||Gege's Childhood Memories
by Georgia Mink
I was born and grew up on Hances Creek in Bell County, Kentucky. At that time, there was only a narrow rugged wagon road to my home and a sixty five acre farm. This house was built by my parents and was very impressive in 1927. Shortly after I moved into this house, dad got hurt while working on the railroad. For one year, there was no income. My parents were refused any government aid because of our home, land, horses, and cows. My maternal grandparents, who had a country store, credited my dad for seven hundred dollars. A family of seven lived on that amount of groceries. My dad returned to work and paid the grocery bill on his terms just before the Great Depression of 1929. This was remarkable.
Our only source of light in this home was coal oil lamps illuminated occasionally by open fireplace. A few years later running water was piped in form an open spring and a bathroom was added. Electricity wasn't available until a few years later.
I was born September 8, 1923, to John and Edna Davis. My mom didn't have the luxury of a doctor or midwife. She was aided in this birthing by a brother-in-law, Bill Davis.
I am the sixth child in a family of nine. I remember very little before I wasin grade school. This eight room school was located on Pittman's Creek approximately a mile from my home.
My boundaries were well defined by my mother. Her expectations of me didn't relax until I got married. It seemed that I was continuously stepping over the line even though I was severely punished.
According to her, my first big sin was committed when I was six years of age. A little girl had a beautiful box of crayons. In my mind, I had been planning to take them for one night and quickly place them in her desk before she was aware of this missing treasure. Today, I continue to wonder how quickly my mom discovered that I had broken a commandment. She quickly lectured to me, paddled and made me walk a mile to return the crayons and apologize to the parents. In her busy household, it always amazed me how little I could get away with.
In all of my eight years of grade school, the crayon incident was the one that made a lasting impression. During those eight years, I made many friends. Some live around me today.
I only had three teachers during those years. It was a very structured class room and my learning experiences and teacher techniques were strictly rote methods. No phonics were ever taught. I was not inspired to participate in any creative ideas.
There were no means of transportation other than by foot. Those were joyful years. I was allowed to play in all the surrounding fields with other children.
After grade school, I entered Bell County High. The nearest bus stop was Page, Kentucky, which was three miles from my home. In the fall, I had to help harvest the crops until dark when I got home. It was often late before I could begin to study. During my fourth year of high school, students were transported to Page by a smaller vehicle.