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 June 2013

A New Wonder Discovered
In R. D. Clark
Dear Editor:
I would like to share the following article which was taken from an old Louisville newspaper in 1897 regarding my great-grandfather, Ras Ditto "R. D." Clark:
"Another 'phenom' will now glitter in the constellation of league ball tossers representing Louisville. It is Col. R. D. Clark in the Bluegrass country. "Phenom," before exploited, are usually guaranteed to be perfect revelations in fielding and holy terrors in swinging the ash.
"President Pulliam is the authority for the statement that this Kentucky Colonel can cover any two positions on the infield at the same time, and can rip the cover off the ball with just one good swat. This is the story of how 'Cunnel' Clark of Kentucky came to affix his signature to a Louisville contract.
"Last summer Attorney Zach Phelps, while spending a short vacation on a stock farm near Lexington (Fayette County), took a drive around the neighboring country. Mr. Phelps was leaning back in his seat in a omi-doze, and the old "plug" was jogging quietly along the road, when a crash, way off in the distance, caused the horse to shake his bones and dash ahead at a break-neck pace, Mr. Phelps sawed frantically at the reins to get the animal's head, but the plug had a will of his own and refused to be satisfied until he had tumbled the attorney in a heap in the dust.
"The next thing Mr. Phelps knew, he was lying on an embankment with his head bowed against a rail fence, while a farmer's wife told the whole story, how the Corncrackers had played the Elkins, and how Clark, of the Elkins, won the game by driving the ball through a two-inch plank in the left-field fence, clearing the bases and winning the game. A strange light gleamed in Mr. Phelps' eyes.
"'Clark, you say,' muttered the Louisville barrister, 'take me to him right away. I am interested in the Louisville Baseball Club, and if I can get the man Clark, we'll drive those League twirlers to drink a week after the season opens.'
"Mr. Phelps had a lengthy interview with Clark. He refused to consider any proposition to become a professional ball player, but Mr. Phelps has worked on him persistently and finally succeeded in getting him to sign a Louisville contract."
Bob Adams
4764 Mary Ingles HWY W.
Foster, KY 41043

See related photo in photo section.

Seeds Appreciated
Dear Editor:
In the April issue of The Kentucky Explorer, I sought information as to where I could locate greasy bean and hickory cane corn seeds.
I would like to report that wonderful readers from Perryville and Greenup, Kentucky, and Fostoria, Ohio, came to my aid. I was able to obtain enough seeds to be able to share with four other gardeners.
Don K. Flowers
154 Ashley Avenue
Springfield, KY 40069
Cundiff Cemetery
Dear Editor:
In reference to a letter in the February 2013 issue, on page 104, I would like to share information regarding three graves at the Cundiff Cemetery at War Creek in Breathitt County, Kentucky.
Two graves I can identify, as one walks up on the hill, are those of John Henry Trent and Hattie Hounshell Little Trent. Price Trent was their son. Price's brother was Everett Mark Trent and his sisters were Lillian Trent Childress and Dessie Trent Watkins. Price could have had some brothers or sisters not living before I knew him. He is buried on the upper side of the hill from his mom and dad.
Everett passed away in 1995 and is buried in the Evans Cemetery at Campton, Wolfe County, Kentucky.
Mary Trent
3770B Dug Hill Road
Irvine, KY 40336

Hopeful Hatfield Connection
Dear Editor:
In a previous issue of The Kentucky Explorer, a lady requested articles of the Hatfields and McCoys. I don't have the article or magazine, but she said her grandfather was a Hatfield. I am hoping we can make a connection.
My grandparents were Hatfields, too.
Grandfather Ewing Taylor Hatfield was born in Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky, and his wife (my grandmother) was Effie Combs, who was born in Wolfe County.
From the looks of the photos of Devil Anse Hatfield, he and my grandfather could be brothers.
Grandfather was a good worker throughout the week, but on weekends he was drunk and mean.
Nancy P. McKenney
119 Cumberland Drive
Georgetown, KY 40324

Regulators In Casey County
Dear Editor:
After the end of the Civil War, two members of a family were killed by possible regulators on my farm here in Casey County.
I have found three articles from the Kentucky Digital Library regarding trouble between two families, where 20 to 30 masked men showed up one night and fired into a house. The men were not expecting the family members to return fire and a brother and sister in the home were killed. Not much is known about who the regulators were.
The articles are dated August 1869 and appeared in The Danville Advocate, a newspaper in Louisville, and The New York Times.
If anyone is interested in hearing the story, we'd be happy to forward copies of the articles and would be interested in hearing any suggestions about how to explore other avenues for more information on same.
Debbie Carman
336 Fishing Creek Road
Yosemite, KY 42566

Catty Corner Kings:
A Checker Game
Dear Editor:
While growing up in Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky, during the 1940s, one of my favorite pastimes was playing checkers. I played regular checkers and a game called Catty Corner Kings. I have mentioned this game, Catty Corner Kings, to others over the years, and all I get is a blank look.
My question to the readers of The Kentucky Explorer is as follows: "Was Catty Corner Kings a checker game confined only to the east end of Newport, or did other people play it?"
Catty Corner Kings was played using the standard 8x8 block check board and 12 checker pieces. The 12 checkers were converted into six kings. The kings were placed in the six black blocks located in the lower right of the board, as viewed by the players. This gave each player an inner row of two kings and an outer row of two kings. The kings were allowed to jump their own men without penalty and move in any direction from black block to black block. Like regular checkers the object of the game was to capture all of they opponent's playing pieces. So, to repeat my question, did anyone else ever play this version of checkers?
As the undefeated, 1945-1951, Catty Corner Kings Champion of Oak Street in Newport, I will take on all challengers.
Charles H. Bogart
201 Pin Oak Place
Frankfort, KY 40601

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