"LITTLE TOLD TALES" - From The Hur Herald Archives, Give Us Bigger Frogs


Dear Editor,
The man talking about the road from Grantsville to Cleo Gainers doesn't know the half of it. The only way travel is possible from Mr. Gainers to Mt. Zion is in an extra high wheel truck or to follow a Bull Noser to take the rocks and clods out of the way.

The rocks are so big they have been known to puncture a spare tire on a truck. Do not try to travel this road without extra high wheels, a bull noser, plenty of tire pumps, extra tires, and a good bathing suit, and BE SURE that you are a good swimmer.

Ira Hardman has tried to keep the road supplied with frogs to drink the water, but the poor froggies have all bursted long ago. If something isn't done pretty soon, we are going to trade our cars for boats. The only man that tried to travel this road last winter got stuck in the mud and it took four big husky men half of a day to get him out.

Neely* has sent three culverts for the road below Grant Roberts but the men working are not very good swimmers, and they are afraid to venture any further down. We sure are tired of promises and the sound of bursting frogs. So we say, Lord, give us Neely or give us bigger and tougher frogs.

(Signed) A MAN WITHOUT A ROAD (1940)

Rick Fitzwater, well-known Calhoun banking maggot and resident of East Hur, was scouring the neighborhood last week for his stolen tractor. It had been down for repairs, parked in Fitzwater's yard.

After accusing Bob Weaver of hiding the tractor and spending several hours of fretting and calling, the tractor was discovered lodged against a tree down the mountain above Rowels Run, having broken away. No brakes. (1996)

Dottie Hersman Slider, the first lady of Hur, not only hit the big 5-0, but she has assumed the duties as a mounted police person for the Village of Hur. Slider appointed his wife last week at the monthly meeting of the Social Improvement and Upward Mobility Council, using money from President Clinton's "cop on every corner" program.

He denied charges of favoritism, stating she was the best qualified. Dottie was seen on a recent night traveling up and down Hur Hill on her trusty stead, lantern in hand, singing old Elvis Presley songs to keep awake.

She did report to The Herald that she is learning the lyrics of '"Bad boys, bad boys.." The Council has requested she be enrolled in a sensitivity and diversity course, which should help her to deal with the local redneck culture.

Local educators are developing a communication course called Hurbonics 101, which will interpret "hillbilly" white mountain English which tends to slow speech, slur words, and utter them in short, unintelligent statements. This form of the spoken word is confusing to non-residents who have moved to Hur. Slider's training will help bridge the gap. (1996)

In 1957, slimy and slothful, the strange creature drug its way across Slider Fork down the hill from the Village of Hur, white foam dripping from it's webbed feet, leaving large frog tracks on the blacktop. The apparition was illuminated by flames which mysteriously appeared in the middle of the road shortly before 1 am on a Sunday morning in 1957.

The only car to return to Hur in more than two hours screeched to a dead halt before the strange sight. The long hot summer had been one of contemplation about UFO's and para-normal activity. The media had reported the historic spotting of the Braxton County monster along with weekly sightings of objects streaking across the sky, not to forget the Roswell incident ten years before.

The Sloth Monster, humanoid in size, turned its face toward the headlights of the lone car with its unidentified occupants, the creature's webbed hands swaying back and forth, dripping with white slime. One leg appeared to be injured, dragging it along. The stunned driver, motor idling, made nary a move as the monster picked up speed and plunged into the woods. A few moments later the flames in the middle of the road died down and the driver engaged his car to move up the Hur Hill, speeding away into the night darkness. Yes, dear reader, this really did happen. On oath I declare! Now you need the rest of the story.

Million mile walker, Simon Greathouse, was less for wear a few weeks ago when he tangled with Dianne Weaver's electric fence.

Dianne placed the fence around her garden to keep the deer out. Simon, a regular traveler on the Hur-Pine Creek Road, had stopped to chat while she was gardening on her knees. She gave several verbal warnings about electric fences as Simon circled the patch.

"I know all about them electric fences," he said. A few minutes later he bent over the fence, touching his neck against the wire. The shock sent him spinning over the hill. "Good woman, why would you have that thing turned up that high?" Ms. Weaver replied that the fence was to keep out wild animals.

Simon picked himself up and walked on down the road in a meditative state, to continue down to Lexie Miller's to get his usual bologna sandwich and go to church at Cremo. (1996)

People use to hear and see things they don't hear and see in modern times. Hollis Kerby heard an angel choir singing when his wife, Bell died in the late 1940's.

In 1956, being a student at Calhoun County High School, I borrowed an amplifier and some large outside PA speakers and placed them in the bell tower of the Hur Church. Attaching a record player with a disk of Christmas chimes, we started playing the tunes in early evening before the holiday and for the entertainment of our scattered neighbors.

Shortly after the premiere performance of "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," the chimes ringing and echoing across the hills. Our old Methodist preacher, the Rev. Dorsey Miller (who lived to age 103) wandered out on his porch.

Alarmed and excited, he dashed back in the house and cranked up the switch operator, Lona Starcher. "Christ is coming! Christ is Coming!" he told Lona. "No, it's not Christ," she said. "It's just that Bob Weaver with all his gadgets." (1997)

Eccentric Calhoun character Creed Brooks, known for his quick wit and outstanding penmanship, would travel to Bull River in the earlier part of this century to express his oratory at the Literary Society.

His dress and persona would make him an irregular at such a fine group. Creed tended to dress down.

Creed stories have been told so many times, much like legends of Paul Bunyan, after a while they become muddled. But the gist of each story remains, enough tales to fill a "Creed Brooks Compendium. Creed would get out on Rt. 5 above Brooksville (Big Bend) and thumb for a ride in either direction.

He just wanted out of the house. Creed had a predisposition for being struck by automobiles, and surviving the incidents with little harm. It was told that Grantsville resident, Winfield Thomas once struck Creed and knocked him over the hill into the weeds along the Little Kanawha River. Crawling back on the highway, he inquired of the terror-stricken driver - "How much do I owe for your car, Winfield?"

Creed, who had some knowledge of the law and was a Notary (some say a Justice of Peace), often hung out at Holbert's Store at Big Bend. Holbert's, other than the Stump Funeral Home in Grantsville, may be the oldest business in Calhoun. The Village of Big Bend is yet referred to as "Brooksville," because of the colorful man's presence.

A traveling salesman became interested in Creed because he never seemed to work and inquired of him how he kept starvation away from the door. Creed replied, "Well, I'll tell you mister. In the morning I eat a bowl of dried apples. At noon I drink a lot of water and in the evening I just swell up in time for bed."

A well-known girl of social status was walking to the high school in Grantsville with her friends, when she came upon the crusty, unkempt man. She announced to her friends, "We don't speak to trash," after which Creed replied, "My dear lady, I never fail to..." (1998)