Church People Stories from the 1910’s

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, Heart of Hollyhill

November 17, 1965

Jocie Brooke here reporting from the Mt Pleasant Church in Holly County, Kentucky. We had a big day at the church on Sunday. The church women had a dinner for this couple who have been going here to church since before cars. Mr. and Mrs. Jeffries tell me they showed up at church in a buggy when they got married fifty years ago.

That was 1915. Wow! I can’t even imagine 1915. Right before World War I. But Mr. Jeffries says they didn’t call it WW I. They called it the Great War that was going to end all wars. He had to go over to France in 1917 and fight in that war. 

Right after he left, Mrs. Jeffries found out she had a baby on the way. She has some great stories to tell about that time too. She went back to live with her parents out on the farm. They went here to church too, but they’ve moved on up to heaven now. Anyway, she talked about how worried she was for Mr. Jeffries and how the church had prayer meetings to pray for the soldiers. Then the influenza epidemic broke out and everybody was afraid to go anywhere. Those that weren’t sick already. Dad says a lot of people actually died from the flu. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? Anyway, Mrs. Jeffries says she stayed out on the farm and tried to keep her baby from getting sick. Her mother made these garlic amulets, necklace like things, for her to wear to ward off the germs. Mrs. Jeffries laughs and says it was pretty stinky perfume, but she didn’t get the influenza. 

Mrs. Jeffries laughs a lot. Dad says she’s not really all that old, but sixty-six sounds pretty old to me. She got married when she wasn’t much older than I am now. Sixteen, but she says that wasn’t so unusual back then. It was just hard when the war broke out and then later they had to make it through the Depression years. They have a lot of stories and Dad says I should listen. So maybe I’ll take my notebook with me next time we go see them and get her to tell me more. 

But right now, I’m going to tell you a little more of Bailey’s story.

Bailey’s Bug by Jocie Brooke
  (continued from last time – read the whole story so far up top under Bailey’s Bug in the menu line.)

{Bailey just escaped from the bulldozer monster but he’s worried they’re still too close. The thing is roaring at them.}

    Lucinda must have agreed that the monster was too near. “I think you both need to quit yapping so we can get out of here.”
    “Right ye are, Miss Lucinda,” Skelley agreed. “Two narrow escapes in one morning is more than enough. We might be a bit shaky to outwit the dogcatcher as well. I’ll see you safe out of the neighborhood, then start hunting a new place to live.” He gave the pile of rubble that had been his house a sad look.
    “Why don’t you come with us?” Bailey said.
     Skelley’s eyes lit up. “Ye mean share your adventure? It’s been many a day since I’ve been on a real adventure. And for a truth, just thinking about yours was making my feet get a little itchy.”
    “Adventure,” Lucinda muttered. “I’ll take a nap in the sun over adventure any day.”
    Bailey barely heard her. Even the monster bulldozer’s growl behind him didn’t sound so loud anymore. He was hearing the hum inside him again. 
    “This way,” he said.
    He headed off down the street, all of the sudden feeling so free that his feet barely skimmed the walk and his tail swooshed back and forth.
    “What’s the matter with you?” Lucinda hissed as she dodged his tail. 
    “I feel good. Really good.” He paused a second to figure out why. “Because I don’t have to drag that nasty leash along with me now.”
    “But you lost your collar too. Makes us look homeless for sure.”
    Skelley spoke up. “Don’t ye be worrying, Miss Lucinda. The lad and will see to it that no harm comes to you.”
    “Humph.” Lucinda snorted. “The lad does well to keep from tripping over his own feet.”
    “Aye, there could be truth to that,” the old dog admitted. “But he did stop the bulldozer before it knocked the house down on us.”
   Bailey’s feet felt even lighter until he was almost floating at the old dog’s praise.
   Lucinda brought him back to earth. “Then the bulldozer stopped him.”

(To be continued.)