Monday, March 25, 2013


Cousin Barbara shared some comments on Grandpa Kilgore's peddling (see previous blog post)We lived in the house where our current house stands, having moved there in 1936.  The next four kids were born there, including the baby that died.  Pop worked the coal mines near Nauvoo when they worked, walking 5 miles one way to work, then walking back to the country when the shift ended.  

When the war started, the coal business picked up and they began working 5 days per week and Pop decided that walking 10 miles round trip was hard after working 8 hours, so he rented us a house just outside the coal camp of Brookside Pratt Mining Company's No. 2 mines.  We moved over there in 1941.  

Grandpa would load his wagon (later, he got a pickup truck) with any veggies in season, apples, watermelons, eggs, often chickens that they needed to cull the flock and occasionally, a yearling that he needed to sell.  He would drive the 5 miles to our house and Glen and I would load up with him and it was our job to go house-to-house to see what anyone needed from the traveling store.  If there was anything left of value, Grandpa would then swing around to Nauvoo and we went house-to-house again.  I remember that when he got his pickup, we could cover more territory but it was a job to wash off, what we thought were freckles, but was juice from his tobacco that he spit out the window while we traveled.  

In 1947 the mines closed and Pop found a job in West Virginia and in the summer, we moved.  I remember Grandpa writing to Mom that he hated to lose us boys because it placed more work on him in peddling.   Other than coming home for a short vacation each summer, we never worked with him again and were saddened to learned of his passing in December 1949.  

When we spent the night with Grandpa Kilgore, I remember him reading his Bible by a kerosene lamp.  He grew some tobacco to mix with the store-bought chew and as far as I knew, he never smoked.  In those days, most of the men chewed and many of the women dipped snuff.  Granny Kilgore never dipped but her mother did and any kid roaming the yard was sent to the woods to get dogwood limbs to make the brush she dipped it in before chewing on it with snuff.  As I have gotten older, I have many memories of those days but have trouble remembering where I put my car keys.  What a life! ! !

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