Needless to say, things certainly were different back in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. Here’s a humorous story I uncovered one day while researching the year of 1931.
It seems a former Logan man who had reportedly been killed in a coal mine accident in which the man’s body was deemed as unrecoverable suddenly reappeared in March of 1931 at the home of his wife near Omar, and he reportedly quoted Mark Twain to the effect that reports of his death “had been greatly exaggerated.”
However, since his wife had married again and had borne her new husband three children, all boys, she had nothing to explain as to her new life. The returning husband pleaded with her to return to him declaring that he would never run away and “die” again, but his pleadings were in vain. His former wife told him frankly that she loved her second husband better than she had ever loved him, and that she intended to stay with him “as long as he wanted her to.”
That statement seemed to give the man some hope, for he then inquired of her that “if her new husband became tired of her would she come back to him.” To this, the double-wife made no reply, and just about that time the new husband walked in.
He was quickly apprised of the situation, but the man did not seem to be in the least flustered, according to the Logan Banner account. He stated that he was very much satisfied with his wife and that he intended to keep her, even if he had to take the matter of priority to court. He suggested to his wife that she see a lawyer in Logan and try to have her former marriage annulled or, failing that, get a divorce from him. He felt sure that desertion for a period of 10 years would be sufficient grounds for either the annulment or the divorce.
Still, as was the custom of the time, a drink of moonshine was offered the visitor which he graciously accepted, and then they talked and continued to drink the illegal concoction. Eventually came bed time and the former husband was invited to stay the night, which he agreed to do, as by that time “he was particularly unable to proceed anywhere under his own power.”
The house occupied by the couple consisted of only three rooms, one of which served as a kitchen, and the others for bedrooms for the adults and their children. When the drunken visitor was told of the situation, he claimed that he could sleep just as comfortably with the two adults. A very uncomfortable wife of two men was glad to hear the man was persuaded that this would not be proper under the circumstances, and some blankets and a pillow were provided for him to sleep in the kitchen.
Reportedly, all went well during the night, but when the woman arose in the morning to get breakfast ready, she found nobody in the kitchen. Even the blankets and the pillow were gone. After a search of the premises failed to reveal any part of the missing bedclothes, she went back to the kitchen to begin cooking.
Opening the ice box to get some bacon and eggs, the story said she was astonished to find that there was not bacon or eggs. Then, turning to the coffee can, she found that there was no coffee, and the sugar jar was also devoid of contents. In fact, a few crackers was the only edible thing left on the place.
When the wife told her husband of the situation, he went around the house and the yard and came back to say, “ Well, that old flame of yours is gone again. At least, he didn’t get my liquor.”
He then went to a neighbor and borrowed some eggs, coffee and sugar, explaining that his wife had failed to stock their home, when, however, she had done just the opposite.
Later, the couple came to Logan and the wife obtained a divorce from her first husband, after explaining the case. She and her latest spouse were remarried, making everything all right. Her first husband was never heard of in these parts again.
If you desire to know the names of the above listed people, I’ m sorry. I’m just not that type of guy.
BITS AND PIECES
I’ve heard people say: “Life is a bitch and then you die.”….. I disagree: what you do in life, good or bad, is a part of existence and none of us have led those perfect lives that we wish our children or grandchildren would live…..having said this, just remember that “you cannot die if you haven’t lived”…..Tommy Hensley, who recently passed unexpectedly, was one of the finest people I’ve ever known and he also was an Army veteran…..my heart goes out to his wife and family, who reside at Mud Fork…..in case you didn’t know, there are 31,909 disabled military veterans in West Virginia……at a time when black and white murders in our streets are taking precedence, I ask, “ If you are in a foxhole somewhere in a far off land fighting supposed enemies, you will learn to depend upon each other as brothers, why not in the “foxholes” of American society?…..we are seeing an increased use of ATV’s all over the county……part of the reason for this is because so many drivers have lost their driver’s license due to unpaid fines and cannot legally drive other automobiles; but the fact is, that 93,700 ATV related emergency department-treated injuries were reported in the U.S. in 2014; 26 percent of them being children under 16 years of age…..I’ve seen nothing official on this, but it appears to me, that this year’s honeybees seem to be on the increase, after a huge decrease being reported last year that threatens our human existence……scientists say that without honeybees, life expectancy on earth would be about 10 years; so, be careful when cutting your grass because the bees love the clover that most of us have to deal with…..Goldenseal Magazine, which is a state magazine published just four times a year, is a magazine about West Virginia’s traditional life…..a brilliant story written by our own Brandon Ray Kirk, who is a history instructor at SWVCC and a super historian, is featured in the Winter edition of the magazine, which unfortunately, I only recently saw…..Brandon had a wonderful story about a blind musician from Harts Creek (Ed Haley), who was a great fiddle player that performed in the early 1900’s and beyond ….DID YOU KNOW?…..that in 1964 a casting director was looking for someone to portray the president in a film called “The Best Man”…..someone suggested Ronald Reagan be offered the part, but the director said, “Reagan doesn’t have the presidential look”…..QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “All that matters is what really matters.”——Carlos “Chub” Bower, a Shamrock resident and friend…..FINAL NOTE: A broken femur has kept me off the job as magistrate since April 30th. Fellow Magistrate Leonard Codispoti had a scheduled knee replacement not long after my injury and will not be back to work for a good while. This has left Magistrate Steve Gray and special appointed senior status magistrate Delores “Dee” Sidebottom with a great load to bare. We wish to thank both of them for their service. Steve may have lost his re-election bid in May, but he has gained a great deal of additional respect, while, Dee, a former Mingo County magistrate who hails from Mud Fork in Logan County — I hear — showed some people how a courtroom should operate.
Dwight Williamson is a contributing writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner. He currently serves as a Logan County Magistrate.