Saturday, May 02, 2009

One Boy's View of Posey Run

As Seen by the Young Bobby Nicholson
By Bob Nicholson and David Parmer

My name is Bob Nicholson and I now live in Aromas, California. Although I have lived in Arizona and California most of my years, my eyes opened in this world on Posey Run in 1944. Or more precisely, I should say that I came to live on Posey Run when I was about six months old, after having been born at Gassaway and living briefly on Point Mountain in Webster County where my dad was a coal miner. I am the son of the late Hoy and Pearly (Stout) Nicholson. I probably am remembered on Posey Run and Orlando as Bobby Nicholson but as we get older the names of our youth fade into obscurity except to those who knew us when we were young. So remember me as either Bob or Bobby.
I have been interested in reading the stories about Orlando and particularly about Posey Run which was my home during my early years until I was fourteen years of age. The Posey Run school had already been closed and shuttered by the time I came along so I attended school at Orlando. As a result I came to know my contemporaries from the Orlando area as well.

I was fourteen years of age when my dad married Daisy Brown, daughter of Mae Brown, who was our neighbor on Posey Run. After my dad and Daisy married they moved to Phoenix, Arizona. My dad sold his farm to Harry Wilson who had lived on the Oil Creek Road near the home of Ray Fox. After my dad and Daisy moved to Arizona, I lived briefly with my mother Pearly and my step-father in Marlinton and then briefly with my aunt Mae Woods in Mogadore, Ohio before I joined my dad in Phoenix.

But, the memories I wish to share in this little story are about the folks I recall as neighbors when my family lived on Posey Run from 1944 to 1958.

The Mae Brown Family
I have mentioned Daisy Brown who married my dad and moved with him to Phoenix, Arizona in 1958. Daisy was the daughter of Mae Brown. Daisy’s dad, Thurman Brown, died in a car accident above Burnsville when Daisy was just a small child. One of Mae’s older daughters was Ruby Bee who was married to Fred "Sally" Bee and lived in Orlando. Ruby had two boys, Frank and Randall, who went to school with me in Orlando. Mae had five sons, George, Harold, Homer, Ralph, and Sherman, and besides Ruby, she had two other daughters, Daisy, who was my step-mother, and Ertha. Mae also had some older children who were considerably older than me. Their names were Ressie, Mavis, Edna, and John. Mae courted Fred Riffle for years but couldn’t seem to get Fred to “tie the knot.”

Right:Randall, Ertha and Franklin Brown
Allie and Rosie Posey
Two sisters, Allie and Rosie Posey, daughters of William Sanford and Sarah (Riffle) Posey, also were our neighbors on Posey Run. Allie had been married very briefly when she was young. Her only comment about her former husband was “He could deceive the very elect.” She had been divorced for such a long time that most people didn’t even know she had been married. I remember collecting money for flowers for the funeral for one of the sisters in the early 1950’s.
Grafton and Mary Riffle
Grafton Riffle also was a Posey Run neighbor. He was the grandson of William Taylor Riffle. Grafton’s wife Mary was from the Rocky Fork area which is just over the ridge from Posey Run. Grafton worked for the gas company.

Uncle Ordie and Lovie Nicholson
My dad’s brother, Ordie and his wife, Lovie (Sandy), also lived on Posey Run. Ordie was a coal miner as was my dad. Uncle Ordie and Aunt Lovie lived above [above means upstream] Grafton and Mary Riffle. Uncle Ordie later moved to Orlando and lived in the Worthy Hurst house on Flint Knob. I understand that he would carry a scythe from Orlando to Posey Run and cut filth and then walk back to Orlando to eat lunch and then walk back again. Uncle Ordie and Aunt Lovie didn’t have children but raised a girl named Ilonda who married one of Stanton Riffle’s boys.

Bobby Nicholson, pictured here with his 4-H Club at the Orlando School in 1956, is is the first on the left in the bottom row.

Jack Rogers

Jack Rogerslived just further up Posey Run from Uncle Ordie Nicholson. On some Saturdays my dad would cut hair in the house and sometimes Jack would come down for a haircut. On one Saturday when my dad was cutting Jack’s hair, I noticed that he had a large pistol in his coat pocket. I asked my dad about it afterward and he told me that Jack was the town cop in Burnsville.

Pat Conley

The last house on the run was the home of Pat Conley. Pat’s children were all older than me. One day I was at Pat’s haying with some of my family and others when he gave me a bag of marbles which he said had belonged to his son Lawrence who now lives around Youngstown. I think that Lawrence may have been in the Korea at the time. There was a brand new 1955 Chevy which belonged to him which was stored in the barn and was covered up with hay.

Right: Pat Conley

Hubert Riffle

The Hubert Riffle family lived on the eastern side of Oil Creek, just upstream from the home of Ray Fox. Ray’s son Carl was a classmate of mine at the Orlando school. Hubert, who was known as “Domineck,” and his wife had two children, Richard and Susie, who also were my classmates at the Orlando School. Richard liked to flex his biceps for his classmates so he was nicknamed “Sampy,” as in Sampson.

The Wilfong Family

Also on the eastern side of Oil Creek, almost straight across from the home of “Boss” Riffle who lived on the Oil Creek Road, lived the Wilfong family. There were several Wilfong children who had gone to the Orlando School, but they were all older than me. The youngest of the Wilfong children was Bob Wilfong. Most all of the Wilfong children were tall and had blonde hair.

Left: Bob Wilfong

“Boss” Riffle

R. M. “Boss” Riffle lived in the second house toward Burnsville from the mouth of Oil Creek. “Boss” would cut our hay every year. In 1988 when I visited the Posey Run area, I visited Fred Riffle who was the son of “Boss” at the old home. I hadn’t seen him for twenty five years. We sat on the porch and talked about the olden days and watched the cars go up and down Oil Creek. As I mentioned earlier, Fred had courted Mae Brown for as long as I could remember. The night that “Boss” died, Mae came by our house at a late hour and knocked on the door and said, “Hoy, ‘Boss’ is dead.”

Right: Fred and his parents Idena and Boss Riffle

Road Run

Road Run flows into Oil Creek just above the mouth of Posey Run. For some poor excuse of a reason, the name of Road Run has been changed by the authorities in Sutton to “Happy Hollow.” I will continue to refer to it as Road Run and let the people in Sutton call it “Happy Hollow.”

When I was young I recall that the Strader, Conrad, and Flint families lived on Road Run. There may have been other families as well. Eugene Flint and Junior Strader who both lived on Road Run were my Orlando classmates.

Edith Stutler

The best peanut butter cookies I ever ate were made by Edith Stutler, the cook at the Orlando School. It would be nice if the cookie recipe were available. I’m sure that every school child from Orlando School who had the good fortune to eat one of Edith’s cookies would love to have the recipe.

[Bob, Edith's recipes were lost in the fire that destroyed the Allman house. ( Edith's daughter Jane Hawkins lived there at the time.) I'm checking with Edith's granddaughters to see if any of us have grandma's recipe.]

Right: Edith (Skinner) Stutler

Left: Marvin Brown with his mom Ruby (Beckner) Brown and his cousin Bill Beckner.

Marvin Brown

One of my best friends at the Orlando School was Marvin Brown, grandson of Bill Beckner. The Beckner family lived on Flint Knob.

Preacher England

I remember Pastor Byrl England of the U. B. Church in Orlando. His wife Irene was my Sunday School teacher. The Englands had three children who were my classmates at the Orlando School. The boy’s name was Eddie and the two girls were Sheila and Gwen.

Left: Edie and Sheila England

A Look Back

Many of the people I have mentioned in this little remembrance are deceased. My dad, Hoy Nicholson, died in 1996 at age 91. Although death has taken many of the people referenced in this offering, as I get older, most memories grow fonder. I enjoy thinking of the people I grew up with, played with, and fished with. All those memories are special to me.

Right: Bob Nicholson in Aromas, CA

1 comment:

  1. Awwww I love u uncle bob.... This is so awsome! Tony & I here reading it all. Very very interesting. The kids are gona love this!