Reader Queries

Each month, The Kentucky Explorer magazine receives literally scores of letters from our faithful readers. Among those letters we often find queries, ranging from requests for words to songs and poems to trying to locate former classmates and military buddies of long ago.

Here are a few queries from

March 2014

Embroidery Patterns Wanted
Dear Editor:
I am looking for the iron-on type of embroidery patterns. If they no longer can be ironed on, I can trace them on paper.
When I was a young girl, I would trace pictures out of coloring books, etc. to make patterns.
I guess other readers remember going to the grocery store to get what food we couldn't raise. When we didn't have the money to pay until Dad got paid at the sawmill, we would have our merchandise "put on the bill." Each store kept a small tablet to keep track of each family. There was a sheet of carbon in the tablet so two copies could be made, one for the buyer and one for the store.
We always kept a sheet of carbon in a special place for our tracing needs. When we didn't have carbon paper, we would lay our paper on the window so the light would shine through and trace our pattern. It seems as if we had a lot more time back then and enjoyed our work and family more.
Virginia Southard
5275 Rochester Road
Beaver Dam, KY 42320

Book Wanted
Dear Editor:
I would like to know if any readers of The Kentucky Explorer have the book Long Hunt. It's a story about a trapper, Murfree Renard, in the 1700s. It was written by William Boyd.
I read this book back in the 1960s. If anyone has the book, I would like to buy it.
Meredith Crouch
936 Pine Grove Road
Olympia, KY 40358

Stories Wanted Of WWI/WWII Soldiers Buried Overseas
Dear Editor:
Four years ago I began searching for stories of the Oklahoma soldiers who are buried overseas. Recently, however I began the search for as many of the stories as I could find of soldiers from all around the United States. 
I began this journey with a visit to all 23 American cemeteries located around the world where the soldiers from Oklahoma are buried. I spent six months traveling through Europe, North Africa, the Philippines, and Hawaii, where I placed over 2,000 Oklahoma rose rocks at the graves of the soldiers.
Everything started when I visited a Normandy cemetery and walked up to an Oklahoman's grave. I gave him a rose rock (official state rock of Oklahoma) and found about 20 other graves that day. When I went back, I visited the 144 Oklahoma soldiers in the cemetery and gave all of them a rose rock.
On several occasions I wanted to walk away from my journey and come back home. I had very little money and my feet were badly blistered  because of the walking.
On the days I didn't have a host to stay with, I would have an apple or orange for breakfast and for supper pasta and tomato paste. I would also camp with a tent and a sleeping bag I had on my backpack to save money.
Once I had made it to each of the cemeteries, the thought of going home was washed away, and I worked at finding the graves of the soldiers. It was hard work, but I realized that if I didn't do this that no one would and these men would not have a piece of Oklahoma with them.
After I returned home I began my search for the stories of the 3,000 Oklahoma soldiers. However, he soon found roadblock after roadblock in his way to gathering the stories of these amazing soldiers.
All too many times I have had family members tell me, "I wish I had known about this a year ago, because my mom was alive, and she knew everything about my uncle buried overseas."
I have gathered around 50 stories, some only partially complete, of WWI and WWII members of the military from Oklahoma.
I am now in the process of looking for stories of soldiers from other states.
I have decided to find one story from each state for each of the 23 cemeteries located overseas and Hawaii. I know that if the stories are fading here in Oklahoma they are fading all around the U. S.
The stories that I collect will be shared with each soldier's cemetery so that others passing through them can hear the tales and histories of these honorable men.
I am looking for copies of photos, letters, family stories, information about the soldier's life, and even history of the area of which each soldier lived.
Anyone who has any information on a solider who is buried overseas, please contact me by visiting to arrange a digital transfer.
Information can also be sent by mail.
Michael Beach
P.O. Box 582
Maysville, OK 73057

75th Anniversary Of Frozen Flood
Dear Editor:
This year (2014) will be the 75th anniversary of the tragic Frozen Creek Flood in Breathitt County. Actually the anniversary will fall on Saturday, July 5, 2014, the day after Independence Day.
I am not from Breathitt County, however my great-grandparents Abner Miller and Lucinda Caroline Smith Miller were. Abner was a preacher and farmer at War Creek and most of his older children were born in Breathitt County. Eventually Abner's family and his brother's (William Letcher Miller) family moved to Woodford County.
I discovered this tragic event while doing research last year at the Breathitt County Library. I have read as much as I could find on the flood, and for some reason I am just drawn to the tragedy.
I am very curious if there are any people still alive in the area that were first-hand witnesses, and if anyone is planning on doing any major coverage of this historic event.
Paul Gregory
Woodford County Historical Society
121 Rose Hill Avenue
Versailles, KY 40383

These are only a few of the many queries inside The Kentucky Explorer.