Just below our house was a big store owned by Mr. Edens. My mom and dad usually took me with them to the store and this family just sort of made me their own. Mr. Edens had three girls and they had already graduated from high school and helped in the store. Mrs. Edens had grey hair pulled back in a bun and a big chin.
Daddy and mother always had high respect for this family and we remained friends with them through my adult life. The girls names were Punch, Loretta and Lee. I think they had a brother, Shorty, but I really didn’t know him. Punch nick-named me “Mindy” and would invite me down for an overnight.
The Edens’ home seemed so big. There were lots of rooms downstairs and all the bedrooms were upstairs. They would let me look around at all the pretty furniture, dishes and especially the girls rooms.
I was in the second grade and I had never been to a movie theater. Punch invited me to go to a movie in Ward, WV. She said we would walk down the railroad tracks and it wouldn’t take long. This was a long walk for a little fat girl and my legs were hurting when we got to the movie. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were supposed to be showing, but some movie with John Derek was on the screen. I though he was so handsome, but was really disappointed.
Lee Edens could really play the piano and I would always talk her into playing some songs for me. She gave me piano lessons for some time, but I hated it. I didn’t have a piano to practice at home and I don’t know how I was expected to learn.
Mr. B and I drove back to the town of Mammoth, WV (the coal camp) about three months ago and this store and the home are gone. Gone, but not forgotten.