“Where There’s a Will – There’s a Way”
“It can’t be done,” so they said when Carl Standifer made up his mind to go to high school and college. Carl Standifer was a youngster of about 14 years of age when he finished the grades at the Forks of Cowan and received his eighth grade diploma. Carl lived up on a little mountain farm up Cowan Creek, about five miles from the county high school. His father was among the best citizens but, not being so well off in worldly goods and not being able to find work near home, there being no mines or anything doing except a little farming and gardening, he could not help Carl much, but this did not discourage his son.
Carl had an ambition to go higher. It was about five miles from his home near the Mouth of Cowan Creek to the Whitesburg High School. There was not much of a road from his home to the high school and so school buses did not go his way. So, there was only one way for Carl to attend high school and that was to walk and this he did through the rain, snow and cold weather as well as the warm, when in May, 1936, he had covered his first goal.
It was a great day when Carl left the high school with that diploma. It had been four years of hard work. He had done odd jobs around town for folks to help buy his clothes and books.” I am going higher!” he said as he went home.
“Do not see how you can do it,” said the neighbor folk around. Carl Standifer was not the kind of boy to give up. During the summer of 1936 he wrote every college he could think of and made several trips to where he thought he could work his way through and was turned down at many places but he was not discouraged.
It was late autumn when I met Carl one day on the street in Whitesburg with a bundle under his arm, his eyes beaming like fire and a smile all over his face. He said, “Well, I reckon I am going to college.”
“Where in the world are you going to college?” I asked.
“Berry College, away down in Georgia,” said Carl. “My application down there has been approved and I am going to work my way through.” And smiling he went his way. A few weeks later, a card from Carl down at Berry, Georgia, told me, “I am getting along fine, I am feeding cows and driving teams. I am going higher,” he concluded.
I never saw much of Carl Standifer for the next two or three years. He seldom came home but kept very busy. It was necessary for him to work through the summer and he did so on a farm near the college, in order to get enough ahead to take care of extra expenses the next year. Every kind of job that could be done around the school and on the farm, Carl Standifer did it and, to make a long story short, Carl Standifer graduated from Berry College this last June, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree. His ambition had been achieved so far.
He came home this summer and came in the office to see me. “It has been a hard road,” he said, “But I am going higher!” and today he has a good job with a big concern down in Georgia and Carl Standifer will go higher. He’s the kind of a fellow that will do it – he long ago learned, WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY.
by Puff Stuff
Found the Colonel in one of the last bundles, a Kentucky Colonel sure. Yes, Mary Lou, we want the Kentucky Colonel to continue to be published. MT. Dock King’s Spectator for the summer. Reading Doc’s paper is just like having a conversation, I am looking for the winter issue now. MT Austin’s Mainer received, as goes Maine, so goes the rest of the country. The Mainer is a leader among amateur journals. MT Northrop’s The American Blare No. 2, it is filled ‘chauk’ full of good stuff, and he is right when he says, “Let us Americanize foreigners instead of foreignizing Americans.
MT September and October issues of Hustler, Clyde Noel’s paper, reached my desk. Clyde explains a lot of things that we did not know. Dr. Noel is a hustler himself when it comes to amateur journalism. MT Lawrence E. Estes’ publication of the Crimson Cardinal dedicates his magazine to a wonderful cause, he says, “The good, the kind, the beautiful.” How well said! And, all of its poems in the summer issue are inspiring and everything so interesting.
MT. Editor Anlian comes out well with the September issue of the United Amateur, a good start and we are sure will have a big ending. Haig is a “dyed in the wool” amateur. MT. What a peach was Babcock’s Scarlet Cockerel, one of the best amateur journals ever to reach my desk. The pictures certainly did set it off. MT. Tim Thrift’s Lucky Dog, a revival of the old certainly wins the day. I would like to meet Tim Thrift and let him carry me back in memory over the thirty years that he carried us in the printed pages of his little paper.
(Continued from Page 94, Spring November)
Four other children were born in my father’s family, seven in all, seven being a complete number. The other children were myself, followed by my brother, Bill, and two sisters, Liddie May and Susie Jane, she being the youngest and last. Two of these have passed on, Liddie May, when quite young and Bill at the age of thirty-two. This brings us to about the year 1900 and found us moving to a new section of Letcher County.
Father had bought a farm down on the Kentucky River at the mouth of Bottom Fork Creek. It was a wide open space, great big valley and was not hedged in as on Thornton Creek, where we moved in the fall of 1900 and to a one room log cabin in the upper end of a great big bottom and on a river bank with a small kitchen boxed off to the back. Father was building a new home, together with a store building in the lower end of the bottom fronting the Bottom Fork Road. But as money was slow and times hard, the home did not go up so rapidly. He first completed the store building and moved his store into it, as that was his occupation and work.
From where we now lived, it was five miles to the county seat and my father had the post office at Mayking established sometime prior to this and he was postmaster and the post office was located in the store. Mayking was named for a girl in Massachusetts by the name of Miss May King. There was a lady working in the Post Office Department in Washington and wrote my father a letter, which I have in my file, stating the reason for the name.
With the post office and store and it being several miles to another store, the nearest down the river being Whitesburg and up the river being Chip, which is now known as Neon, and was a distance of 11 miles and here was a distance of 16 miles along the river with only one store and as far again across the country way, father had a good business as the store was located on the main county highway then going up and down the river toward Pike County and up and down the Bottom Fork toward Virginia. All the merchandise for Knott County and the lower section of Letcher County came from Norton, Virginia, the then nearest railroad, and was hauled down the Bottom Fork by father’s store.
Country produce was a great medium of exchange, the folks from the country having no way much of earning money, they would save wool, feathers, dig ginseng and dry it in the winter, save eggs and bring them to the store and exchange them for usable merchandise. Father would ship the wool, feathers, ginseng, snake root, etc., to Herndon Carter Company, Louisville, Kentucky, who would pay him by check and several hundred dollars came in like this.
During the winter months there would always be a big Christmas trade. Folks in the country would save their produce, etc., especially for Christmas time to have something to buy toys, gifts and something extra for the table for yuletide.
Folks coming to get their mail and being at the junction of the river and the Virginia-Bottom Fork Road, made my father’s store a gathering place. It was a country store indeed. How pleasant the memories of many years ago on a winter’s evening, with a half dozen farmers and neighbors seated around the stove in the center of the room on nail kegs discussing everything in general, the snow would spatter the window panes in great gales and the cold winds would shriek the very rafters of the house, what a joy it was to be huddled there too by that warm glowing stove and listen to stories of the neighbors. Yes, what a joy! The nail kegs, most of those neighbors and my father’s country store are all gone.
Ronald Newton Collier
Sweet little face
So full of grace,
And full of fun
He’s “my grandson.”
He pulls my tie,
He pokes my eye,
And then he’ll run,
He’s “my grandson.”
He’s the boss
No matter the cost,
He’s the only one –
He’s “my grandson.”
“Ana Away We Went”
The editor and the family certainly did have a big trip this summer, went all the way to New York, visited the Fair and got back home without getting lost. How we did it, it’s hard to tell. Went under the Hudson River, traveled the subway, visited all the prominent places betwixt and between and got home safe and sound.
It was the afternoon of Sunday, July 21, the wife, and I and four kids crawled into the Chevrolet and headed eastward and northward. Monday found us visiting Gettysburg, the old battlefield of the Civil War. Valley Forge certainly looked natural, from what we read about it in history. While crossing the Delaware to Trenton we thought of Washington’s episode of the Christmas of ‘76 and on the Princeton and New York and then back to Philadelphia where we spent several hours in the Franklin Museum looking at Amateurania, Hadley’s wonderful collection. It was certainly worth the time and Hadley had certainly done a piece of work that will be long remembered.
We did not have time to look up any of the folks on the way and regret that while in New York we were so busy looking at the tall buildings and all the attractions, that we forgot all about amateur journalism, but we are coming back sometime again and we will hunt you all up. Did stop and see Ray and Annie May Albert at Blacksburg and spent an enjoyable hour with a promise of someday going back. It was a great trip and enjoyable one.
* * * *
“I shall pass this way, but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – Selected.
An Amateur Journal
From the Hills of “Ole Kentucky,”
Where the latch string hangs on the outside.
G. Bennet Adams, Editor and Publisher
All articles must be original and previously unpublished.
For the Autumn of 1940