Volume 6, Number 10, Winter 1979
I remember the bad winter we had when I was twelve years old and your Uncle Charley was ten. Why I remember it so well was because Dad (Dilly Owens) had dissentary and was sick all through the bad weather.
It started sleeting the day before Christmas and snowed and sleeted up into Feb.
About every one in the country had fun sleding and skating. Over where James and White Rivers run together they had their sled run, down James River Hill. Really had some sled races. Once Old Uncle Bud Johnson (no kin) lost control of his sled and busted up a rail fence with his head. Not much damage to his head just the fence.
.At home we had a bunch of yearling calves, Charlie and I had to take care of. We kept them in the barn, but the water was in a spring down the lane by Grandpa (William) Owens log house.
The house was located across the lane from the Owens cemetary.
Us or the calves couldnt walk it was so slick. We each taken an ax and we would chop into the ice to ruff it enough that us and the calves could walk to the spring.
When we got to the spring we had to chop a hole in the ice so the calves could drink. Once wouldnt have been so bad, but it was an every days job for us.
And I remember when we were kids.
Dad played the fiddle and he played a fast tune he called "Me and Rose picken Blackberries". Us kids just love to hear him play it.
There was lots of wild Blackberries in the country and every one around would pick. A young girl, Rose Graves lived up on the ridge from us, she was George Blacks step-daughter. She rode an old white mule when she came to pick berries.
When dad played that tune I never thought that years later Rose would be my sister-in-law and cousin. But Rose Graves married Paul Owens in 1907. (Paul my first cousin) and I married John Graves in 1910.
Grandpa Owens (William) gave the land for the Owens Cemetary. I dont remember how long it was afterward but he was the first one buried there. Dad (Dilly) was only twelve years old when his father died.
William Owens had been married before my Grandmother Sarah. There was three or four of the first group. Then he and Grandma had eleven. My granddaughter Linda Mulkey is busy tracing all of them.
Last time I was at Owens school house it looked so deserted. But it used to be so full and such a wonderful way of life. I can still shut my eyes and see that line of "Whip Crack" going across the school yard. Charlie and I was always tiny so we always got on the end.
Charley and I could run like scarred rabbits so when we played ball we did the running for some of the batters.
Jim Banks husband of Aunt Dosha Owens Banks built the Owens school house. It was the only school I ever attended. Owens School house was the Hub of the community - Our church school, Christmas Trees. Dinners on the grounds. School dialogs - It was a good life.
I remember one year (cant remember his name) taught school. The kids didnt mind him very good. But then Mr. Wolfenbarger came, he brought his bundle of switches the first day. He told us what he expected of us and what would happen if we didnt mind. That year we really had a good school.
Lots of different preachers, Jim Arnold was Baptist. Uncle Jim Owens, Church of God, Uncle Dan Owens Baptist.
Owens Bend a group of wonderful Uncle & Aunts and Friends. Uncle Jim and Aunt Margrette Uncle John and Aunt Kitty, Uncle Dan and Aunt Lonnie, lived across White River - Uncle Dan ground corn for people. Dilly Owens - Press Beat -The Arnolds and Reesers, Ed Phillibert and lots of others. Thompsons, Granny Gore, Dodson.
There was a race track across the lane from Dads. Had regular horse races. I know Uncle George Davis owned a race horse at one time.
Uncle John and Dad also love to run foot races.
They also had a Ball Diamond which went over big until they had some fights over the games that stopped the ball games.
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