THE FAMILY ALBUM: Luther & Ida

I was quite fortunate to grow up with many wonderful neighbors, the Herndons, the Fortner’s, the Mangus/Skalkotas families, the Coles, the Poynters, and numerous others.

However, across the street on the Southeast corner of Ninth and Main Streets in Elwood Indiana, lived Luther and Ida Myrick.

They came from the hills and hollers of Kentucky and Tennessee where Luther was a square dance caller for the Jellico Mountain Hoedown.

Ida’s grandmother grew up with Abraham Lincoln the brief time he lived in Kentucky.

We were raised on their back hills and mountain remedies, many of which I still apply today.

Luther and Ida were about as humble as they come, but enormous of spirit. They were educated in long-ago one room school houses through the eighth grade, but possessed the knowledge of life and history that connected me to another world.

When my sister was born in my ninth year, Mother proudly took her to Luther and Ida’s for her first official visit. Luther took one look at Dena and said, “She’s got a nose like a baby bat.” Thus, she became nicknamed, Batnose.

Dena spent countless hours with this genuinely lovely couple. Her toys were little cardboard boxes, wooden spoons, cylinder oatmeal containers, and other odds and ends that Ida produced. In Luther’s workshop, my sister was the collector of all the saw dust and bits of sawed wood. On a previous post about Luther and Ida, my sister commented, “I loved being at their house!! I can still remember everything about the house and them. They never really treated me like a child! if they were doing something, I was doing it right along with them!”

Ida and Luther had no children of their own but the plethora of nieces and nephews, and their children, were often piling out of cars for visits of up to a week. They drove from southern Kentucky, down around Corbin, Barbourville, Pine Knot, Artemus, Trosper, Pineville, Somerset, and Red Ash, all pronounced with the lush southern hills of Kentucky dialect.

Our family became acquainted with one of their nephews, JP Trosper, and his lovely diminutive wife, Sue, who lived in Cincinnati. After moving to Dayton, I visited them several times and became acquainted with one of their nieces who worked with Kettering City Schools nutrition department.

After Luther died in 1978, Ida remained in the house a few years before moving into a nursing home in Kentucky to be near her nieces and nephews. My grandparents stopped to visit her, several times.

As an adult I have been blessed with other neighbors, beautiful souls who’ve become more like my own family.

Continue to rest in peace, dear Luther and Ida.

ABOUT IDA:

Ida Belle Campbell was born on 2 January 1904, in Trosper, Knox, Kentucky. Her father, Philos Stratton Campbell, was 27 at the time of Ida’s birth, and her mother, Mary Susan Ricketts, was 23. She married Luther G Myrick on 14 January 1925, in Claiborne, Tennessee. She lived in Harlan, Kentucky, and in 1940 she and Luther moved to Elwood, Indiana. She died on 5 January 1981, in Knox, Kentucky, at the age of 77.

ABOUT LUTHER:

Luther G. Myrick was born on 5 August 1895. He married Ida Belle Campbell on 14 January 1925, in Claiborne, Tennessee. He lived in Harlan, Kentucky, United States until 1940. He died on 4 February 1978, in Elwood, Indiana, at the age of 82, and was buried in Elwood, Indiana.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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