportunity to compare one generation to the next, from childhood to childhood. The last blog shows a picture of the sisters of Pap paw Jones taken around 1903. The picture to the right shows the mother of Pap paw about the same age of her daughters when taken a generation before,around 1885. Wow, I thought. Generation compared to the previous generation at about the same ages. Ellen Dorcas Henderson is shown with her older half-sister Betty. They do not touch. Both are sitting stiffly, hands crossed, and a passive look about them. [Taking pictures at this time must of been worse then by 1903.] They have the same dress, and expect for the ribbons, they share the same hair style and apparent attitude. In all pictures I have of Ellen, she keeps this same hair style. They do not smile, smiling was probably not allowed, but they do not frown. Their mouths are horizontal. Neutral I guess in their expression. What difference does a generation make? Pap paw's sisters seem to need one another at their posing. Ellen and her sister do not seem to touch. Maybe this had to do with Betty being a half-sister, but who will ever know. Generation to generation. I know love was passed down through Ellen, for I have felt it through Pap paw.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pictures of Life

Life introduces itself to us through our childhood eyes. Light reflects off the objects around us giving a view of the world. The celling, the walls, the floor, the windows all invite their surfaces for us to explore. What we see becomes part of our life experiences. Childhood eyes...they see the first face to hug us, the first face to smile at us, or frown at us. The first blue shy, the first butterfly, the first spider and its web, the first moon and stars are seen.

The picture to the right shows two girls (Pap paw's sisters) who look uncertain about their posing. Both are dress to curled, ribbons just right, and hours needed to get ready for this pose. The dresses are laced and pressed. The younger is tightly holding the hands of her older sister. The eyes seem to tell us uncertainty. What is this picture taking anyway? A picture of our life? I am not sure about this, but I trust you anyway. Childhood eyes are trusting. They take the pictures of life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

E.T. phone home

E.T. (Edward Turner) and Ellen Dorcas Henderson were married 20 December 1893 at Ellen's home in Estill Co., KY. Estill County was also north of the Kentucky River and sections bordered on the Kentucky and Red Rivers. E.T. was the baby of 11 children born to his father and mother W.C. Jones and Elizabeth Isabel Adams. [It again amazes me how one generation is the baby of the family and the next generation seems to be the eldest.] The farm land that E.T. grew up on was the land that Mam maw told me about during one of our coffee drinking episodes. She knew it was located at the mouth of Red River, and that it was in Madison County. How we ended up in Madison County is yet to come, for our family had been in Clark County since 1817. The picture to the right shows E.T. and Ellen sitting with their youngest child. Pap paw must be in the oven because it looks as though Nona is about a year or so old. Pap paw is not far behind. Ellen looks serious and must have been carrying the world on her shoulders. Her Henderson side lost almost everything after the Transylvania Company went belly up, and I could see why they might be mad at the world. There is a saddle on the porch so I guess they still road horses when this picture was taken. E.T., if you are on horseback, please call home.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pap paw's Parents

Pap paw could not speak when I became old enough to talk. He had a stroke around 1955, and so I never got to talk to him about his childhood. Pap paw's baby sister Jeane Marie filled me in on a little bit, but Pap paw's childhood and growing up is now mostly mystery. The only picture I have of Pap paw as a child is shown to the right. He is sitting with his family, Edward Turner Jones, Ellen Dorcas (nee Henderson), and his sisters. Edward Turner Jones (Pap paw's father), I got to know through his youngest daughter also, who was my bridge to the past. Edward Turner ran a feed store in Winchester, KY around the 1900s. The picture shows what I think is a thrashing machine and a field of workers. It would have to have been at harvest time. Pap paw looks about 6-8 years old so I guess this picture would be around 1906. Pap paw's straw hat and held suspenders make him look like he enjoyed himself. His mother has the youngest on her lap, and the other pictures I have of her suggest she held her feeling inside. Ellen was born 22 May 1876. She died 23 March 1941. Edward Turner was born 10 August 1873 and died 5 May 1938. Apparently, later in life, Edward Turner had diabetes and lost a leg much like George Washing Ewen did on the other side of the family. Interesting how such things seem to be shared by each generation. Pap paw as a little boy with his parents. What stories they could tell this day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time Travel

Wednesday afternoon at Leed's Theater was a given. This provided coolness (in the literal sense)in the heat of the Kentucky summers, and a way to escape into your imagination. Not that I needed a lot to escape. I believe it was August, 1960, when a movie came to town called "The Time Machine". The color was amazing. Victorian England was a special place, and to travel to it that summer was fun. Rod Taylor played the time traveler when he got into his fancy sled with the spinning back wheel. He seemed only to travel to the future and always seemed to get into trouble. H.G. Wells sure had an imagination I thought. My problem was, I wanted to travel to the past. The future was for me to make, the past was for me to discover. All the family stories I had been given would take me to the past. Of course I did not believe most of them, figuring that each generation added a little to the tale-bearing. How do I find out? How do I get into my time machine sled and push that knob to travel. I have learned over the past 50 years a little about time travel into history. Genealogy it is called. You have to accept what you find, and be willing to face all the rocks and rough roads. Win a Oscar like the movie...not likely, but the winning is in the heart.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pap paw's Picture

The picture to the right shows Pap paw's family early 1920s. He has an older sister to his right named Nona Lee Jones (b. 1895) and a younger sister Eliza Mildred Jones (b. 1901) to his left. The back row are his younger siblings left to right: Ethel B. Jones (b.1903), Harold Spence Jones (b. 1912) and the baby sister Jeane Marie Jones (b.1919). All dressed up and I wonder what place they were going. They all have died now, and are buried about Kentucky. Jean Marie, my great aunt, shared several Christmas eves with the family, and had many stories to tell. I did not really get to know the other sisters and brother of Pap paw. I am sure each would have their own stories to tell.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Grandparents of Granny

Moses Morton was born 7 November 1837. His father Richard, had settled on the South Fork of Red River and is thought to have helped establish an early Baptist Church. He was the seventh of nine children. He married around 1860 to a Mary E. Hanks who died following the birth of their first child. Following this, Moses volunteered for the Confederate Army 21 October 1861. He was mustered into Company C of the Fifth Regiment Infantry at Prestonburg, KY with the rank of fifth Sergeant. He fought at Ivy Mountain (Ivy Creek) and Mananas (Bull Run). On 20 October 1862 he was mustered into Company E, 2nd Battalion Mountain Rifles, at Campton, KY. He survived the war and married Delina Powell in 1865. He was a farmer and teamster, hauling the primary products of that time to the rail head in the river valley. In 1876, three years after Granny Ewen's dad was born (Cordilus) the family moved to Glady Branch of South Fork at the foot of the High Rock Hill. By the latter part of March 1890, they had built a two story boxed house and remained in it the rest of their marriage. He died 14 March 1923 and is buried in the Faulkner Cemetery, Manning Road, Stanton, KY. Delina Powell was born 17 November 1847. She had seven children, a little low on the number count, and died 7 November 1927. She is also buried in the Faulkner Cemetery. The picture above shows Moses and Delina I believe setting outside their two story house. He certainly would have made a good Santa Claus at Christmas time. Most of this information is taken from "The Morton Story", by Douglas Morton. The cemetery records are documented in "Powell County Cemeteries Alphabetized, 1998 Survey, by the Red River Historical Society. To both I am grateful.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Say Hello

Say hello to Granny Ewen. She was born 10 March 1899 at Bowen, KY. She lived part of her earliest years in a log cabin at Possum Hollar. She married my Ewen grandfather 21 March 1918 and was the mother of an even dozen. She had three children die in childhood: Minnie Thelma Clay Ewen, May Millicent Ewen, and Susan Christina Ewen. She told me many family stories, some of which I have tried to pass on. She died 1 March 1994 and is buried next to her husband in Clark Co., KY. She lived 94 years and my favorite memory is the night that my three daughters, my mother, and Granny Ewen shared a session of knitting. Granny Ewen teaching my three daughters how to knit. Together they made a long, long, knitted strip of knitted yarn stretching some 8 - 10 feet. May this memory stretch into future generations as my daughters remember their Granny Ewen.

The picture to the right shows Granny Ewen sitting on her porch swing. She loved plants and flowers. Her memory box contained pressed flowers from many special events. She even had a four leaf clover pressed between the pages of her Bible. Hello again, Granny Ewen, thanks for the memories.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome to the Family

Amazed am I. Amazed that Granddad Ewen would write down such a story as Possum Hollar. Amazed that Granny Ewen lived in a log cabin until she was around eleven years old. Amazed that the lives the story touches are real. What can I say? After doing genealogy for more than 50 years my family's stores still amaze me.

The picture to the right shows the parents of Granny Ewen. Granddad does not record the feelings of these two folks, but they took the child of the union of Edward and Marie. Cordilus Morton was born 1873 and died 1948. Lura Mahala Townsend (nee Howell) was born 1871 and died 1941. Both are buried in Nada Cemetery with the child who probably never new the truth of his origin. Folks did not talk about such things. My mother,80 years young as I write this blog, remembers that Lawrence Morton was called Uncle Lawrence, when in reality was really Cousin Lawrence. Lawrence Morton(Ewen)was born 19 March 1919. He lived as a child of Cordilus and Mahala, and according to mother he died following a football injury. On his tombstone at Nada, his death is given 30 December 1935. On his grave marker is the name Lawrence Morton. In both the family genealogies of the Ewen's and Morton's, his name does not appear. I would now put his name in our family records as Lawrence Ewen. Welcome to the family Lawrence, sorry for the delay.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Possum Hollor (End) They Will Flee

"Edward has a family of four, two girls and two boys. I never have spoke to him since the night about twenty years ago when he said good bye when he lift for camp and France to forget the girl of the log camp. Today the marker over my boys grave bears my maden name and the name of the good old family doctor that delivered him into this world. And when I look back over the past I remember the Bible says

Vengence is mine. I will repay, thus sayeth the Lord.

And I am thankful that God gave me a husband who is true blue and God know I am true to him. I am raising my family the best I know how. And living the life like any other Christian. They can say she made one mistake and has out lived it. And I know by experience that you can out live the past. My advice to any one that reads this it not throw your self away because you have done rong. You will find some to give a helping hand and to look to the one who died on the cross. And let the people of the world say what they may about you. And say, he that is with out sin let him cast a stone. And you will find they will flee as they did when Chrsit asked the same question. And you can go throu the world facing every one. And a smile on your face and a song in your heart knowing that you have over came temptation. You can't forget the past, but you can look forward to the future, knowing that God is with you to the end."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Possum Hollar (10) Virture and Soul

"Edwards people was the one that took things the hardest. Knowing Sis was in their family it would throw a hard ship on them. Sid and Sis took it standing up, one reason Sis was looking forward to a baby two. My baby boy was borned. Four days latter Sis baby girl came. Though they were brothers children they both could not be called by the same name. None of us had any news of Edward for about nine months. His sister had written him about the baby. Edward wrote to Sid and told him to come and see me and father and he would come back and do the right thing toward me. We consented for him to do that, but did he, no he had meet a Red Cross Nurse in the Hospital in France and when he returned to US.A. he slipped in to one of his sisters and they were married. He had forgotten the girl that had given up all for him, her love, her virture and soul, for the soldier boy back in the mountains. And the promises he made in the letter to his brother, about doing what was right toward me. Finly he did send his mother to talk to Sid and Sid told her to tell him that as far as he was conserned he would not turn over his hand to keep him out of the pen. For him to settle the best way he could so on the account of every one in the family we droped everything. I am glad that I never made the second mistake as lot other girls has done. For if I had I would not of found the man I married. Thou he is some younger than I am, he was one of my neighbor boys. He knew my past, he never mentions it to me. We have four children of our own, live on a farm and my husband is a machenic. Sis and Sid has a family of their own. God let my boy live untill he was sixteen years old and then took him away from us."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Possum Hollar (9) Her Soldier Man

"The next time I heard from Edward he was in France. His company had sailed the same week he arrived in camp. Sis and Sid came home trying to comfort me with the thought he would be back. This old war would be over and every thing would be all right. But would it? The fear I had for two months was not him coming back as much as what I knew. I was going to have a baby. Our baby. Would it ever get to carry the name of it father. Would he come back my soldeir man to claim me and his baby."

"The next few weeks were years to me. I had not told any one for I wanted to save father and mother as much as possible. One day our neighbor house caught fire. We all run out to see if we could help in any way. As it happened our old country doctor was passing by, and see every body excited. He went up to father and said Marie has no business being here. Take her home. What do you mean by that?, father said. I had been able to hide it from them but not the old doctor. Now look here John don't get riled up at me or her either. But come on I will go home with you and we will talk this over. So we all went back in the house and the doctor said you go to your room and rest Marie. I will talk this over with your father and mother. He told them of which I was greatful for I don't see hardly how I could of told them. Don't be too hard on her John for remember her soldier man was leaving probly never to return."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pictures of Pages: Possum Hollar (8)

As I continue to copy the Possum Hollar story, I thought you might like to see the pages that were written by my Grandfather Ewen. The picture to the right shows a number of the hand written pages that were recorded around 1937. The handwriting is level, even, nicely written in script. The story of Possum Holly lives again.

"Those two weeks passed as a dream. Two week that we tried to make each other happy. But all was living in suspence of parting and finly the last night together. When he took me in his arms and said sweetheart I have something to want to live for, something to fight for besides my country. Good by and God bless you. And he was gone. The next thing I knew mother had me in the house, was rubing my hands and face trying to comfort my broken heart but could she. I knew I never would see him again. I wanted to die. And if God had only let me died that night I would not had to suffered as I have suffered. I would not have broken my father and mothers hearts, and my hair would not been a gray as it is now."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Possum Hollar (7) Something to Remember

"Sis came home one day and said Marie I have good news for you. Edward is getting a farm leave and will be home in a few day. My heart lifted with joy. I would see Edward again. And the thought of it I was going around singing as I was going out on the front porch to change some flowers. I looked up the road and I saw him. My Edward soldier man. I ran and fell into his arms and with his lips on mine he cried, my own little girl. Again we are togeather, but for how long. I well never forget those thirty days, he worked on the farm and would come to see me every chance he had. He tried to get thirty days extention of time. Two weeks passed and he recieved notice that he was not granted any more time. He came and told me one night. Catching me in his arms and crying Marie how can I go back and leave you. If you could only go with me. But I know when I go back it will be France for me, my baby, my baby, I love you so. And I answered and said Edward love I have loved you ever since the day in school when you carried me out of that fighting mob. And to think that I will have to give you up. Lets pray that it only will be for a short time. Again he cried I know if I go to France I will never come back and I cannot bear the thought of leaving you. I know I will never come back across the big pool. So again I throu my self in his arms, and said Edward I will be waiting for you and I will give you something to remember. Here I am, I am yours. I never will be any one else. How long we was there I never rembered any thing only I was with him in his strong arms and he would be leaving again in two weeks.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Possum Hollar (6) Never to Return

"He walked home with me that day and when he started away he said I will be down with Sid Saturaday night and that was the beginning of a two year courtship, Edward and I, Sis and Sid. We were togeather every chance we had. The the Kiser tryed to whip the World. The were fighting in Europe. Things began to look dark for U.S.A. I had a half brother who inlisted in the army. Then the U.S.A. declared war. I noticed the change that come over Edward. He never had told me he loved me, but he would talk about how bad he would hate to have to leave me and go to war. You could tell that Sid and Sis hated to talk about it, but they knew that Sid would not be called soon as Edward, for Edward would be in the first draft. And he was called in the second call from our country. So our heaven here, between us four was broken up. In about three months Sid and Sis was married, but Edward was gone and my all with him. He was sent to camp and put in a hospital unit. Would he come back to me or would he be sent to France never to return."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Possum Hollar (5) Forgive me Sis

"Sidney she had reference to was Edward brother. He was four years younger than Edward but him and Sis was the same age. We all went to school together. Sid as we all called him was working on the rail road in Edwards place now. She could see him every night and morning as he went back and fourth by our house. Their home was two miles above our house at a nother small place. It was then I began crying and run to Sis. Forgive me Sis. Forgive me. I was mad because he did not look a me. Sis said forget it. I am going to get Sid anyway. So a few night later we went to church and sure enough Sid brought he back home. It was sometime before I had a chance to get my man. Sis told Sid about the way I felt toward Edward, and Sid told me Edward had saw me a few days before and had asked him who I was, and he told him he was going to date me. That he could not quite believe I was the little girl which he had carried out of the fight our first school togeather. So the next time I saw him we meet at the Post Office and he walked up and said to me, I hardly believe I could carry you as easy as I did at school that day. So how about me walking home with with you Marie. Of course I said yes. But if I could only look into the near future, I would of said no, no, no, and I would of not written this life story."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hanging around

The picture to the right is the mantel in my home where the pictures of George Washington Ewen [1858-1906] and Susan Francis Ewen(nee Cole)[1857- 1934]reside. They were married 6 Dec 1876. The pictures would have been done around 1890, thus they are over 100 years old. They have been hung in at least four generations of our families' homes over those 100 years. What a deal! Hopefully, they will hang in a few more of our families' homes yet to be. If interested in more pictures of the mantels in my home, see facebook under The Golden Lion Bed and Breakfast. There are seven of them. Our house in on the National Register of Historic Places. A good place for old George to hang around. Our web site is

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Possum Hollar (4) Watch your step

"It was shortly after that he give up this job and went to Michigan staying about two years. I had all most forgotten him until one night there was a party in the log camp. I was sixteen years old then. These social gatherings was all ways at some neighbors home. Usually we would string beans for a while, sing songs and at the end dance for about two hours. We all had just began to dance when I looked over and saw him. Did my heart stop or did it turn a flip flop. But any how he was not looking at me he was dancing with my sister two years older than I am. It was only a short ways home, so I sliped out and went home. Trying to go to sleep but there was no sleep for me. Soon afterwards sis came home and I heard her tell him good night at the door. The next morning sis was up, cooked breakfast before I woke up. Was I mad. That old jealous that in everyone sometime said, she has got your man. Looking over at me when I walked in sis said what made you run out on us last night. Did you see Edward Thomas? He is back from the North. Gosh he is a swell dancer. It was then I went wild. I screamed at her yes I saw him and you dancing togeather, but he could not even look at a little girl like me. You can't have him for he is my man. He has been mine in my heart ever since he saved me from that fight at school. You cant have him you hear that. I know he came home with you last night for I heard him tell you goodnight. Sis look at me with staring eyes, for about two minutes and said you darn little fool have you fell for a man that much older than you are, and he never has even looked at you. If you are that foolish you have him for I don't want him. I would not give Sidney little finger for Edwards hold botty. Take him if you can get him but watch your step girl."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Possum Hollar (3) The Writer

The picture to the right shows the writer of Possum Hollar, my Granddad Ewen. At least he recorded the stories in his own handwriting, and I suspect that Granny Ewen had something to do with the telling. The picture shows my Granddad holding the very picture of his dad that now hangs over the mantel of my home. Sidney Brent Ewen was born at Slade, KY, 28 Feb 1899. He died 24 July 1980 Winchester, KY and is buried in Clark Co., KY. The picture he holds is of his father George Washington Ewen who died in 1906. Granddad would have known very little of his father since he died when Granddad was around seven years old. Sidney Brent was the baby of eleven (11) children, 8 boys and 4 girls. What a family. The story of George Washington Ewen is told in an earlier blog titled the "The Sod Rest Lightly".

Possum Hollar (3):

"We lived these about three months before school started, and by that time many more had moved into our camp home from other states. Of course where there are so many children all in one small school house and from different states it was not any trouble to get a fight started, and when some boy from W.Va said someting a Kentucky boy fists began to fly. And all over the school grounds by some way I was knocked down in the fight. The next thing I knew strong arms carried me out of the fight and danger, setting me down and running back to stop the fight. There where I meet my fate. This boy became my idel God though he was several years older than me. Did not make any difference to me. It did not keep me from thinking of him night and day. And to him I was just a little black headed school girl, with pig tails hanging down my back. Nothing else happened to make him look at me any more and he quit school that fall to take a job with the Rail Road Co. that run by our house. Passing by our house on the hand car he did not look at the little girl looking out the window just to get a glance of her man as he went by."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Possum Hollar (2) The Future

"Loaded our few house hold goods into the old farm wagon, and started for our new home. By this time the mill was in operation sawing lumber for to build houses, store and tressell timbers for the railroad bridges. Can you imagine our surprise when we drove into a little valley with about thirty houses built along in rows, the out side covered with tar paper, the inside all with new building paper. What a difference to our log shack chinked with yellow clay mud and a hole cut in the side with boards nailed together to slip back and fourth at night and morning, so as to give light during the day. And how much larger was this four room house to our Possum Hollar cabin. And the shock when we went inside and saw the new furniture, cook stove and all father had put in before we had moved not telling no children anything about it. We all was to excited to say anything. We only look on and wondering what we would see next. And that was a train. Our house was built along the side of the rail road track just a fence and right of way between. We all run and hid ourselves thinking the thing was coming throu the house. Of course we all wanted to go back home to Possum Hollar but finally we all got over our scare and went to bed to dream about our new home and the future."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Possum Hollar

Story telling has always been part of my family. Both Mam maw Jones and Granny Ewen past on to me many of the family stories. I begin today by writing a story from Granddad Ewen. It is a first for me, because Granddad did not tell stories. Unknown to me until just a few days ago, Granddad Ewen wrote down his stories. Mother had a family file which contined several of the stories that Granddad Ewen wrote. Amazing I thought, they are in his own handwriting and in his own words. I will try to copy the story as written, but the pages are faded and some of the writing hard to read. The first story seems to be one about Granny Ewen's childhood in "Possum Hollar". It is writen around 1937 and is in Granddad Ewen's hand writing. Here goes:

"My childhood life was lived just like all mountain girls lives, going to school, hoeing corn, and helping mother's cooking, washing, and house keeping. Our home was a small log house built under a large rock all around except a small clearing where we planted our garden. The name given to this was Possum Hollar, as all little branches has names were we lived. This was my home untill I was about nine years old. It was at that time my father got a job working for a company helping build a tunnel throu a sand stone cliff to open up the way for to take out a large boundry of timeber nine miles from our home. I remember how father would set around the old fashion log fire at night telling mother and us children about the hole they were making throu the cliff, and how the train would come throu hauling the pine logs to the mill to be sawed into lumber. How excited we all was the night he told us we were going to move to the log camp and we would not have to get up at three o'clock in the morning to cook his breakfast so he could get to work by six o'clock. So about a week later, we said good bye to our little log house in possum Hollar."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Over the river

A song came to my mind as I was thinking about writing today's blog. "Over the river, and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go..." floated through the cobwebs. We would often sing this song as my family would head to Granny Ewen's house on Christmas day. As a matter of fact, best I can remember we always called it Granny Ewen's house, or going to Mam maw's house. I don't remember us ever calling it going to Granddad's house or Pap paw's house. Just as it was the females who told the family stories, I guess it was the females of our families who held things together. This was certainly true for Mam maw who worked her whole life to help keep us manage her own family, and take care of Pap paw with his stroke, and to be a special grandmother to share those family stories.

Today, my brother and I still bring our own families to grandmother's house on Christmas Eve. My three girls with their own children still say that they are coming to Granny's house for Christmas. To Granny's house it is...filled with laughter, Scrabble games, Trivial Pursuit, and a life time of memories. Over the river, and through the woods, the horses certainly know the way.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A picture from the past.

The picture to the right shows Maw maw and Pap paw Jones. Mam maw alias Gertrude Patterson Monroe, was born 1904, Clark Co., KY and died 17 March 1989, Clark Co., KY. Pap paw alias Joseph Wheeler Jones [called "Jay" by his sisters, and "Wheeler" by Mam maw] was born 5 July 1898, Clark Co., KY and died 2 Feb. 1972, Clark Co., KY. They are buried side by side in the Winchester, Clark Co., cemetery where our first Jones family member was buried 1795. He must have been wearing his glass eye, a picture and memory from the past.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Growing Pains

About three to four buildings south of Leed's Theater stood our Western Auto. It was where you could buy tires, rakes, wheel barrels, nails, bolts, hammers, mowers, and many other instruments of daily living. Near the Main Street widow of this store, I would spend a lot of my time looking at the row of bicycles. The row started with the little kids bikes with training wheels; moving through the girls bikes...those without the nut cracking middle bar; to the and white...chromed handled bars with red and white streamers...Western Flyer. It was a beauty. White wheeled tires, a luggage rack over the back wheel fender, a reflector on the back, and it had a light with horn on the handle bars. A seat, half red, half white, was balanced on two large springs which appeared to give the rider the promise of an exquisite ride. My mind would drawl thinking of the anticipated adventures on this amazing machine. Of course my legs would not reach the peddles from the seat. I could ride one of those little kids bikes, or even a girl's bike, but you could not be caught dead on either one. What was a 4' 7", 98 pound weakling to do? Grow I thought. I would have to eat more Cheerios's. What growing pains it was.