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By Clyde Roy Pack

Clyde Roy Pack's pleasant anecdotes of lifestyles in a 1940's jap Kentucky coal camp will entertain and amuse readers of every age. His documented heritage of the coal corporation and its humans paints a shiny portrait of Appalachian lifestyles greater than a part century in the past.

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I think it's gonna blister," he said. " He did, but in an hour or so, he rejoined the group who had now moved to the front steps of the company store. His injured hand — which had evidently worsened dramatically between the time he left us and the time he'd reached home — was heavily 46 Clyde Roy Pack bandaged and reeking of the familiar smell of White Cloverine Brand Salve. " one of us asked. " "Good," said Cecil. " Frankie went home again. Of course, Cecil and Frankie were not their real names, but that's not important because had there been a Guiness Book of Records and an entry for communities that bestowed nicknames upon its residents, the Muddy Branch in which I grew up would no doubt have been at the top of the list.

Howes Community School is gone, too. The company houses still there are no longer painted the oncefamiliar monochromatic sameness and are now equipped with cable TV (or pizza-pan-size satellite dishes), indoor plumbing, and tons of memories of a time when a sense of community was predominant and neighbors got along. You didn't have to be an archeologist, however, to have figured out that the community did indeed have a past; that there had been a giant structure sitting on those large, box-like concrete shapes — many resembling some sort of royal throne like I'd seen in the movies — now protruding silently from the weed-covered hillside on both sides of the little gravel path.

Coal-camp dust, which with the change of seasons would turn into coal-camp mud, was simply a way of life; something that was as much a part of the camp as was the constant roar of the nearby tipple or the abundant supply of neighborhood dogs that yelped incessantly as they chased every passing vehicle. Imagine our delight when one summer day men from the county came with big trucks filled with hot asphalt and covered the main road with a thick layer of blacktop. Potholes once filled with red dog vanished and the dust that once chased the passing cars simply went away.

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