Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography
Series 10: Medical Settlements – Line Fork Settlement
Series 14: Medical, Health & Hygiene
ALICE COBB STORIES Visit to Line Fork with Mrs. Morris, Oct. 19, 1935
TAGS: Alice Cobb Stories Visit to Line Fork with Mrs. Morris; Alice Cobb; Gladys Morris; Pine Mountain Settlement School; Line Fork Settlement; Dr. Ida Stapleton; Rev. Robert Stapleton; 1935; Lige Cornett; Ella Cornett; Wilson Cornett; Katherine Pettit; Neely Cornett; Findly Cornett; Lexine Baird; horses; medicine; medical services; Cora Scearce; Civilian Conservation Corps; foodways; religion; Fiddler John; Laden C.C.C. Camp; William Creech; John Wilder; Bill Creech; Otto Nolan; Reedy Nolan; beehives; bees; apiaries; intoxication; Sunday School;
TRANSCRIPTION: ALICE COBB STORIES Visit to Line Fork, Oct. 19, 1935
VISIT TO LINE FORK, October 19, 1935
This past weekend, as usual, was wonderful. Saturday right after dinner Mrs. Morris [Gladys Morris —see Glyn Morris] and I took the two horses, Swallow and Sunny Jim, and rode to Line Fork to spend the evening and night with Mrs. Stapleton [Dr. Ida Stapleton] since Mr. Stapleton is attending a minister’s conference in Berea. The ride was perfectly beautiful — the leaves are beginning to change now, and almost every hour I think I can see a difference. It was so interesting passing along and chatting with this neighbor and that down the road — we so seldom see them, and yet whenever I ride by, seems that surely no time can have passed, for everything is just the same. I could hardly believe that Neely Cornett and Findly and their children had even left the doorstep, for there they were sitting just as they sat the last time I went by. Neely is a here-to-yander girl — rather she was, before she had the luck (?) to marry Findly. I think Findly must be pretty ill. Mrs. [Lexine] Baird asked Neely one day why she didn’t tell Findly what was what when he treated her as he does sometimes, and Neely sad oh, no, she couldn’t do that, because he was her man, and her being just a here-to-yander, who was lucky to have any man at all even an ill one! (“Ill” means hateful and cross.)
One time when I was at Line Fork, and Miss Pettit [Katherine Pettit] was there, we took a walk and stopped there for a little chat. Miss Pettit commented on the two splendid holly trees in front of the house and close to the road. “Neely,” she said, “Don’t you ever let anybody cut down those two trees — you just guard them with your life.” And Neely said, “No, ma’am, I ain’t aiming to let ary person cut them — they war planted by Findly’s first wife, and he thinks a sight of ’em.”
I stopped for a moment to say howdy to Mrs. Lige Cornett, the mother of Wilson, one of the boys who has been to Boston to work in a restaurant. The boys are doing so well — there are three of the same family there now, all in the same business.
The cabin was just the same, even to the wood corded out in the backyard and Mrs. Stapleton was at the window sewing on her patchwork quilt. It was so lovely to be there again. We had a good time talking. Mrs. Stapleton told us all the news.
Perhaps I’ve talked about Ella Cornett, whose husband is so sorry that she had to drive him to build a house for her and when he got it built (she did most of the work, of course) it had only one room and no windows — and there wasn’t a single bed. The four children and Ella and her husband slept on the floor. Well, not long ago Ella had her fifth baby and since money was scarce and Mrs. Stapleton away at the time she decided to save the price of a mid-husband and deliver her own baby herself. And one of the neighbor women coming in found her there on the floor, with the four children standing about watching — delivering her own baby. And she absolutely didn’t make one sound — just went right ahead and did it as you do any other unpleasant thing and then wrapped the baby up in some rags she had ready — and that was all there was to it.
There were other stories in the course of the afternoon and evening, but…
…I can’t tell them as Mrs. Stapleton did — I guess we all have our own stories and there were people coming in for this thing and that. One little girl sat and talked for a long time and there was a very interesting conversation, guided carefully by Mr. Stapleton, about war and Ethiopia and Mussolini. The little girl had just been hearing the story of Bruce and the spider and retold it with gusto.
Next morning we saddled our horses and were on our way back to the school. I wish I could tell you how lovely it was — colors were twice as brilliant as the day before, and the mountainsides just one blaze of glory. I’m sorry to make you envious, but I must say that there is nothing in Seymour, or anywhere in the world I should think, to compare with it. I was glad that Sunny Jim was willing to amble, and Swallow insisted on coming slowly with Mrs. Morris so that we could enjoy the beauty of it — that winding road — every turn showing a new view — new hillsides, above and below, too.
We got in just in time for dinner, and right after dinner, I started out to Divide to Sunday School. I hiked out alone this time, stopped at Otto Nolan‘s for Cora Scearce as usual, and we went on out to the Schoolhouse to find a larger crowd than before, but all children except Ella McDaniels who came with her baby. And oh, dear, that Baby just kept up a disturbance all the time, until she had to take him out, although she couldn’t bear to, for she was enjoying the meeting. That’s one thing that is very evident. They all just love every minute of the Sunday School, and it does help us too much to feel that. They were quite enthusiastic about Joseph and his dreams. Almost at the end of the story, three C.C.C. boys from the Laden camp staggered in and the air was perfumed with whiskey. they were either drunk or near it, I stopped the story and told them the first part over again — and to my surprise, they listened. Then we all sang Onward Christian Soldiers, which the children all know and enjoy and one of the boys joined in. We had some Sunday School papers called “The Little Beginner” which we passed out, then after everyone had gone except Cora and me, I looked out of the window to see those big boys standing under a tree smoking cigarettes and reading their papers. I just wonder if they will come back.
On the way home I stopped at Otto’s [Otto Nolan] and Reedy [Reedy Nolan], had some coffee and doughnuts and I talked till I thought I had just time to get home before dusky dark. But by the time I got to Fiddler John‘s it was shadowy — and at that moment I realized I had lost the office keys. I was frantic. I ran back to Otto’s and then to the schoolhouse and Bill Creeches and Wilders trying to find the teacher and get the keys to the school again. At Bill’s place, they were having quite a gay time. The snake-handling Holiness meeting (which competes every Sunday with the Sunday School) was just over, and they had the snake-handler staying the night with them. He looked awfully queer. I finally got in the schoolhouse, found the keys, and then prepared to start home on the run — it was dark and me without ‘ary flashlight! — But Otto kindly brought me home in his new truck which he is very proud of. He is interested in bee hives too, and we have had some interesting talks on bee culture.
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