"I Remember"


Every reader of The Kentucky Explorer, no doubt, has a special memory. Why not write it down and share it here in this column? Help preserve the story of our vanishing past for today and tomorrow. We need memories and photographs from every part of Kentucky and beyond.

When submitting your "I Remember" stories, please include any photographs or illustrations, if you have them. Though not a requirement, photos do add a lot of appeal to your story.

Here is an actual "I Remember" story found in our July/August 2002 issue:

A Trip To Rothwell

My grandfather, Scott Back, was a farmer all his life. He tilled the land with a pair of large mules. I can still remember how upset he would get when one of the family married, because it meant that there would be one less hoe in the cornfield. Grandfather cut oak trees from the farm and with a broad ax carved out a 7 X 9-inch railroad tie, worth maybe a dollar. One time he invited me, at age maybe 10 or 12, to go with him to Rothwell, Menifee County, with a load of these ties, about 20; that meant $20. We started at early daybreak and returned at dusk, an all-day trip. The roads had no pavement, not even gravel. Mudholes were frequent, all the way to the axle of the wagon.
When we came to the Rothwell Hill, it was too steep for one pair of mules to pull the wagon up the hill. A fellow hauler unhooked his team and latched on the tongue of our wagon and helped us to the top. We, in turn, went down and helped him with his load. This happened several times each day with travelers.
We packed a lunch. When we stopped at a farmer's house to eat along the way, we had no drinks with us. The farmer's wife must have noticed our predicament and came out with a pail of cold sweet milk. It sure was a great help.
At Rothwell we unloaded our ties, collected our $20, and spent about half of it for groceries. We bought bags of flour, sugar, salt, and (I think) coffee. Our return trip was a little faster, because our load was much lighter.
I think why I remember this so well is because it was the farthest I had ever been from home!

Herbert S. Craft
2208 Brentwood Street
Middletown, OH 45044

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