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Most of us remember the rhymes and doggerels of our childhood and growing up in Owen County brings memories of the games played with friends long ago. We played jump rope, hopscotch, kick the can, and marbles. Counting out rhymes like “one potato, two potato” designated which child would be “it” in a game of tag or hide-and-seek. When about to run a race or engage in a jumping match this rhyme was appropriate: “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.” A group of children might play “Ring around the rosey” or “London Bridge,” and rope-skipping rhymes might include: “Johnny over the ocean, Johnny over the sea, Johnny broke a teacup, and blamed it on me. I told Ma, Ma told Pa, Johnny got a lickin’, Ha, Ha, Ha,” or “Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around, teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground, teddy bear teddy bear, tie your shoe, teddy bear, teddy bear, now skidoo.”
In the summer baseball and swimming were favorite past-times and winter fun included ice-skating and sledding. Most little girls, and some boys took piano lessons and before the days of television or radio groups would gather around the piano and sing hymns and popular songs.
Author Charlotte Ann Kemper Atchison, who was born on Bucks Run and grew up in Owen County, will be sharing some of those memories tomorrow evening at 7 as she presents a program for the historical society at the senior citizens’ center. In her book, “That’s Just the Way It Was,” Charlotte describes playing in the creek – as most of us did – dressing her kittens in doll clothes, and floating them in a boat. The boat didn’t hold up and Charlotte discovered that “cats hate water more than they dislike doll clothes.” There are still words Charlotte hears today that she declares raises warm goose bumps. Words such as “corn crib,” “creeks,” and of all things, “hog killing.” Hog killing was more memorable to her than Christmas or Thanksgiving. She recalls neighbors gathering in the back yard for the event as her Granny passed around hot biscuits, gravy, and apple butter. Charlotte never knew about play dough but as she played in the fresh sausage, squeezing it, she experienced the same principle – maybe just a little more greasy.
Everyone is welcome to relive these childhood memories that all of us share, so please plan to attend and bring your children and grandchildren along. Allow them to catch a glimpse of the past by hearing stories of their heritage, with the hope that someday they will pass these stories on to their own children.
Our “Owen County, Kentucky Family History Book” will arrive just in time for Christmas. But to receive your copy at the price of $49.95 plus tax, you must place your order in the next few weeks.
If you wait, the price of the book will go up considerably.