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"The Linkous/Linkes Family"
Folklore and Memories

A collection of stories, folklore, memories, letters, poems etc., as carried down thru the Linkous/Linkes families. If you would like to add a part to this page, send me the story in an e-mail excactly as you would want it to appear on this page. I will "copy & paste" it from your e-mail. Thanks :-))


"The Hardwood Blues"
Written by (77116.) Earl Hunter Linkes.
Earl was running one of the logging camps in Hindman, Knott County, Kentucky, for the "Linkes Hardwood Company" that his older brother Don and others had started. He received a letter from his younger brother Spencer, who was in the Air Force during the later half of WWII. "Spence" wanted to know how things were going in the logging camps and how Earl was doing. Earl reached up and tore some old "poke" off the cabin wall and answered him with this poem letter.

Spence,

It's Saturday evening, so lonesome and quiet; I lay on my bunk as the day closes in to nite.
Oh how it is a raining, straight down from the sky; The roofs a leaking, the streams running high.
In a little log cabin away back in the hills; My only companion is OLE Jesse Wells.
We're filing up our saws for another weeks run; We've done ate our supper and loaded up our guns.
We came to Knott County to work for a while; They all carry pistols here it's mostly a style.
But there's trees in Knott County a site to be seen; But hear in Huff Branch it's a timber queen.
I got up this morning no comb for my hair; We gathered around the table while the Reverend said a prayer.
He thanked the Lord for another nights rest; But I didn't sleep a wink for the bugs and the pest.
But then I went for the hills, my heart seemed to ease; To hear the ringing of steel in them large Oak trees.
To hear the breaking of timber as they crash to the ground; Hear the call of the woodsman, that high timber sound.
To see the rolling of logs, it give you a thrill; But they soon find a bed at the foot of the hill.
Now as I pillow my head and the light goes out; I think of my home and my children no doubt.
Where a heart that reaches out to hold them again; Through this war clouded world of trouble and sin.
But I'll press on OLE feller till in the future somewhere; Life holds a fortune together we may share.
Though it may not be of riches, neither silver nor gold; But life holds a key to a mansion where there's treasures untold.
Now in closing this letter you will have to say; That I have a true friend stationed down the way.
And when this cruel war is over and peace comes again; Just an OLE mountain boy I'll always remain.

Earl

Spence sent a copy of the poem-letter home to their mother in Pulaski County, Kentucky,,,,It made her cry.
Submitted by John S. Linkes, grandson of Earl Hunter Linkes.


"The Story of Alfred"
In memory of our Linkous cousin, 1920-1932

As told to me by my mother Leathia Sheppard Wood (115283.).

Alfred Sheppard (115281.) was the grandson of Joshua and Susan Linkous Sheppard (1152.). He was also my mothers older brother by two years. Their father was a coal miner in the Kinser Mine at Merrimac Virginia run by a R. Boose. The year was 1932 and up until then mining this particular mine had always been safe with the exception of near miss wall slides. My grandfather, James Sheppard was out of work this one morning although it was a payday. They owned no vehicle, so the commute to work was walking a 4-5 mile track in both directions. Alfred begged to make the walk to get his dads paycheck. Finally the ok was, what my mother called " reluctantly given" because everyone knew the mines could be dangerous if not respected. Back then they used boilers with steaming water to generate electric and power to the mine. Alfred was standing at the top of the mine entrance by the boiler, very large if you will imagine. The boiler had run dry so the attendant started to fill it with cold water. That caused an explosion that blew young Alfred down the mine shaft. Several people were injured that day. During the chaos that followed no one had missed Alfred. He managed to walk out the mine towards home scalded so severely that his skin from his hands and feet were found on a log he crossed at a creek crawling home. My mother had a dog named Lead that started acting up; running back and forth from the house to a field. Her father went to check the activity and found Alfred under a crawling under barbed wire fence. He immediately called the kids to run to a neighbor to borrow a car. He scooped up Alfred and went to the local hospital in Christiansburg. They didn't see Alfred after that. He lived one day and died September 13, 1932. My mother stated that her father never forgave himself.
There is a plaque erected there at he mine today. On April 18, there is held a Coal Miners Day out of Prices Fork.

Submitted by Lucy Peck


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