Mason County News
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At the Top of Erna Hill
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 • Posted August 21, 2014

You will notice that the events that are depicted here are not necessarily in chronological order as I have to write as I remember those events, which were important to me but maybe not to others at the time and being a child of the thirties, I did not recognize many events as being very eventful and I am sure that I am not alone in that field, as everyone was involved in making a living and making kids.

I am thinking that every kid wondered how he came about in this world at the ancient age of 4 to 6 years of age. I know I was sort of inquisitive and remember asking Mama if I was born and she ignored me for a long time but finally she caved in and revealed the secret as she told me that the Buzzards laid me and the Sun Hatched me. Even at the age of 5, I had a head for logic so I figured that the explanation had merit as I had witnessed baby chicks hatching out and I knew that heat was involved in the process so I was satisfied, even thou Global Warming had not been invented at that time, but it was hot, never the less.

At the age of 6, I began the education process along with Martin Ray Jacoby at the Long Mountain School. He and I had the first grade to ourselves but we were in a room with three other classes thru the 4th grade taught by Miss Louise Vater. In 1936, every student was respectful towards the teacher and other class mates by always addressing them with the full given name and as I said, Marin Ray was my class mate and I had the moniker of Billy Wayne and these names stuck thru the 10th grade at Long Mt. Of course, we in the first grade got to listen in on the teaching of the other three grades and we received a sort of education at all time. I remember, I was amazed when the 4th grade was discussing the large Starks in Europe with wing spans of 10 feet or more. Of course, I had no idea where Europe was but I was impressed by the size of that bird.

I was the youngest of the litter in my family by ten years and by the time I reached 6, my brothers and sister had flown the coop, more or less and I had no one to explain the facts of life but Mama and Papa and they were rather close mouthed in discussions. However, one morning at breakfast while eating hot biscuits, cow butter, sorghum lasses and fresh eggs, Mama mentioned that a neighbor of ours was about to receive a visit from the STARK and she might have to go over there to help out and sure enough, about three nights later, someone came asking for her to go to their house and the next evening at supper, she was back and told us that the STARK had delivered a baby boy to them. It came to mind of the 4th grade studying about the STARKS and I, being logical, figured that they were large enough to deliver a baby, so I could now dismiss the theory of the Buzzard Eggs. That theory did not appeal to me anyhow. I recently had a visit from my 86 year old first cousin, Be Jabbers Adams and he told me that his mother, my Aunt Emmer, as they all called her, always told him that he was hatched from A Buzzard Egg. The closest that Mama and Papa ever came to talking about the birds and the bees was again at the supper table. Papa made the statement that one of the milk cows was Coming In and I checked her every day and sure enough, she always came in for feed. But after about 9 months, she CAME IN with a new calf.

Well, Martin Ray and I got to the fifth grade and we were still Martin Ray and Billy Wayne. I think that Mrs. Marie Peterman was our teacher in the fourth, as Ms. Vater got bit and married Fritz Hahn and retired, Mrs. Ella Williamson got us for the 5th and 6th, Miss Victoria Brewer was our 7th and 8th and Orlan Stewart had the honors for the 9th and 10th.. During the cold days of winter, I can still see Miss Vic Brewer backed up to the wood burning jacketed stove, with the door open to absorb as much heat as possible and with her dress pulled up in the back to the waist. I guess that it was a relief as class took up shortly.

It was in the fifth grade that that all my original theories of babies arriving were all gone up into the clouds. It seems that Martin Ray and I had the same conclusions about babies and were somehow, discussing the arrival of STARKS and a couple of 10th graders overheard us and after the laughter died down and the announcement to the whole school system about our STARKS were coming, bearing babies, Garland Dale Polk, Raymond Haines and A. J. Probst told us a story of disbelief. I guess their instructions were according to the natural turn of events, as Nita and I became the parents of a great daughter, Keeta and she and Rob in turn, delivered us a great grandson, Aiden James and you know what, I never saw a STARK at either event, thus reproduction is a marvel to this day.

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