Friday, October 27, 2006

Uncle Zeke From Buzzard Town

The following story and the photos come from David Parmer.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Patrick Newton Blake of Oil Creek near Posey Run, writing under the nom de plume of "Uncle Zeke" from "Buzzardtown", entertained the local communities and all of Braxton County with his humorous local news column in the Braxton Democrat. Blake was an employee of the B & O Railroad which he did for a living, but he wrote his news column for fun.

Since Blake lived on Oil Creek, his Orlando neighbors were frequent subjects of Uncle Zeke's observations. Uncle Zeke wrote that
"It was reported that with hand saw and hand axe J. L. Fox removed a couple of corns from O. P. McCord's feet big enough for knot mauls."

He also reported that
"We have been informed that someone went into Lee Ratliff's apple hole and took twenty bushels of apples, hole and all."

And quoting Luther Conrad that "the frogs must be Dutch or Irish from the jabbering they set up" Uncle Zeke replied that "Shucks, Luther, its only frog Latin. Anybody ought to understand that!"

From time to time, some readers took offense to his jokes, to which he responded "If anybody gets offended at my jokes, they don't have half as much sense as I do. And I haven't sense enough to fill the hollow of a p-ants tooth."

Over the course of his writing for the Braxton Democrat, the editor of that paper often mentioned the enjoyment that readers derived from the humorous ramblings of the Bard of Buzzardtown.

Photo in the upper right: P.N. Blake and his daughter Carrie Sharp.
Photo to the left: first three in front , left to right: his wife Loraine (Godfrey), P.N. Blake, their daughter Carrie Sharp. Others are unidentified.

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