LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
My Dad’s answer to the problem was to have daily conversations with my Uncle Raymond who live some 15 miles from Blair Branch. They had to fight and argue themselves, with the old maids, to get an open line, into whatever party phone lines they had to respectively contend with but when they talked. My Dad said it went like this:
Dad: “Hello, Ray. Don’t say nothing you don’t believe in.”
Uncle Ray: “Why’s that Elmer?”
Dad: “Well a certain gossip is listening in so we might as well put anything we say in the newspaper.”
And Dad was right because that listener wrote a social column for the Mountain Eagle at the time and listening in to other folks’ phone conversations was her primary source of news. And if it couldn’t be put in the paper, she would call everybody she knew and spread the gossip.
So Dad and Uncle Ray, the next time they were visiting in person, decided that they would make up a big tale and share it the next time they were on the phone.
A couple of days later, Uncle Ray finally got through to Dad and the first thing Dad said was, “Well, she finally shot him while ago, just like I told you she was going to.”
Uncle Ray asked, “When?”
Dad said, “About 10 minutes ago.” Then they started talking about the weather.
That evening Dad went out of the holler and stopped at a local grocery store where he was told that Joyce had killed LC for romancing other women and that his funeral was going to be at The Blair Branch Church, but they hadn’t set a time yet.
Dad said, “That’s funny. I just saw him about 10 minutes ago and he looked mighty healthy to me.”