Early Life in WV Coal Camp- 1st Grade-School Is Out


Well, I made it through 1st grade (without Ms. Sassy Red Hair Hall school teacher) and I was top of my class.  The school year ended and it is time for “Summer Vacation”.  Time to sleep late, go bare footed and play outside.

My grandma Woodrum lives in Lincoln County, WV (100 miles away) and she wants me to come stay a week with her.  Boy, I am so excited to leave the Coal Camp and go into the country where people raise gardens, they have huge yards and there are no coal mines or coal trucks.  The nearest thing to a coal mine in Lincoln Co. would be oil wells that are all over the hillsides.  When they pumped you could hear them cracking for miles.

little-frog.jpgEverything was so peaceful at Granny Woodrum’s house.  You could raise your window at night and hear the frogs croaking in the big water tank outback and the air always smelled so clean.  Granny had flowers planted in her yard and we would walk through her flower garden and talk about the names of the flowers.  I loved to pick a bouquet from her lilac bush and that was always okay with her.  Sometimes we would go on the hill and find rich dirt under a rotten log and put it in buckets.  We would come back down the hill and spread the dirt around her peony’s. 

bride.jpgI loved to play pretend with an old pink chenille bedspread, purse and high heel shoes.  Of course, I had to put on make-up, lipstick and Evening in Paris perfume.  (stinky smell) Immediately, I would become a beautiful bride that was marching down the walkway or a pretend queen in the flower garden.  I was whoever I wanted to be and Granny thought it was fun.

Grandpa worked for Pennzoil Oil and he walked all over the hillside checking the oil rigs, pumping the rigs and keeping records on a pad of grid paper.  He would give me his old papers and immediately I became the pretend manager of a big office building. 

Granny had a record player that you had to crank (it wasn’t electric).  We would pick out an old Eddie Arnold record, put the record on the spinning table, down goes the needle and music starts playing.  I loved to lie in the floor and pretend the man was inside the records player.  I was a little strange then too.

Remember, this was only going to be a week.  We will see if it is shorter or longer in the next chapter of this little girls life.


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