Letters To The Editor

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 actual letters from October 2010

Relates To Articles
Dear Editor:
Thanks for keeping this wonderful little magazine going. I can relate to so many of the articles, even though I'm not from Kentucky.
I grew up during the Depression and my grandparents lived on a farm.
Blacksburg, Virginia, where I live, is located on a large anthracite seam. I remember the big explosion in 1946 when I was in high school.
My husband was from Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.
Mary Elizabeth Lindon
P. O. Box 10504
Blacksburg, VA 24062

Relative Discovered
Dear Editor:
Lieutenant Jesse Orin Creech was Kentucky's only WWI ace pilot, shooting down eight enemy planes for the Army Air Corps.
Jesse was a native of Harlan County, Kentucky, and the son of William and Martha Short Creech. He attended public school in Harlan County, the University of Kansas, and Cornell University before he joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. After serving in Canada, he served as a flight instructor in Texas. In early 1918, he transferred to the United States Air Service and was assigned to the 148th Aero Squadron on July 4, 1918. On September 2, 1918, two flights of his squadron engaged 15 Fokker D. Vils of Jasta Boelche. In the ensuing battle, Creech and four other Sopwith Camel pilots were shot down. Taking part in his squadron's last patrol of the war, Creech scored his final victory on October 28, 1918. Prior to WWII, Creech held an administrative post in Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. Becoming ill on November 9, 1947, he was admitted to the Nichols Veteran Hospital in December 1947 and died there six weeks later. He was 52 years old.
My father, Walter Creech, was the son of Sara Jane Creech. Sara had a brother named William A. Creech, a carpenter, who had a son named Jesse Orin Creech, born 1895 in Harlan County, Kentucky.
Jesse would have been my father's first cousin.
Jack E. Creech
70 Cross Creek
Hollisburg, MS 39402

Family From Breathitt County
Dear Editor:
My husband's parents, Thomas and Grace May Spencer, were from Breathitt County, Kentucky. They had four children: Joseph Quenton (my husband) and Thomas Phenton, who were twins; and two girls, Erma Ivan and Joye Ray.
Joseph's aunt, Zora Craycraftgan, loaned her latest issue of The Explorer to us, and Joseph was intrigued.
We are looking forward to a whole year's issues.
Bernice Gross
5745 Haney Mill Road
Crandon, WI 54520

Old Songs Article
Brings Back Memories

Dear Editor:
I enjoyed the article in the July-August 2010 issue of The Kentucky Explorer, about old songs, written by Bob Smith.
I remember my mother singing some of these songs as she rocked a child to sleep or churned butter. Nobody on either side of my family were musically inclined. I recall the lyrics "the great ship went down." This must have been part of "The Sinking of the Titanic." I also remember fragments of other songs she sang. They are "The Little Log Cabin In The Lane," "Old Black Joe," and "Just Before The Battle, Mother."
An additional song I remember, in part, has the stanza "There is a long, long trail a winding into the land of my dreams."
Perhaps someone has all the words to these old songs.
Fred H. Salisbury
314 Jeremiah Drive
Richmond, KY 40475
Editor's Note: Bob Smith is a contributing writer to The Kentucky Explorer who shares articles on folklore and history of Kentucky. He is the editor/publisher of the Three Forks Tradition located in Beattyville, Kentucky.

Drake Genealogy Available
Dear Editor:
Bob Drake was born in Russell County, Virginia, in 1853, and died February 12, 1939, at Old Landing, Lee County, Kentucky, where he is buried.
Bob went to Sandy Ridge, Wolfe County, Kentucky, in 1854, with his grandparents, William and Jane Stinson Drake, and his parents, John and Charlotte Steele Drake. Bob had seven siblings, all reared on Sandy Ridge. Rebecca "Becky" was born in Kentucky, probably Breathitt County, in 1870 and died in 1956 at Old Landing, where she is buried. Becky was the daughter of Liberty Crawford and Joannan Little Crawford.
Five children were born to Bob and Becky: Vina McFarland, Greely, Florence Ritchie, Frank, and Jerry, who died as a child. Both Bob and Becky were previously married and both had lost their spouses. Bob was married to Alifair Whisman with whom he fathered five children: Lottie Overbee, Eliza Oaks, Mary Miller, Rachael Gross, and Mandy Oaks. Becky was married to Granville Brewer and had six children: Jim, Charlie, Corbett, William, Cordellia Davis Pence, and Sally Gayheart.
I am the son of Frank Drake and the grandson of Bob and Becky Drake.
More information is available if readers are interested.
Franklin Drake, Sr.
1555 Mill Creek Road
Beattyville, KY 41311

These are just samples of the many letters in each issue of The Explorer.