By Clyde Roy Pack
Clyde Roy Pack's pleasant anecdotes of existence in a 1940's japanese Kentucky coal camp will entertain and amuse readers of every age. His documented background of the coal corporation and its humans paints a bright portrait of Appalachian existence greater than a part century in the past.
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That the red-nosed, yellow-winged craft he flew was a Piper Cub that belonged to Doc Turner. (John W. ) But that was all beside the point because our focus was on the fearless pilot, braver, at least as far as were concerned, than Steve Canyon in the funny papers or Terry and the Pirates in our big little books. Besides, the man flying the plane was a real flesh-and-blood neighbor who lived only two doors away and whose brothers Jimmy and Paul, along with little sister Libby 58 Clyde Roy Pack Ann, were always among those in our imagined grandstand watching the best flying circus in town ~ a show judged better than a Saturday double feature any old day.
However, since I don't remember his ever flying on Saturday, we never really had a chance to put that last statement to the test. Once, Ernie threw his cap out the window as he zoomed by, which, quite naturally, caused a mad scramble to retrieve it. Paul VanHoose claimed the prize and proudly handed it over to Ernie's mom, Bernice, also an interested observer of these aerial antics. Although I didn't witness it first hand, local legend had it that Ernie Green — on more than one occasion — flew that plane beneath the swinging bridge that stretched across the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River and separated the front and back nines of the Paintsville golf course.
Then, off we'd go again until suppertime. After supper, out we'd go again until darkness drove us indoors. Sometimes, even after it got dark we'd play a rousing game of kick-the-can or fox and hound. We couldn't have gained weight even if we'd wanted to. 51 Coal-Camp Chronicles Chapter 3 At Work and Play It's not likely that Dad, as proud as he was of the backbreaking work he was doing, or any of the other Muddy Branch miners, for that matter, had any idea of their contribution to society during World War II.