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Poison Oak
Clyde Pack

Ring out the message

When the tipple was idle, and no sound of any consequence was present on those long ago Sunday mornings, the familiar clear, rich peal from the bell tower of the old Free Will Baptist Church echoed through the little community and bounced off the surrounding hillsides. It was like even the dogs stopped barking and birds stopped singing long enough to listen. I don’t know how far the sound would reach, but you could sure hear it loud and clear at our house.  
Along about the summer of my tenth year, I was fortunate enough to become part of the bell-ringing ritual as I proudly accompanied Dad, who was one of the church’s deacons and whose job it was to ring the bell thirty minutes before services were to begin, then again just as they were ready to start.
He’d never let me pull the long seagrass rope that was looped around a large nail just inside the entrance.  So, I’d stand next to him and stare at the ceiling to see the movement that sent out the four-or-five minute message to the whole community.
I’d then park myself on the top step and watch to see if anyone had gotten the message. Without fail, in a little while, folks would start to drift, one or two at a time, toward where I was sitting. The women, some of the older ones having donned a clean apron,  all emitting aromas of fresh powder, Juicy Fruit gum and Evening in Paris perfume, usually led the way. Often, they had with them a youngster or two, all scrubbed behind the ears but who obviously would rather have been anywhere else in the world. They quickly entered the building and took their seats, more often than not, the same pews they occupied week after week.
The men, on the other hand, would loiter outside, maybe waiting until the last minute while they smoked one more cigarette or gave one more chomp to the chaw of Red Man in their jaws before spitting them into their hands and tossing them aside.
Somewhere along the way, I heard someone say that the big bell that alerted worshippers to the little white clapboard church house -- and still rings in the far recesses of my mind -- had at one time been part of a steamboat that, in the late 1800s,  navigated the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River which, not more than a mile from where I sat on the church house steps, quietly made its way to the Ohio near Catlettsburg.  I guess I always pretty much accepted that as fact since I’d also heard that riverboats were certainly bountiful on the Big Sandy half a century or more before I was born.
Anyway, when I was “helping” Dad ring the church bell, I was of the opinion that it was indeed the ringing of the bell that caused people to come to church. Without the bell, I was certain the preachers would have had to deliver their fire and brimstone sermons to empty pews instead of dozens of worshipers, including a row or two of squirming boys and girls sitting with their mommies and being convicted by the fiery words.
I’m sure there are still many old country churches in Eastern Kentucky whose bell rings an invitation on Sunday mornings. And although I no longer believe that my helping ring the church bell nearly seventy years ago had anything to do with filling a dozen or so pews, I believed it then and still enjoy the memory.

9-6-17 Obituaries
Ivan Bruce Blackburn
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m. at the J. W. Call & Son Funeral Home in Pikeville, for Ivan Bruce Blackburn, 63, of Staffordsville, who passed away Sunday, Sept. 3 at Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center in Paintsville.
Mr. Blackburn was born Jan. 30, 1954 in Williamson, W.Va., son of the late Ivan and Clovis Evan Blackburn. He was former superintendent with Quest Energy Coal, owner/operator of Paintsville Lake Marina and Floaters Restaurant. He was also preceded in death by one brother, Kevin Blackburn.
Surviving are his wife, Debra Smith Blackburn of Staffordsville; two sons, Jeremy (Samantha) Blackburn and Tyler Blackburn, both of Pikeville; one daughter, Ivana Jade Blackburn of Staffordsville; two brothers, Charles and Keith (Lois) Blackburn, both of Pikeville; two sisters, Denise Harmon of Pikeville, and Brenda (El) Shook of Manassas, Va.; and six grandchildren.
The guestbook may be reviewed and signed at
Arrangements under the direction of J. W. Call & Sons Funeral Home of Pikeville.
This is a paid obituary.

Rosanna Joy Child

Rosanna Joy Child, Flat Gap, passed away peacefully Saturday, September 2, 2017, at her residence, at the age of 40 years, 4 months, and 14 days. She was born Tuesday, April 19, 1977 in Coalmont, Tenn., daughter of Timothy and Eunice Petre Martin.
She was united in marriage to William Luke Child. This union was blessed with nine children. She was a homemaker, a Christian and member of Hope Valley Mennonite Church, Flat Gap. Rosanna was a loving wife, mother, daughter, and sister. She will be missed by all her family and friends.
She was preceded in death by one daughter, Bethany Child.
She is survived by her husband, William Luke Child; eight children, Sylvia, Joyanna, Daisy, Dale, Galen, Stephanie, Marissa, and Landon Child; her parents, Timothy and Eunice Martin; eight brothers & sisters, Jason Martin, Rebecca Brubaker, Nathaniel Martin, Ethel Horst, Ephraim Martin, Evelyn Schrock, Jonathan Martin, and Rhoda Martin; and a host of nieces & nephews.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Hope Valley Mennonite Church with Brother Alvin Zimmerman, Bro. Sidney Sensenig, and Bro. Jeremy Yoder officiating. Burial will follow in the Hope Valley Mennonite Cemetery, Flat Gap. Pallbearers: Family and Friends.
This is a paid obituary.

Kermit Vanhoose Jr.

Kermit VanHoose Jr., 56, of Nippa, passed away Sept. 3, 2017.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Veralissia Vanhoose, and one nephew, Jason Blair.
He is survived by his father, Kermit Vanhoose Sr. of Nippa; one brother, Johnny Vanhoose of Nippa; one sister, Molly (Neal) Blair of Nippa; one nephew, Paul Anthony (Cindy) Blair of Nippa; one niece, Sabina (Nathan) Hayden of Meally; one great-niece, Teagan Blair; one very special friend, Christopher Fannin, who he loved just like a son.
Junior was a member of the WR Castle Fire Department, a mechanic, welder and electrician. But most importantly, a beloved son, brother, special uncle, and great friend to all who knew him. He will be truly missed by all.
Visitation will be held Thursday, Sept. 7 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Paintsville Funeral Home Chapel.
The funeral service will be Friday, Sept. 8, 12 p.m. at the Paintsville Funeral Home Chapel, with burial to follow in the Vanhoose Cemetery at Nippa.
Arrangements under the direction of the Paintsville Funeral Home.
This is a paid obituary.

John Leslie Blanton
1955 – 2017

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 6 at the Paintsville Funeral Home Chapel for John Leslie Blanton, 62, of Paintsville, who passed away Saturday, September 2.
Burial will follow in the Patty Flat Cemetery in Fuget.
Arrangements are under the care of the Paintsville Funeral Home of Paintsville.

Peggy Irene Baldwin
1932 – 2017

Funeral services were held Monday, September 4 at the Phelps & Son Funeral Home Chapel for Peggy Irene Baldwin, 84, of West Liberty, Ohio, who passed away Friday, September 1 at Green Hills Community in West Liberty, Ohio.
Burial followed at the Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Staffordsville.
Arrangements were under the care of Phelps & Son Funeral Home in Paintsville.

Central offense covers 482 yards in 40-28 win
Riley Preece and the Golden Eagles improved to 2-0 on the season with a 40-28 victory over the Henry Clay Blue Devils Friday night in Lexington. Preece threw for 105 yards and two touchdowns and ran for one score in the Golden Eagles’ win. Johnson Central will travel to South Charleston to take on the Black Eagles Friday night.

By Tim Pelphrey
Sports Editor

The Johnson Central Golden Eagles escaped Lexington with a 40-28 victory over the Henry Clay Blue Devils Thursday night at Robert J. Bell Stadium.
The Golden Eagle offense amassed nearly 500 yards of total offense and the defense held the Blue Devils to 253 total yards, earning the win over the Class 6A squad.

Smile Awhile
Labor Day angst

This past weekend I managed to make two fashion gaffes at the same time.  That’s right, folks.  Actually, I really only made one mistake, but just missed by one day of making it a double.
Maybe people were just too polite to mention it or they simply didn’t care (which I tend to think it’s the latter) but I wore fake eye brows to the PHSAA’s Distinguished Alumnus Dinner on Saturday night at the Ramada Inn in Paintsville.
For those of you who are not aware of it, I lost my eye brows and most of my eye lashes and vision in the war on eye cancer 17 years ago.  Since I prefer to wear bangs most people don’t notice I’m nearly browless, but I know and that’s who matters when I’m looking in the mirror.
Ronnie bought me the box of eye brows for my birthday and I was elated.  He lost half of his eye brows to the war on old age several years ago so he feels my pain.
Not only did Ronnie buy the lushness for me, he also had to apply them.  On his first attempt he got them too high.  His second attempt was more accurate, but they were too dark.  On his third try I just combed my bangs over them.
The kit comes with an applicator that is very similar looking to a ‘paid’ stamp you use in a business  office.  The definition of the brow is determined by the pressure applied by the applier.  I left the house not knowing whether I looked like a hoot or an owl.
The other fashion faux pas I managed to escape was the wearing of white pants.  It was the Labor Day weekend, so I didn’t wear white pants after Labor Day thus averting a real couture catastrophe with 48 hours to spare.
When I was growing up adults used to whisper about women who wore white shoes or dresses after Labor Day.  In some circles it was considered tasteless and/or vulgar.  Today you can wear white all year round and nobody even notices.  In fact, you can wear your bra on the outside of your clothes and nobody notices.
As Ronnie and I were leaving the house to attend the function I asked him, “Do I look fat in these eye brows?”
“Honey, you look great,” he answered, “you always do.”
Ronnie always says the right thing in these situations and it’s a good thing since he’s never going to make a living as an eye brow applicator.
The following evening a friend sent me a picture she had taken of us with her iPhone  and I had a uni-brow.  I took it in stride because now everyone will just think I forgot to pluck.
Have a great week and don’t forget to Smile Awhile!

Tourism releases mobile app for visitors
Staff Report

Paintsville Tourism has released a mobile app aimed at making information about the town and upcoming events more accessible, according to Executive Director Josh Johnson.
According to Johnson, one of the strongest available features for local residents is the ability to subscribe for push notifications, meaning they will be notified on their phone whenever an event is coming up or going on at that time, removing a lot of hassle with having to check Facebook or other sources for scheduling. The app also makes use of a map function to guide tourists to the attractions Paintsville has to offer, according to Johnson.

  • City of Paintsville
  • Paintsville Independent Schools
  • Johnson County Schools
  • Our Lady of the Mountains

  • Johnson County Fiscal Court
  • Johnson County Public Library
  • Paintsville Tourism
  • Chamber of Commerce
    sponsored by: