James House, 69, son of Edward and Evelyn (Minter) House, grew up on a farm in the Red House area of our county and now lives in Newby.
His mother also grew up on the land had been in the family for at least four generations.
On it they had dairy cows and chickens plus gardens and the usual things it took to make a living and feed a family on a Madison County farm in the 1940s and ’50s.
He had his chores to do, things like feeding the chickens, gathering eggs and going to the spring for water. When it was milking time, he carried a coal-oil lantern for his dad.
James was an only child. With no other families living near by, he spent a lot of time with his imagination and a good dog for company. When his chores were done he and his dog would wander across the land, into fields, up hills and down, exploring.
His favorite dog through the years was named Billy. A pure bred “Heinz 57,” Billy was James’ best friend.
In the evenings, you might find James in the front yard building stick houses or listening to his dad play guitar and sing. At one time his dad, Uncle Roscoe and Aunt Sally, brother and sister to Dad, had a band. Music seems to have always been a part of country life. A good way to relax at the end of the day,
James’ mother cooked on a wood stove. I asked if he had a favorite meal she made, and he said he loved everything she made, but first to come to his mind was her chocolate pies, then “beans and taters,” biscuits and cornbread.
He and his father would go hunting for quail, squirrel and rabbit. He loved fried rabbit with gravy and biscuits. (I love those, too, James.)
His mother made a lot of his clothes. He remembers the shirts she made him from feed sacks. “She was pretty good with a needle,” he said.
When it came time to take butter, cream and eggs to town to sell, he sometimes went along. A trip to the creamery at First and Irvine streets sometimes meant a treat of ice cream.
What’s a ‛henny’
Back in the summer, I wrote about James and his wife, Rose Ann, who are my neighbors. They had gained a new critter on the farm called a henny. I asked him how “Mary Lou,” as she was named, is doing. He said she is good size now and loves butterscotch candies, which he always keeps in his pocket. She is so sweet natured.
In case you missed that article, a henny is a cross between a jenny and a horse and they are a pretty rare thing.
Good talking to you James and thanks for reminiscing with me.
- Lifestyles & Community
County’s oldest consignment sale begins today
The Little Ones’ Consignment Sale, Madison County’s oldest semi-annual sale of its kind, is open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Friday) and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the multi-ministry center behind United Methodist Church, West Main Street, Richmond. Marked items are half price on Saturday.
There’s more to do at the Village Trough
“I wish there was more to do here.”
Do you ever find yourself saying this sentence as you sit there bored out of your mind? Have you heard others ask it?
Well, there is something more to do now that Village Trough in Berea is staging shows with local and regional talent and preparing to open as a full dining and entertainment venue.
Let’s have a Mardi Gras party in Kentucky
It’s the time of year when the people in New Orleans celebrate a festival called Mardi Gras. Many states now do the same. Some call it “Fat Tuesday” which I have never understood till I went to New Orleans (five times) and saw all of the excitement for myself.
Beat the winter blues with meatballs
When it’s this cold outside it’s nice to warm up with some good comfort food.
I can think of few things more wonderful than the smell of simmering meatballs coming from the kitchen while I cuddle with my two young children, and a few good books, on a brisk winter day.
Taste test Thursday
The sun is shining, but the chill has returned, so I hope you made the most of the warm, sunny weather this weekend.
The spring greens are being as tentative as the warm temperatures, but there is talk of lettuce being harvested and a continued trickle of kale, pea shoots, miner’s lettuce and spinach. To make room for the spring harvests, winter squash and sweet potatoes have been marked down to $1/pound and pumpkins are only 50 cents/pound.
Buttercups in grazed pastures
One of the signs that spring has arrived is when the yellow flowers of buttercup begin to appear, but it’s during the winter months that the vegetative growth of buttercup takes place.
As a cool season weed, this plant often flourishes in overgrazed pasture fields with poor stands of desirable forages. In fact, many fields that have dense buttercup populations are fields heavily grazed by animals during the fall through the early spring months.
Make a difference this summer, volunteer at 4-H Camp
On June 30 more than 200 Madison County kids will load a bus headed for four days and three nights of fun at 4-H Summer Camp.
Campers will have a chance to hike, swim, dance and spend time learning about the environment, their friends and themselves.
And we need your help to make it possible!
A whole lot going on
Downtown Richmond Farmers Market opening
The new Downtown Richmond Farmers Market officially opens Saturday.
This market will set up in downtown Richmond on North First Street between Main and Irvine streets Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (weather permitting).
For more details, go to www.downtownrichmndfarmersmarket.com. There you will find an events calendar and how to sign up for workshops that will be conducted at the market.
A Visit with a bell-The Dinner Bell Restaurant in Berea
I have wanted for some time to visit and interview people and food establishments here in Madison County and surrounding areas that you may have not gotten a chance to visit. \
I chose the Dinner Bell in Berea for my column this week.
Extension celebrates 100 years of nutrition education
For the past 100 years, families in Kentucky have looked to the Cooperative Extension Service to learn better ways to be healthy.
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- County’s oldest consignment sale begins today