- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Last Thursday, the Senior Citizens Center echoed with the memories of childhood as author Charlotte Ann Kemper Atchison entertained the crowd with stories of growing up in Owen County. People broke out in laughter as Charlotte described how, as a curious little girl, she wondered what would happen if she quickly shut the screen door on her cat’s tail. Would the tail bounce like a bowl of jelly or break in two? Much to her dismay, when the cat yowled in pain, Charlotte’s momma administered a bit of pain to Charlotte’s own tail.
Gypsies were a common sight in Owen County during County Court Days when they camped in their brightly painted wagons on any site that suited their fancy. Charlotte described the time when her family, coming home late one night from Worthville, discovered gypsies at the end of their road. Charlotte Ann was thrilled at the sight but her momma started crying and fussing, declaring they would steal her chickens. Charlotte’s daddy went to tell them they had to leave, but ended up staying for hours, not only talking with the gypsies but also dancing by their fire. They were gone the next morning, without having taken anything I might add, but leaving the unfulfilled wish of a little girl who would always regret not seeing her daddy dance with the gypsies.
Charlotte told delightful stories of school days, tea parties, and brutal winters that froze water in her home but didn’t faze Charlotte for she never remembers being cold as she slept soundly between her mother and father.
The highlight of the evening for me was when Charlotte asked if we remembered when people “use to come by just to come by?” Friends and neighbors didn’t need an excuse, they would just drop in for a visit, to talk of weather, crops, or exchange recipes.
In the summer, the front porch would be the best place to gather, inhaling the sweet scents of the season and surrounded by the love of those we held most dear.
Maybe, just maybe, this custom should be revived. How long has it been since you stopped by the home of a relative or friend just to talk or tell someone you love them? Life gets busy but sometimes we just need to take the time to “come by just to come by.” That’s just the way it was, and maybe that’s just the way it should be.
Charlotte Atchison’s book, “That’s Just the Way It Was,” is on sale at the historical society museum for $12 plus tax. She is currently working on her second book with many more wonderful stories, including several about being married to a “Yankee.”
You may contact Charlotte by writing to her at Box 861, Eddyville, Ky., 42038. By the way, if you address her as “Charlotte Ann,” she’ll know you’re from home.