Each month, The Kentucky Explorer magazine receives literally scores of letters from our faithful readers. Whenever possible, we try to publish as many of them as possible in the 12 pages we have set aside for "Letters to the Editor."
Here are a few letters from our July-August 2001 issue:
Memories Of Wise's Landing
My mother's uncle, John Frazier, and his wife, Agnes, used to farm in Trimble County, just outside of Bedford, Kentucky. I spent some quality time on Uncle John's farm back in the late 1950s. L. G. Ralston had a big place not far from Uncle John's farm near Wise's Landing.
Are any readers of The Kentucky Explorer familiar with Wise's Landing in Trimble County?
I'm not even sure that Wise's Landing still exists, but I'd like to get my hands on some photos of the old general store there and/or Uncle John's place.
Thanks for a fine magazine!
William J. Shaw
With regards to Wallace Halcomb's story on Kingdom Come High School, I remember that school very vividly. I attended school at Wallins Creek in Harlan County.
As I recall, it was during the basketball season of 1948-49 that we played Kingdom Come on their home floor. Boy, did we get clobbered! I played for the B-team, but can't recall whether they had a B-team or not. If they did, and if we played them, I can't remember who won.
Our A-team consisted of Bernard Weaver, Charles "Chick" Arrington, Elmer Ray Simpson, Bill Carter, Chester Howard, Perry "Pete" McKnight, Herbert "Nick" Osborne, Billy Ray Creech, Sherman Brock, and Glenn Blevins.
When our team bus unloaded at Kingdom Come High School many of us were very surprised that so many fans, wearing miner's caps with carbide lamps, were filing into the building. Inside the gymnasium, in the middle of the gym, there was a small wood or coal stove sitting on each sideline. The ceiling was very low, and there was little to no room between the sidelines and the bleachers. If you ran out of bounds, you ran into the bleachers!
When the varsity game got underway Kingdom Come jumped all over us. Chick Arrington, our leading scorer, couldn't get going. His specialty was a two-handed set shot with a high arch. Every time he'd shoot the ball it would hit the ceiling, as it did for most of our other players, too.
Chick kept shooting, and he finally hit one. It ripped the net completely off the rim. Officials had to stop the game long enough for them to retrieve the net, climb a ladder, and tape it back onto the rim.
I don't remember the final score, but I do know we were beaten pretty badly. After the game there were these galvanized tubs that had been filled with bath water, so our guys could bathe. I don't think even one of our guys took a bath that night.
Our coach, Needham Saylor, was heard to make the comment, "D - - -, if I ever schedule a place like this again..."
That was my last year of high school, for I dropped out to join the Army. I've always regretted that decision. I carried the reputation of one who had great potential in the game of basketball. Fitting are the words of poet John Greenleaf Whitter: "Of all sad thoughts of tongue or pen; the saddest are these, 'What might have been?'"
Perhaps Mr. Halcomb remembers this game between Kingdom Come and Wallins Creek; perhaps he even has a record of it. I'm 69 years old, and like those great young men of that era, many of ours, too, have passed on.
Yes, I'll always remember that night at Kingdom Come.
William L. Ward
Witnessed Razing Of Irvine's L & N Bridge
What a treat to read about the razing of the old L & N bridge at Irvine, Estill County, Kentucky! I remember the day very well, since I was then a student at Irvine High School.
Superintendent Flege told us to stay in the school building, but you know how kids are. We watched from a nearby hillside. When it blew, huge chunks of iron fell all around us. It was a miracle that no one was killed. Mr. Flege must have aged 20 years that day!
I would love to hear from anyone else who was there that day in 1942 when the bridge blew.
Barbara M. Brandenburg
CCC Shootout At Long's Creek
In the May 2001 issue there was a letter from Opal R. Hood, who had a brother in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at Buckhorn, Perry County, Kentucky, in 1936. I lived there in the 1930s just across the hill from the CCC camp on Long's Creek in Breathitt County.
I attended Sandlin School, and I remember they held church in the school house at night. The boys from the CCC would come over and date some of our local girls.
One night, they were going to have a foot washing at the church, and it had been rumored that the CCC boys were going to come over there and run off all the old men and women, so they could get the young girls. Some of the younger men on Long's Creek heard these rumors and confronted them about it.
I was eight or nine years old at the time, I think it was in 1936 or 1937, so my siblings, cousins, and I all stayed home that night. I remember hearing the shooting. Two men were killed and several of the CCC boys were shot.
If any reader was there that night and remembers the details of what happened, I would like to read about it in The Kentucky Explorer.
Charles A. Riley
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