The city would like to express our appreciation to the Hopkins County Cemetery Preservation Board for the memorial marker presented to the city to aid visitors in finding the 1918 Mass Grave in Oakwood. Thanks to the various ways this board has helped in this project and to the beautiful job done by A&B Signs and Layne Graves from delivering and setting it in concrete at the end (or beginning) of the Rock Wall.
This group does a great deal around the county most know little about. Thanks to Betty Cox, Sandra Donaldson, and Pat Hawkins for being there in person. I know Theresa Ray (who had the idea for the sign) would have also been there had she not been out of the county. No matter what ceremony or dedication we've had the die-hard members of the Cemetery Preservation Board and the the Genealogical and Historical Societies have been there to help.
Thanks to for Mary Jane Yancy (mislabeled in the newspaper article as Wayncey and taking a bit of kidding at the Civic Club from the guys referring to her as "Wayncey"). Mary Jane has planted untold numbers of tiny flowers since that first day of the mass grave. She and Kenneth have pulled weeds, watered, and babied the memorial more days than I can count. Most of the plants (remaining from appreciative deer) are now becoming dormant for the winter.
The greenery is nice (especially the giant elephant ears which Jerry Duvall donated along with other plants from his gigantic flower gardens), but I do miss the colorful rose buds and tulips. We still have a couple of additions to add before the snow falls. Thanks to the attendance of Mayor Hunt and Superintendent Pharris and the publicity by Brandon Buchanan.
It's a week early, but I omitted Sept's. announcement for the monthly Sr. Citizen White Plains Lunch Program. What can I say -- too many meds for too many weeks. The October 21st "do" is another of Spencer & Linda's special ones. Tommy and Judy Gunn will provide mule-drawn wagon rides for those who arrive a bit early (and maybe time for a few riders after the program). Mike Gunn will stir us with a little country music.
Appreciation continues to Hillside Villa Nursing Home which gives free blood pressure checks. Spencer says this will be a chili and hot dog meal to go along with the mule wagon rides. Those throughout the county who attend each month can't say enough about the Brewer's dedication of bringing informative and entertaining programs and one of the best monthly luncheons. Attendees are encouraged to bring salads, chips, or desserts. Okay, Spencer, got this one in.
Susie, a neighbor on East Main Street, is beaming about the updates and Glidden's "Calm Blue" hues on her residence. There's a bunch of sprucing up before winter being done around town and lots of rose bushes and flower gardens dotting the yards. The Card family on the corner continue to work on an intense make-over of the ole Whalen place. You might notice that Sugar Creek ditch has a drastic haircut for much of its area. This is way overdue. The head-high weeds removal along the tracks further up North Railroad has been a long time in coming. I'm sure many residents under the hill appreciate that mosquito harbor being gone. Now, before you ask -- No, I don't know if the ole Guest House remodeling has recommenced.
The last I heard a week ago, the stop-work order had not yet been lifted. But the young couple seem determined to hang in there despite the odd legal entanglements of which are none of their making. Nor does it seem anyone wants to fess up to being the instigator of the unknown zoning ordinance.
I've almost finished putting together a new E'ton history in which I included a section on E'ton authors. Some of these I was well acquainted with. Some lived here for a time and moved elsewhere like Jessie Carter Stokes of L'ville, who I met and struck up a conversation with on Facebook about E'ton people we know in common. Ms. Jessie had her first book signing last month on her 90th birthday. I purchased it on Amazon and have enjoyed our conversations about her early years in the "Bottoms." I am fascinated with her poetry and memories.
I met author Lynn Kendrick after the death of her son David of Suthards, a man with whom I worked several years for the feds. Lynn graduated from Nortonville and retired after 40 years as an elementary teacher. Iris Gill phoned me one day to ask if I had read her friend Lynn's book, a children's book about a W. Ky mining mule named Jack. Iris said, "Run by one day and I'll show you my copy." I enjoyed the unusual story and was blown away by the watercolor illustrations of Jeanie Shanks Kittinger, retired pediatrics RN from Bremen.
I saw another of Jeanie's award winning books in the waiting room of Baptist Health sitting in a short-tailed gown waiting for a mammogram. I'll bet many Hopkins Co. ladies have picked up the "When Will I Be Beautiful" children's book, not realizing the illustrator was from Muhlenberg Co. I added my sister Fay's daughter -- Heather Gipson Mitchell -- to the chapter as her story of her early years growing up on the outskirts of E'ton is an inspiration. Her "A Story of Faith, Hope & Love" recounts miracles of her and
See marker/Page PP4
from the front page
her family along with the tragedy of the loss of her mom to cancer.
My favorite passage is, "The place I grew up, singing along with my sister, playing old hymns on the piano in the living room, wrestling and fighting with my brother, following behind my daddy just to see what he was up to, and getting tickled and laughing with my mama as she danced around the kitchen as only she could do. It is where my brother nearly got struck by lightning and the house actually did." I thought that description could have been written by many of us of that generation ... except for perhaps Kevin almost getting struck by lightning. Heather's mom Fay (EHS '64) penned two romance novels, one of which "Out of the Valley" will soon be published by Heather.
This leads me to several points. 1.) I am amazed at the number of authors E'ton has produced. 2.) I will never learn how to make a long story short. And, 3.) the main reason I mentioned E'ton authors is due to the fact that I recently purchased (at the Messenger) the book "God, CP and Me" by a well-known newspaper man Garth Gamblin. Many of us kind of grew-up with his "Earl of Earlington" and "Huh Bar and Grill" articles. We were delighted with his sometimes tongue-in-cheek and often blunt truths of our (E'ton's and the world's) political and moral beliefs.
I had not seen the book with its mini-glimpses of news stories from the 50s through a half-century. I enjoyed reliving the stories of his characters (you know it's true) of Mr. Cook (my one-time neighbor & company store mgr), Charlie Babb, & Clyde Grant and remembering our tragedies. Garth interviewed me about 40 years ago for an adoption article on my and Vernon's girls. I was hesitant about the interview as I was afraid something I said might be misinterpreted.
Foreign adoptions were a sensitive subject with some, and I was still young enough to worry about what others thought of my opinions. I'd been teaching English at Western, for goodness sake, and knew better. Nevertheless, I asked if I could look over his article before it was printed. Garth gave me a loud "No." I'll tell you I had no problem understanding his speech that time. And he called me "arrogant." Understood that too, but I'm pretty sure he was referring to "haughty" in a good way. Besides I'd been called "arrogant" before. I knew Garth was well within his "rights" and, besides, I'd been called worse.
Our mayor about that time explained to me that women needed to learn their places. He emphasized they should stay "in their kitchens" and let men run businesses. Nope. Went right over my head. I suppose I still haven't learned "my place," thank goodness. Anyway, I survived the few errors I made in the story. Garth, as usual, was pretty well adept at his job. Now, if you enjoy E'ton and county nostalgia, drop by The Messenger and grab his book. I think you'll enjoy his stories. I did.