Hollers, half-pints, cuttin tobacco, and the drive-in at Summersville

Folks south of here, specifically family and friends in Greensburg, Kentucky, have experienced a really nice white Christmas this year. I left there in 1988 and if memory serves, the winter of ’88 wasn’t known for its whiteness. As a matter of fact, it’s kind of unusual for Kentucky to have much snow during any particular winter. But when it does come a “good snow,” Green County is paralyzed. Schools and businesses close when the first flake is detected. (I’m not sure how it’s detected locally, I think the nearest radar info comes in from Louisville or Lexington.)

Snow in Summersville, Kentucky (Photo by Linda Smith)

I remember, and I’m sure my brother Chuck remembers, a time one winter when after a good snow hit, he and I decided it was time for a respite away from “Tucker Holler.” Back then I was drivin a 1973 Chevy Impala, four-door, and we knew it’d probably not make it up the hill through all the snow if we didn’t leave pretty quick. There was a straight section of gravel road, just before an “S” curve, and just before the road started uphill, that allowed us to get up speed. We made it around the S-curve and up the first incline. A second uphill section of gravel road, a little steeper because it wasn’t curved, stopped us. But only for a little while.

Once we slipped and spun our way up and around the S-curve, there was another short section of relatively flat road that we again used for gathering speed. However, with all the snow, it wasn’t possible to make much headway with enough speed to top the hill and reach the cattle crossing gate that led out to the black-top road. We stalled halfway up that last hill, got out of the car and assessed the situation. Stuck. But not for long. We shoveled out a lengthy section of snow from behind the rear wheels, took off our coats and stuffed them under the tires, and made another attempt – it worked. Freedom!

Tucker Hollow

Tucker Hollow, or Holler, was quite a place. I visited the old homestead back in 08, that’s when I snapped that photo of the barn. If you look closely you can see a glimmer of white siding behind those cedar trees. The house had a tin roof, a leaky one, and one room upstairs that we thought was haunted, but I never saw anything strange happen in there.  I wonder if anyone else did? It’s strange isn’t it, how stories like that get started?

And then there’s stories of cuttin tobacco in the heat of summer, for a little spendin money, maybe for the drive-in show at Summersville, or a road trip to Big Johns for a half-pint. All of these, and more, are memories from the past that will always remain in the present.

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5 Comments

  1. Ahhh, that barn. I’m a New Jerseyite but for various reasons decided to take off to Virginia for 6 years. And while I was there living on 900 acres, there was a barn on the property, in the distance. Your photo struck a nerve as to how beautiful it was.

    Happy to go, happy to return, memories from everywhere. It sometimes just takes a picture or some words to touch a feeling of a memory.

    Thanks for the words and pics. Oh, and we had a long driveway too!

  2. I can almost hear the whoops ringing across the hills as you get unstuck. It’s funny how we can’t wait to leave home when we’re young, leave the nest and try those wings. Then middle age hits, and those youthful exploits start pulling at the memory gates. I miss Kentucky too, but I didn’t get to live there until I was almost middle aged. Too late for gamboling in the hills and hollers but just right for gardening in the silty clay of West Kentucky.

  3. awww wonderful memories! it’s just beautiful country and i’m sure you miss it a lot. it reminds me of my beautiful Tennessee memories, but we always drove through Kentucky to get there, so I have those memories as well. i love those old barns, if those walls could talk.
    believe it or not, we got a bit of snow yesterday too! a very rare site in the low country. no accumulation on the ground as it melted when it hit. but it sure was pretty watching it come down!

    so there’s a Summersville, KY ? amazing.

    1. Yes ma’am Ms. Sandy, there is indeed a Summersville KY, spelled just like yours: Summersville, S.C. And I remember back when I lived in N. Charleston, there came a very light snow one winter. It terrified the locals!

      1. nope we’re spelled Summerville and yes no wonder Southerner’s are terrified of snow and cold weather, you should hear the weather people announcing the weather, it’s hilarious for us. If they lived one winter in the great midwest, they would all be thinking a lot different!
        their idea of a ‘cold spell’ is anything under 80 degrees. geeesh

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