Author: Don Rose

  • Words of Comfort

    Words of Comfort

    There were two houses in Crow Holler. James Burke, his wife Nellie, and son Orville lived in the white clapboard house at the mouth of the holler. The Burke’s little farm had a good barn, cattle, and horses. Nellie had planted the yard full of flowers. It was a very attractive home. The only other…

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  • Dig... or Freeze!

    Dig... or Freeze!

    Years ago John Mayo had gone through Appalachia and bought the underground mineral rights from most of the land owners. He paid from five to fifty dollars per acre for the rights. The deed allowed the land owner to live on the property and use it or sell it. The deeds, called broad form deeds,…

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  • Uncle Buster Facilitates our Move to West Virginia

    Uncle Buster Facilitates our Move to West Virginia

    We had been living on the mountain for about four years when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The Nation was at war. The coal industry was booming. Dad and his brother Buster decided to go to West Virginia and seek work in a big corporate mine. They were tired of working in local push and…

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  • No Skin off My Butt

    No Skin off My Butt

    It was late July, and the corn was laid by. Time to relax a little before going back to work gathering corn, fodder, potatoes, apples and the other essentials for our winter larder. It was Saturday and we had just finished a good breakfast. Dad said, “I think I’ll ride old Bob over to Rock…

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  • Drum Fails...

    Drum Fails...

    Earnest had been wanting to ask Arlene for a date ever since she and her family moved in down the holler from his family.  After all, he was already seventeen and she was probably about sixteen. About time some romance got underway.  He would soon be old enough to work in the mine.

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  • Chewing Tobacco Ain’t for Kids

    Chewing Tobacco Ain’t for Kids

    Four of us -- me, my brother Jr., Charlie, and his brother Jack spent lots of time playing together in the old abandoned log house near our property.  It had rafters but no roof; a few places had some flooring.  I imagine someone knew who had started to build the house and given up on…

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  • The advantage of being a mule

    The advantage of being a mule

    Of the three families living on the mountaintop, we had the only radio: a big Philco cabinet model. It was battery because we had no electricity. Dad cut the top out of a locust tree and ran an aerial (antenna) to the radio.  We got great reception from the high-watt station WSM in Nashville, Tennessee.I…

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  • Moonshine and Music, part two

    Moonshine and Music, part two

    “Now boys, we don’t want to get in no hurry. I wouldn’t want you to buy a pig in a poke. Let’s walk around back to my smokehouse and have a swig to be shore you like it.” We walked around back to his smokehouse. Willard reached into a small barrel and pulled out a…

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  • Moonshine and Music, part one

    Moonshine and Music, part one

    When I announced that I was going to Kentucky on vacation, several clients and friends made the same request. “Bring me some moonshine.” I promised that I would get some on this trip. I knew that if I could deliver some moonshine, it would certainly enhance my sales.

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  • Lizzie and Flipper Lip

    Lizzie and Flipper Lip

    Dear R. B., I seen your name in a True Romance book that the church give me. You said you wanted some girls to write you. My name is Elizabeth, but ever body calls me Lizzie. I live on a mountain in Kentucky. It ain’t handy for nothin' here but shore is purty. I am…

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