Thursday, October 28, 1948
Memories of Old Times
Page the November National Election!
Many years ago, while I was still a boy, I would go with Father down to Greenbank to see the people who had come to the polls to vote. Some things are unforgettable!
We had at that time a few fellows who imbibed too much and would strut along the street bellowing for favorite candidates. I will never forget the antics of one of these as he marched along with arms akimbo, raring backward, hollering, “Hurrah for H.”
Another, not to be outdone, yelled, “Hurrah for C.”
The prohibition issue had no chance yet. And socialism had no interest for our rustics then. But the Republican and Democrats made so much noise, that a disgusted citizen yelled, “Hurrah for the Devil!”
Irish Pat, of the White Pine Camp, raised his voice and roared, “that’s right, ivery mon for ‘is own partay.”
I like to cross the Cheat Mountains and go down the valley through Durbin, Arbovale, Green Bank, Dunmore, Frost, Minnehaha and on to Marlinton. As one approaches Dunmore just above the Isaac Moore place, out in the pasture are the stumps still that once supported a fine stand of beautiful White Pine. That cutting was done almost sixty years ago. Those stumps, reminders of a day that is gone. Some of our readers will remember the method of getting logs down the smaller streams to the larger creeks. The winter the sliding was done from this bit of forest to the creek just below the Moore homestead to a landing, was a very cold one, and the men working on that landing could hardly endure the cold…
There used to live in Greenbank, a man by the name of Tommy Maupin, who was constable for the neighborhood. I was afraid of him. When I saw him coming toward me, I went somewhere else.
One day, knocking around with the hammer, I broke the top off one of Father’s bee gums. He threatened me with Tommy Maupin. One day soon, Father had some business down in Greenbank and on returning, a man came riding along with him. I was scared and ran to hide under the bed until Mother assured me the man was not Mr. Maupin.
One of our Buckhannon barbers is a Mr. Smith, who, for 14 years, barbered in Cass. He likes to talk about that country over there. One day, while I was in the shop he was telling a customer that pine trees grow to 80 or 90 feet. I broke in, “You will have to revise your figures a bit. For while heading a cutting crew one winter, I measured exactly 116 of straight stick from one of those majestic spruce pines. The tree was 125 feet high.
This scribe went up to Camp No. 2, near the head of Leatherbark January 2, 1901. Coming down the new laid track was one of the first loads of logs cut from near the top. I began work under Ed Hunter. The ice was not yet melted from the boards made into bunks for sleeping purposes. I took a desperate cold. Within three days, the boss put me to rolling skidway with Henry Galford. He was a good man and knew his business. Some cutting had been done late in December 1900. In February, some more teams came up from Camp 3, down near the town of Cass. One of these teamsters was Harper Hudson. Harper was a teamster by instinct. He liked horses. I liked to roll logs. Ernie Kerr, a fine log truck loader, took me on for a buddy. After that, we were sending logs to the Cass mill and pulpwood to Covington, Virginia.
Some of us owe something to spruce forests and lumber woods for the money to send ourselves to school. I chose the woods. My friends, Summers Sharp and his brother, George, tried teaching school on low salaries during winter months, then took to the woods in summertime. They studied law. I tried preaching, and a good measure of success has come to all of us.
I look back to those days with appreciative, but solemn memory. Many of the men we knew then have fallen to dust. Ernie Kerr, my first pal on the log trucks, died near Hambleton, W. Va., a few years ago. I was indeed saddened when I read in The Times of the passing of Harper Hudson, of Durbin, which even now makes my eyes get moist as I write.
While I muse of the going of the old friends, I feel “Somewhere a Voice is Calling.” And in that hour we hope to hear “The rustle of a wing” and feel the sunshine of “The Better Land.”
W. W. Sutton
Buckhannon, W. Va.