2022:COUNTRY WOMAN TRESSIE "TINK" STARCHER HAS DIED - Porch Swinging, Country Cooking, A Life Remembered

By Bob Weaver Sept. 2022

My longtime friend "Tink" Mace Starcher, wife of Helma Stacher, of the Greater Hur Community has died.

Tink, like most folks in our backwoods, led a hardscrabble life, rising up with a work gene that barely slowed down, a devoted wife, family and community person.

Most every conversation led to concerns about her family and neighbors, the walls of her home adorned with hundreds of their pictures, and respect for those who passed to the great beyond.

She collected enough kick-knacks to sink a battleship, admiring then with fondness, each with a story to tell, always connected to the farm animals and pets that graced her field.

She knew how to garden and can, but mostly importantly she could cook, and cook she did, not just the daily chore, but churning up huge meals for gatherings - the best country food you ever put in your mouth.

She celebrated each holiday, erecting ornaments and signs, with a wide-spread Christmas light show for her Rowels Run neighors.

She had a feisty edge, likely coming from her backwoods raising.

As Tink's generation is fading in the 21st Century, it is comforting to remember her gentle swinging on a front porch and conversations about life, she being an "old soul" with recall of days gone by.

Her husband Helma, whose health is fastly fading, not unlike Tink, spoke with a West Virginia mountain slur and drawl that many across America call Hillbilly Talk, when in reality the language is shaped by Anglo-Scotch-Irish and German immigrants. I hold such language close to my heart.

With these few words, we honor her life.

THIS OLE HOUSE - Rowels Run Starcher-Kerby House On Last Legs, "I Loved The Old House"

This now vacant ole house is about 100 years old

The old barn is caving in, on this sittin' porch hundreds sat wavin' at horse and buggies and later cars going up and down Rowels Run

By Bob Weaver 2016

This ole house on Rowells Run near the Village of Hur is likely about 100 years old, built by James Ellsworth (1883-1963) and Clara Harden Kerby (1877-1944), who were married in 1913.

The "Jenny Lind" construction was common in the early part of the last century, houses thrown together with rough-cut lumber, often with cracks that the wind could blow through.

A number of such houses are still occupied in the county.

Poor families would paper over the cracks with multiple layers of newspapers and flour sacks for some insulation.

"Tink" and Helma Starcher loved their old home

For over 40 years, the house has been the abode of Helma and Tink Mace Starcher, who recently moved from the aging structure to a nearby house provided by their son.

Tink said, "I loved the old house, but it was about to fall down," regretting her departure. "It was hard leaving the old place, our family grew up here and all the grand kids came back."

In the old cellar is still some left-over fruit from canning days

Outhouse is seriously leaning, inside walls
have evidence of layers of papering skills