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

October 2015

"The Boy And Rabbit"
Reproduction Wanted

Dear Editor:
I am looking for a reproduction of a portrait entitled The Boy and Rabbit. It was painted in 1814.
When I was in school, somewhere between the fifth and seventh grades, in Mrs. Smith's room at Carr Creek Elementary, we did a play with all kinds of different artists paintings.
A red head was needed to play as the boy in "The Boy and Rabbit." I was a red head back then with lots of freckles, too. Even though I was a girl, I still got that part in the play.
I would like to have a copy of this painting that's not very expensive. The boy has red hair and is wearing beige pants with a jacket and hat. The rabbit is beige and white.
I have a small photo of me which was taken at the time of the play. It is old worn and faded.
If anyone has any photos of the play, which was held in the early 1960s, I am interested in obtaining those, also.
Lula Mae Slone Thompson
4940 S. 250 W.
Marion, IN 46953

Information Wanted On
The Shelby Combs Family

Dear Editor:
I am the daughter of Shelby Combs born 10/29/1916, at Knott County, Kentucky. He passed away at Smithboro, 2/17/1995, from black lung. He married my mother, Mary Alice Lumpkins Combs, who was from Letcher County, in 1946. She was born 8/24/1926 and passed away 3/12/2008 from lung problems.
Dad's parents were Joseph Duncan and Ella Combs. Joseph was born in 1888 and died 11/7/1940. Ella died from influenza.
Dad's grandpa was John "Big Red" Combs. John was the grandson of Jeremiah Combs and the son of William Lorenzo Combs.
Shelby and Mary had four girls: Susie Combs Shaw, born 8/15/1947; Judy Fay Combs born 5/13/1949, died 4/27/2012; Carolyn Combs Franklin 1/4/1952-12/4/2014; and me born 3/22/1957.
Dad left Floyd County to work in the U. S. Steel mills in 1952.
I enjoyed our summer trips to Kentucky to see Mom's family, but I never knew why we didn't visit Dad's side of the family.
I was born in Lorain, Ohio, and my uncles would tease me by calling me a "Buckeye."
I would like to hear from anyone on my Dad's side of the family. Any information would be appreciated.
Brenda Combs Costello
13229 W. Darrow Road
Vermilion, OH 44989

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