Why Daddy Sold Old Betsy

published by Ithaca Press


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Why Daddy Sold Old Betsy

Introduction

Why Daddy Sold Old Betsy is a story of a boy and his family who lived far out in the hill country of Southeastern, Kentucky. The stories take place from the year 1941 to 1949. Ilived in the village called Melvin, Kentucky.

Many of the days of summer were spent on grandma’s hillside farm. She lived up a holler called Henpen. After we spent a day working, hoeing corn on the hillside, we all went down to the old swimming hole for a cool dip in the creek. As we jumped into the water, it would splash high over our head. We called the water a world of liquid joy.

There was a grapevine over on the hillside where we would swing out and drop off into the water. Each family member had to do their share of working on the farm There were jobs for all. Even we who were small pulled weeds away from the plants. We also removed bugs from the plants. Almost everything we ate we grew on the farm.

There were cows, chickens, ducks and a horse to take care of, summer and winter. We picked blackberries. I always ate more than I got home with. As we picked berries, we kept one eye on the lookout for copperheads that may be lying under a berry vine.

We were an extended family, with grandma being the head of the clan. Whatever she said became family law. When one of us broke the law, we got some "willow tea," as she called it. Willow tea was some whacks across our back with a limb from the tree.

The story begins when I was six years old. Grandma said if you are old enough to go to school, then you should be able to hoe corn and feed animals. I was a small boy with blond hair and deep blue eyes, so grandma called me her blond hair and big blue-eyed boy. I loved it when she called me that. Not many things on this earth are better than a grandma, and me, I had the best grandma in the world.

I got into more trouble than most little boys so I knew about grandma’s willow tea. My days were spent with both work and play. It was a life that I have wished many times would have lasted forever but all good things come to an end.

I lived at the end of the horse and buggy days, and the Great Depression. I was here when the first man went into space. This is a story young and old will enjoy. I am now 72 years old and enjoy writing about the days of my childhood. And an old milk cow daddy called Betsy gave me so many stories to tell.

I am a retired high school special education teacher. I now pastor a small church that sits on top of a hill in a village called Ligon, Kentucky No matter how long I may live, my mind will always be on the days of summer, when I was at grandma’s house in the hills of Kentucky. They were days when I was young and free, and no boy ever had more fun than me.

enjoy the book,
RALPH