After church on Sunday, my husband and I went to visit cousins Dean and Elizabeth Wells in Winchester. Elizabeth has been ill a long time, but I’m happy to say she was up and ready for a visit that day.
Marvin and Barbara Perkins came in about the same time, and it didn’t take long for those old tales to start flowing.
Marvin told of when he and his brothers, Billy Ray and Elwood, and friends, Bailey Kelly and Homer Curry among them, loved to race each other on horses. A lot of it was done on New Road (now Maple Grove). Etta Marie Bailey tagged along for the ride on her pony but wouldn’t race.
Mrs. Nora Whitaker lived on that road and was always afraid one of them was going to get hurt, so when the boys would pass at break-neck speed she felt it her duty to tell their parents.
Marvin’s parents talked to him about Mrs. Whitaker being up in age and that they should show respect to her. So, the boys came up with a solution. They wouldn’t give up their racing but when they got close to Mrs. Whitaker’s place, they would slow down to a decent pace and when they were a respectful distance away they would kick up their heels and finish the race.
Marvin grew up on the land now owned by Larry Prewitt, Nap Holler Farm. He remembers talk of an older man who taught school in an old stripping room just up the road (it’s still standing). He had just a few students, Marvin’s father, Ben, and Uncle Burl among them.
Ben went on to graduate eighth grade. At that time, with an eighth-grade education, you could then go on to EKU, which Ben did. He played on EKU’s first basketball team. He received a two-year teaching certificate.
Then WWII broke out while he was attending school. He heard about work in the shipyards in Camden, New Jersey, and worked there two years to serve the war effort. Because of his service there he was exempt from regular service although he had passed his exams. He then went to Pennsylvania to work on the railroad another two years and finally returned to Newby to raise his family.
Marvin also told about going to Willy Jenkins’ store in Newby. Billy Jenkins sometimes helped out in the store.
You may remember from a past story that caskets were stored up over the store. One day Marvin and Billy went upstairs and, using wire, they rigged one of the boxes. Ed Reed was in the store and had to go upstairs, where the two boys were waiting.
As Mr. Reed reached the top of the stairs, they pulled the wire and the lid flew open. If Mr. Reed had had nine lives, he left with one or two less that day. The boys were banned from the upstairs after that prank.
There are a few more tales he told that I’ll save for the next installment.
Newby Union Church News
Newby Union Church is having revival this week and has had some really good preaching. Tonight Derrick Abrams will be preaching, Friday will be Frank Foster and Saturday will be Marshall Abrams. Service begins at 6:30 p.m.