comes when our father decides to move back to the farm,
back to the old home place in Kentucky. The family is
growing up and our parents thought it best to get their
family out of the coal fields, back into the pure air
and healthy surroundings.
into a different house on the farm, but I liked the
first house we lived in the best. We had lots of cattle
and horses. I remember my father specialized in raising
thoroughbred Jersey milk cows, and sometimes we had
eight to twelve horses. It was fun playing cowboys, as
we had been to circuses that had come to town and
watched the cowboys perform their acts.
one horse that did the bucking act, and sometimes he
would throw me. I would do the act of picking up
three handkerchiefs in a row on the ground as the horse
was galloping by.
the saddle turned, but that horse stopped as though he
had automatic brakes. I didnít train him for that
act, but I sure was glad he knew to stop as I was lying
under him; and he could have hurt me seriously if he
lots of bees and my brother, Kerney, specialized in
working with them.
put his hand on a pile of bees at the bee hive and try
to get them to sting him, because he said after so many
stings his blood would build up a resistance to the hurt
when they stung him. I didnít try that experience:
I didnít want the sting.
remember there was a swarm of bees that got settled in
an apple tree on a limb, and I got a hand saw and
climbed up the tree. I began to saw the limb off
that the bees were on, and I had a bee hive on the
ground to put the bees in when they fell to the ground.
But the limb I was sawing just bent over on me with all
those bees, and I almost fell out of the tree with all
those bees with me. The grass was very tall and
thick and I just rolled, crawled and slid until I was
exhausted; but I got rid of the bees. I felt like
I had a thousand stings, but I was so scared Iím not
sure if even got me.
had a team of mules. When a mule is in a close
place and you try to crowd yourself past him, he will
put his weight against you and will crush you to death.
As I was watching my father shoeing a mule, he got
between the fence and mule; and the mule put his weight
against him and he couldnít get out. He had just
enough length with his arm and the hammer he was using
to hit the mule on the top of his head between the
the mule eased very quickly.
morning while my father was getting ready to leave for
work just after we had eaten breakfast and Mother was
doing the housework, we youngsters were just playing
around. No one had noticed that Mother had left
the house, but next we heard her she was coming from
about a hundred yards up the road, singing and shouting
to the top of her voice. We kids were all scared
as we didnít know what was wrong with her.
was at another farm house, and he came running to where
we were. He thought someone was hurt, but after he
got there he was well pleased. He was a Baptist
minister, and he said that Mother had got converted.
She had gone up the road into the woods by herself and
was praying when all at once she received all that joy.
She kept it all the days of her life. There could
be a book written on her Christian life.
didnít live in that house very long. We moved to
the main big house. It was larger and surroundings
were move spacious and pleasant. Our father had
got possession of the whole farm.
brother and I had to walk four miles to school now as we
were going to a different school than we were at first.
This school was in the county seat, the town of
Whitesburg, Kentucky; and we traveled in a path through
the woods. For about three miles there were no
houses, and my brother would go out in the woods and
make speeches to the trees and practice on a speech he
was going to make in school. He was more
interested in books that I was. The principal of
the high school told our father that they couldnít teach
my brother anything, because he already knew more than
the teachers; but he could just continue his school
until graduation. After graduation, he went to
Eastern State Normal school in Richmond, Kentucky (now
Eastern State University) and finished his necessary
schooling and has been teaching there ever since.
Below is a copy of Uncle Kerney's obituary:
haven't been able to come up with a picture that
will scan well enough to include here.
If anyone has one they would share, please
let me know.)
Kerney M. Adams, 90, Richmond, retired
history professor at Eastern Kentucky
University, died January 29, 1989 after a
He started his professional career at Eastern
when it was a normal school in 1922. He
obtained his undergraduate degree at the
University of Kentucky in 1925. He
graduated with a masters degree at Cornell
University in 1928 where he was graduate
assistant of Dr. Carl Becker.
He taught at Eastern Kentucky University from
1928-1969 and was chairman of the department
of history from 1953-1965. He retired from
Eastern Kentucky University in 1969.
During his tenure as a teacher, many
articles were published in leading
scholastic journals, which included the
Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of
Education, Journal of General Education, and
the Journal of Social Philosophy and
Jurisprudence. The most innovative
instructional programs that were significant
professional achievements were his launching
and teaching of the History of Western
Civilization and his Introduction of the
Ideological Foundations of Western
The Eastern Kentucky University Board of
Regents named a lecture hall in the Wallace
Building in his honor, and his colleagues
and former students established a history
scholarship in his name.
He was married to the late Audine T. Adams
He is survived by two sisters, Wilma
Adams Crase, of Lexington and Lovette Adams
Lucas of Beattyville; and by a brother, Jody
H. Adams, of Lakeland, FL.
Services were held
Tuesday, January 31, 1989,
11 a.m. in the Turpin Funeral Home with the Rev. Tim
Jones officiating. Burial was at the
Berea Cemetery. Pallbearers were Billy
Adams, Joe Dunn, Joe Ballew, Gene Parks,
Clyde Lewis and Dr. Harvey H. LaFuze.
Note: Uncle Kerney with his expressive
laughing eyes, a trademark of the "Adams
boys," is lovingly remembered by his family.
to Daddy's story..........
father was a very kind-hearted man. He never let
anyone go hungry if he could help it. When he
would hear of someone being in need, he would send food
or something to help. I remember when we were very
young there came a little boy to our house, a total
stranger. He said he was an orphan and had been
staying with a lady in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He
said she was mean to him and beat him, so he ran away.
It was a fantastic tale, but my father took him at his
word and let him make his home at our house.
him to the fields with us to work, and one day we were
cutting willow trees. There was a very large patch of
very small willows, and they leave very sharp stumps.
Some were very small, and all at once this little boy
began to scream and said he had stuck a sharp willow in
his food; so we rushed him to the house as fast as we
could and began trying to find where he was hurt. As it
turned out, he was feigning to be hurt so he could quit
was always doing extra jobs to make some spending money,
and I kept the money in the back of Motherís kitchen
cabinet in a fruit jar. I tried to keep it hid.
One morning I counted $80, but for some reason I took
all out but $8. We went to the field to work with
the little boy. While we were all busy at work, we
didnít notice he was not with us. We thought he
had just gone back to the house, and sure enough he had;
for Mother said he told her he had come after water and
had left. That was the last time we ever saw the
little boy or my $8. I felt very lucky, as I had
taken out $72 that morning.
brother, Jody, was at home; and he finally told me that
the little boy asked for a dollar and told such a
pitiful story about being homesick that he got sorry for
him and found the $8 and gave it to him.
big house we lived in had a stairway leading up to the
second floor, and when you got to the top of the stairs
you turned and went the length of a room in a hall into
a large room. At the end of this large room was a
bedroom where my brother and I slept. One night my
uncle that was a police officer in Virginia was
visiting, and he loved to talk. As it was getting
late, I wanted to go to bed, but my brother was so
conversation he didnít want to go. It being very
dark up there with no lights, I picked up enough nerve
to go alone as I was getting too sleepy to stay awake.
I got to
the door of the bedroom, and just as I got inside I
stumbled over a man and fell on top of him. I
could feel him blowing his breath in my face, and how I
got back down those stairs is something to remember.
I went screaming and tumbling down the stairs and told
what I had found in the room. Everybody was
excited. They took lights and went to the room and
found a sack of wool that I had fallen over. It
was the air from the sack of wool that I had fallen over
that felt like a manís breath.
brother, Kerney, was narrating a story in school one day
in some school exercises when he was in the sixth
grade. He was telling of an account taking place one
dark, dreary day. A man with murder in his heart got a
murder weapon and walked down a pathway that led into a
field of potatoes. It was almost dark, but he could see
the murder victim; and as the man raised the murder
weapon to make the death blow (There is more to the
story, but the teacher and students were
tears by now), and the man let the weapon fall. The
murder was committed as the potato bug fell to the
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