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Following Trails Grown Dim

A Messy Situation

By Sam Perry The cold liquid was soothing to her parched throat and she tipped the can and emptied it in one last gulp.  Mountain Dew was her favorite soft drink. There was something about its lemon-lime taste, its carbonated essence, and its caffeinated ability to calm her nerves that made it so appealing that…

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To find a road

By Sam Perry Derek Jones is a high energy, no nonsense truck driver who has devoted much of his adult life to making McCreary County a better place in which to live and work.  He was, also, born into the wrong century. Or so it would seem. When he isn’t behind the wheel of a…

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The Narrowest Of Victories

By Sam Perry It was springtime in Kentucky and daffodils huddled in golden clusters beneath flowering dogwood trees that swayed on the lawn of the Capitol Building in Frankfort, Kentucky. Only six years had passed since the building’s dedication and the landscaping was incomplete, but there was enough to lift the spirits of anyone who…

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The Ghost Of John Mounce

In the course of researching material for my book, SOUTH FORK COUNTRY, I frequently came upon the name of a man named John Mounce.  Like the head of a wary gobbler, scratching for acorns during spring turkey season, Mounce would pop up from time to time in the historical record and then fade away, only…

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Andy Vanover stood before the mirror

Andy Vanover stood before the mirror and stared at his reflection. He was not a handsome man. Even he could see that. Yet, the man with the paint brushes had called him perfect for the job. Andy had to admit.  It was the easiest job he had ever had, sitting around doing nothing while the…

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The Mysterious Mary Haines

A strange woman came to Alexander Eastwood as he lounged in the shade of the Commercial Summit railway station in Pine Knot, Kentucky on that sweltering day in 1894. Her long skirt whispered like nervous birch leaves before an approaching storm as she strode across the wooden deck of the depot. One arm held a…

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One Solitary Man

The Fidelity High School basketball team was in the middle of a losing streak and the miners living along Rock Creek had had enough. They could put up with explosions, rockfalls, and methane leaks, but they were tired of seeing visiting teams board the train back to Stearns with smirks on their faces while their…

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A Christmas Story

The dark shadows of a winter twilight hovered over Parkers Lake, Kentucky when Reuben Hughes heard the family dog barking in the distance. It was an anxious bark, one that he had heard many times when the dog had treed a raccoon or cornered a possum. With the unbridled enthusiasm and undeveloped reasoning of a…

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The pool of water loomed in front

The pool of water loomed in front of Virginia Young like a great yellow lake in the middle of the dirt road and she hit the brake pedal of the Ford Model A sedan. While not normally afraid of mud holes, Virginia was apprehensive about this one. She feared becoming high-centered. A team of stout…

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Some Mighty Big Trees

I was sitting at the supper table with my family, watching Dad crumble cornbread into a glass of buttermilk so he could have it for dessert, when, out of the blue, he asked me if I would like to go camping with him for a week over on Cowhorn Creek. The words were hardly out…

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