My Recollection of Ward – by Salle Drake (3)

{This is the 3rd of 4 installments – reprinting this story exactly as it appears in the 2001 Ward Community Reunion Book…}

Click here to see the beginning of this story

We moved to Oak Hill, WV on July 30, 1946, residing here ever since.  My parents both died in 1993 at the ages of 80 and 89.  I never married, dedicating my life to the arts, becoming very accomplished in piano, voice and composing as well as art, writing, poetry and sculpture.  The last 26 years I have had MS and live in a wheel chair and am also legally blind.  Still living alone, I am very independent and do for myself.  I am content and thankful for all I can manage at this time. It is not easy, but it is an interesting life and has always been.

I owe much gratitude to the wonderful dear people who have given me information, shared their feelings, sent pictures, videos and the reunion books. They are: Martha Dangerfield, Kenneth Tucker, Patsy Tucker, John Telisko, Jack & Christine Young, Thomas Kozak, Thelma Young and Jo Ann Larck Phillips.

Everyone had their own personal story about Ward and there were many things I need to know about my birth place, and from the few I talked with; I’ve found even more than I expected, much more.

As many years have passed since I lived at Ward, my recollections are still quite clear.  I can see the young faces of my friends as they were then.  I can see winter’s snow on the mountains surrounding us and in autumn, the colors of the trees around us.  Most of all I remember the white church on the hill as it stood there those many treasured years.

Many times I’ve thought about what I would give to go back home to Ward as it used to be, just one more time.  If only I could.  If only I could….

In looking through the reunion books I’ve found many familiar names and faces; also finding many rare and interesting names that sound European.  I know all the people I’ve talked with are highly intelligent, sensitive and have much understanding about life. Their ancestry perhaps?

Patsy Tucker deserves much credit for her time and hard work on the reunions.  She has “given us back so much we have lost”, and by the way, she lives in the house we also lived in.

My parents were not from Ward.  My father had worked at Putney fire tower, then went to Minden, WV, mines near Oak Hill, where he met my mother Alice Latham in 1930.  They eloped in 1933 and apparently he was then working for Valley Camp Coal Company.

{The final installment will publish soon, please check back often…}

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