Memory of Martin County

I know I shall never forget Martin County, Kentucky, where I grew up.  I recall memories of our family, friends, and Beauty, the little hamlet where I lived.  Reminiscence of those long hot summer days, the colorful artistic pallet of autumn makes my heart warm, and thoughts, with slow moving pictures, fill my mind.

In the spring, it was like an angel waved his hand over the land causing the tips of tree limbs to burst into vibrant shades of green, like delicate lace looking up through them.  Tiny green shoots popped up from the forest floor making a green carpet of softness.

Flowering trees, redbud, dogwood, tulip trees, added a profusion of red, white and yellow colors.  Wild creamy honeysuckle, purple baby iris, and pink azalea gave spashes of color to the undergrowth.  I picked the wild flowers, took them home and put them in a Mason jar filled with cold water from the well.

During early and late summer and into autumn, the mountains yielded hickory, black walnut and butternuts. There were black berries, wild strawberries, huckleberries, and possum grapes.  All these we picked and toted them home in bushel baskets to dry or be made into Momma’s jams and jellies.

We picked wild lettuce, polk shoots, and pawpaws.  My brother and me gathered rabbit tobacco for old Mr. Moore who smoked it in his pipe and called it Life Everlasting.

The hills would ring with the sweet melody of birds, and in the night, the sound of hootowls and whippoorwills would drift down with the twilight.

In autumn, trees were splattered with color like an artist pallet and leaves fell in profusion like a ticker tape parade. They fluttered down from the mountain tops and scurried along the ground where they whispered against a door frame or corner of a fence and the breeze would chase them around like brilliant butterflies trying to escape the cold fingers of winter.   I remember Martin County from fifty years ago.

7 thoughts on “Memory of Martin County

  • June 1, 2009 at 7:52 am
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    What a wonderful description! I, too, was raised in MC at Beauty. The love of the spring and summer seasons is still with me. I especially loved to hear the chorus of frogs in the spring and I remember the lucious warm summer nights.

  • July 2, 2009 at 1:20 am
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    I remember the soft summer Martin County nights when all my Howell cousins and I spent the late evenings chasing fire flies and putting them in old mason jars to use as lanterns. I remember us running along side of Grandpa’s fence chasing cars to see if we could outrun them, and laughing so hard when we fell in the soft grass of his yard. Gathering at our Grandpa and Grandma’s house holds many precious memories that we continue to share with each other every time we get together. What a wonderful, wonderful time in our life.
    Iva Dean Howell Daugherty

  • November 5, 2009 at 10:06 am
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    I was also raised at Beauty, and my dad (Jasper Maynard) was also a coal miner.
    Thoes were the best days of my life, yes, we were poor, but we did not know it, everyone helped each other. As a child we spent many days in the hills, picking black-berries.
    I went to a one room school, until they made us go to Warfield school, because they closed the one room school down, Our teacher was Miss Mary, every one loved her.
    Lots of memories in Martin Co. for me, it is still home.

  • November 16, 2009 at 6:17 pm
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    i have many friends in beauty ky. my most dear friends are glen maynard and his dad everett maynard.. everett preached many a sermon at tomahawk ky. where i was born and raised at .. the church of christ at wooten prounced ooten .. my brother elzie and me picked blackberries by the waterbucket full a 10 quart bucket .. on tom williamsons farm in his grown up fields .. tom is a wonderful man he loved everyone .. and i remember the papaws we got from under the papaw trees when i was a little boy at stafford fork .. and we did many things that the writer did too .. brings back memories of days gone by.. i live in ohio now have been for years but i’ll never forget martin county .. william granville mollett

  • December 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm
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    here is a little poem i wrote …. reunion
    on old stafford fork where i was raised ,
    on the hillside where i played ,
    lies many of our loved one’s graves .
    mom, dad, three brothers, one son , first wife ,
    sister in law, and maybe someday i will lay.
    them old hills i used to love ,but now i live in another state
    where everything is great if you like another state .
    but this one thing i want to relate
    old stafford fork is where i’ll set my plate .
    come reunion time on old stafford fork , i will sit down and dine..

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