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."
actual letters from September 2015
In the mid-20th century small buildings were built in Jessamine
County, Kentucky, to be used at the voting precincts. These were
used only twice each year (May primary and November general elections)
These buildings had no restrooms or other amenities and gradually
fell into disuse, disrepair, and were finally torn down as precincts
were moved to churches, schools, and other public buildings.
Only the small building for the "Little Hickman" precinct
survived. It had no restroom except for a port-a-potty, no room
to prepare lunch or snacks, a small heater, and a window air
conditioner. The building was dirty, but the voters took it in
stride and always turned out to vote, even more than some of
the other precincts in nicer locations. The long-time precinct
workers were cheerful about their duties.
In the primary election on May 19, 2015, the "Little Hickman"
voting house was used for the last time.
In the November 2015 General Election, voters will go to the
nearby Little Hickman Christian Church to vote. The precinct
officers will have inside restrooms, a kitchen, air conditioning
or heat, and a clean environment to spend their 12-plus-hour
204 N. 2nd Street
Nicholasville, KY 40356
More On The Calmes
Regarding the "Genealogy From Long Ago" in the April
2015 issue, page 73, of The Kentucky Explorer, the information
on Marquis, Sr. was correct, except that his son, Marquis, Jr.,
did marry. He married Winifred Wallace in 1725 at Calmes Neck,
Virginia. They had a daughter, Elizabeth, born June 1, 1732.
She married Leonard Helm.
What interests me is the fact that Leonard's and Elizabeth's
son, George, married a Mary Frances Calmes. I haven't found out
yet how Mary was related to the Marquis de La Calmes family.
I enjoy reading The Explorer, especially the "I Remember"
Diane Preston Carey
230 Bells Lane
Junction City, KY 40440
I would like to announce that Windell and Lillie Akers celebrated
their 50th wedding anniversary on June 4, 2015. They were the
parents of eight children and had many grandchildren.
Windell grew up at Dana, Floyd County, Kentucky. He was born
to Carl and Goldie Pearl Akers in 1950, and is the grandson of
Marvin Akers. Windell attended Banner School until 1956 where
Beecher Woods was principal. Windell left Floyd County in 1958
to look for work in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Hamilton
County Police Academy and worked for one of the world's largest
security companies. He has three brothers and three sisters.
Windell and Lillie met in Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky,
and married in 1965.
Lillie grew up in the White Ash section of Lee County, Kentucky.
She was born in 1937 to Robert and Dorothy Collins and has seven
brothers and six sisters. Lillie attended Beattyville Elementary
School. She first visited Newport in 1953.
Windell L. and Lillie Akers
19 W. Crescent Avenue
Newport, KY 41071
Josephine Hurt Article
I thought readers might like to learn the results of my article
about Josephine Hurt which was published in the June 2015, issue
of The Kentucky Explorer.
Josephine was a precious part of my childhood, and I wrote the
article because I wanted those who knew her not to forget her,
and those who hadn't known her to wish they had. She was not
in my book about Brushy, where I grew up, because she lived across
the hill on John's Creek. She was truly a special lady, and those
who did know her were blessed to he a part of her life.
I had sent the article in a couple of months before, and the
first indication that it had been published was an email from
Josephine's husband's sister's grandson, who had visited the
farm often in his own childhood. He told me how much he had enjoyed
the article, and that he remembered all the things I described
in it. In addition he mentioned some things I had forgotten,
like the Collie dog, names of the horses used to plow the farm,
and eating watermelon on the porch. It was like a visit home,
and wonderful for me to connect with someone who had the same
special memories. That contact, in itself, was a blessing, but
more blessings were to come.
Within a week or two, I received another email. This one was
from one of Josephine's nephews who had even more memories, for
he and his brothers had also visited the farm often in
their childhood. If anyone could have loved Josephine more than
I did, it had to be those boys. In addition to being their aunt,
Josephine at age 15 had taken over the care of their father from
the time when their mother died, when her nephew was only a few
months old, until he was eight when she married Everette and
moved to the farm.
The nephew said he had pictures and information if I wanted them.
I replied that I would be thrilled with anything he wanted to
share, and asked if he had a photo of the swinging bridge.
When the next email came, my eyes must have lit up like a child
at Christmas, for there were three photos of the bridge. What
a dream come true. As it turned out, he has also shared many
other photos and many of his memories of the farm.
I think that bridge, (along with the one on Brushy that I am
still trying to find) more than any other single thing, is a
symbol of, as I expressed in the title of my Brushy book, a gentler
time and place. The Hurt Branch bridge was the biggest one I
have ever seen, and I have memories of walking across it, not
only with my mom when we visited the farm, but alone as a child
of eight or ten years old when Mr. Hurt would send me to the
Going to the store meant walking possibly half a mile, climbing
the wooden steps up to the bridge, walking across on its rough
boards with the woven wire sides, climbing the steps cut out
of the dirt hillside up to the road, and walking another half
mile or so to the store. It was an adventure. The errand made
me feel important, and there was no reason to be afraid. It is
sad that with all the advantages modern times have brought, the
greatest loss has been the freedom to be a child and able to
walk freely with no fear.
So as I have come to value the memories of my childhood, I have
wished for years to find a photo of that bridge. I have asked
everyone I know, made countless phone calls, and looked up swinging
bridges on the Internet, all to no avail, until I wrote an article
with no thought of honor for myself, but only for the memory
of a special lady.
I have always hoped that someone somewhere had a photo, and it
would turn up. It has been an unspoken prayer and a need in my
heart to find this tangible reminder of my childhood. What we
often forget is that even with the smallest desires of our hearts,
we need to ask for God's help. What may seem so unimportant to
other people has been important to me and important to my God
who loves me and wants me to have things that make me happy.
Did I just stumble on the way to make my wish come true? I don't
think so. I had to do my part, exhaust all my resources, and
then when I could do no more, the blessing came. Sure, it is
a small thing, but life is made up of small things, and we need
to realize that it is not just the big things that are important.
Small ones often bring the greatest joy and a reminder that if
God can bring me a photo of a bridge, I have no doubt that he
will take care of the bigger things I need.
So, thank you, Kentucky Explorer, for publishing my article,
and a special thank you to Josephine's relatives who have had
me walking down memory lane. You have all been a part of a dream
Janive Lowe Underwood
514 Brewer Road
Danville, IL 61834
These are just samples of
the many letters in each issue of The Explorer.