Good morning Hopkins County. Even thought it is a little wet, it is still a beautiful day here in the heart of the Western Kentucky Coal Field. The Hardwick Family hopes and prays that you and yours have had a great week.

I always have difficulty starting my article off on a sad and somber note. I was informed yesterday afternoon that one of my longtime friends had passed away. Mary Whitfield, one of the finest ladies that I have ever met, a lady that did not have an enemy. Mary loved Madisonville and Hopkins County. Mary was a sister of William (Bill) Cox, the Aunt of Will Cox and the mother of John Whitfield. I know that the Lord had a place prepared for her and that she was ready to go home to be with her Mom, Dad and Bill and have a family reunion. For those of you that are my age and dealt in politics a little bit, you would have had to have ran across her father John Henry Cox, who, by the way, was my daughter's godfather. For all of us that knew Mary, she will be missed but never forgotten.

I must tell you about a special occurrence that, by chance, I saw last Monday around noon at the Cracker Barrell. I was having lunch with three of my very dear

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friends, Carol Ligon, Steve Henry and Heather French Henry. As many of you know Heather for many years has worked with different Veteran Organizations and is always trying to make their lives better. The door opened at the side of the Cracker Barrell and 10 Veterans in wheelchairs were rolled in.

They were from the Veterans Center down in Hanson. Each month they bring several up to have lunch and get our and enjoy the scenery. I was so proud to have the opportunity to get up shake each one of their hands and let them know how proud all of us are of them. Now they all wanted to have their picture taken with Heather, but you know not a one of them ask to have their picture taken with me. I didn't quite understand that at the time until Penny explained the whole situation to me. Any time that you see one of our Veterans, let them know that we are proud of them and that they are our HEROES.

It is hard to believe that me and my lovely wife Penny had our anniversary last week. Now a couple of weeks when it was her birthday I did not mention her age as in the article I had been scolded by a number of my readers and I will not make that mistake again, but I am seventy we have been married 42 years and you all can figure out the rest. She is however somewhat younger than I am. I sure am glad she decided to keep me.

Teddy Rogers, who has been in the rest home for the passed few years has been having an issue with some bad health. There will be some tough time ahead for him. I would as that each of you put Teddy on your prayer list and pray for a complete and total healing.

I talked to Ronnie Lewis yesterday. He had just got back from visiting with Tessa. She has also been in the rest home for some time. Ronnie did say she was feeling better and would be coming home for a visit on Sunday if all goes well. There three kids Stormy, Roxanne and Nichole always come over pitch in and make a big dinner for everyone. It is a joy to see her come back home even though it is just for a short time.

Please don't forget to email me your hunting stories or other events going on in your life. Remember, inquiring minds want to know.

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