Da mule ride with my ‘other Grandpa’

Posted April 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm


Forest Harvey Pic.psd

by Forest Harvey

My father, Fred Freeman Harvey, was the second child born to Abner and Verdia Lee Harvey. He was born October 28, 1903 in Adair County and died March 14, 1948 in Clinton County. He was a minister and we lived in several different communities in the area.

In the summer of 1940 my family of four planned a trip to visit my Grandparents.We would be coming to Adair County from Monticello Kentucky. What a trip for my sister and myself! We were going to spend the night and part of the next day.

When we arrived we all exchanged the hugs and kisses. Before you knew it the talk of supper came up. There was not enough time to kill and cook a chicken so Grandma gave Grandpa the assignment of going to the grocery store. Of course he could not go without me.

Grandpa went to the barn and put the bridle and saddle on old Kate to ready her for our trip. Grandpa wore his straw hat. I sat behind the saddle and held on to it for the trip. Grandpa got up in the saddle and we were on our way clippy-clop, clippy clop, clippy clopping along.

We traveled two miles on a dirt road until we came to the main road which was Route 61. It ran from Columbia through Sparksville and Breeding to Burkesville. If I remember correctly it was Coomers Country Store and later Bakers Store. I was never as high up in my life as I was while behind my Grandpa. It was an experience that I can remember 74 years later. We went through a big mud hole and I did not want to fall off in it.

At the store Grandpa bought two cans of salmon and a pack of chew gum. Of course, I had to share the gum with my sister Vernita. I learned a new lesson that day…never chew gum and ride on a mule….I bit my lip.

The trip home was a lot longer than the trip TO the store.

When we got back home he drew us a cold bucket of water from his drilled well. I can still hear the bailer filling with water. Grandpa told me that “you do not want to let it down too far because it will make the water sandy”. Kate, Grandpa and I all got a cool drink. But I would do it all over again to spend quality time with my Grandpa. Supper was not too bad either. Salmon cakes, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and knee high biscuits, apple pie and a glass of water.

That night I slept upstairs in the attic on a straw bed mattress. That was my first experience to do that. Breakfast came early. I can still smell the coffee and biscuits. Of course my sister and I had milk.

It made us sad when we had to leave to go home.

“If you make children happy now, you will make them happy twenty years hence by the memory of it”…

Kate Douglas Wiggin

Forest Harvey