Sunday, November 24, 2013

Streeter during Thanksgiving

The following taken from an interview of Vernon Pack, 11/24/13:

Me:  What was Thanksgiving like in Streeter?

Vernon:  I didn't recall having a turkey, but we would have meat of some kind.  Dad would kill a rabbit or we would have pork.  Turkey was rarely seen.

Me: Wild turkey were rare?

Vernon:  Yes.  I read somewhere that it was common to have 3 deer a day - in the 1800s and back.  But, you never saw a bear in the woods, rarely a deer or turkey-

Me: This is in the 1940s, right?

Vernon: Yes.  The hunters had just about eliminated all the big game around the Streeter area.  A friend recalled the only time he saw a deer it was dead on someone's fender - killed by a hunter and put on the fender of the automobile.

      [Thanksgiving] we maybe had a rabbit or some pork, sweet potatoes were of course plentiful, regular potatoes, brown beans (dad loved them), and cornbread.

     We would have a pig or hog butchered on that day and the ladies and their husbands would come and some members of the neighborhood would come and help butcher - it was an all day and sometimes all night affair.  Butchering day was Thanksgiving Day.  Salt was rubbed in the meat to help preserve it - we didn't have electricity.  Usually the hogs were 300 to 400 lbs, so it was a chore to get them prepared.  The people who helped were given some of the pork for the benefit of helping.  Not everyone had pigs, but dad often did.

    Thanksgiving wasn't a day of leisure; it was a day of work.  You had a heated water barrel - boiling and hot - you stuck the hog down inside the barrel a number of times to get the hair softened to scrap off.

Me:  What about pies, desserts?

Vernon:  Chocolate pies, apple pies, pumpkin pies and cobblers -

Me: Did your mom make the pumpkin from can?

Vernon: she grew her own pumpkins and selected the best from the field.  She would then cook it down.  I didn't like pumpkin pie because I had to smell it being prepared.  I liked the cherry, huckleberry, and blackberry cobblers.

  [On activities]:  My uncle Alex Pack [William Alexander Pack] was invited.  He would stick the knife in at an angle [when slaughtering the pig].  The men would bet he would punch the heart - normally he would puncture the heart.  He knew what he was doing.

  They [the men] would chew tobacco and have spitting contests.  They also played Mumble (or Mumbley) Peg.  You open a knife partially, place a piece of wood on the floor, and cover your sight of it with one hand and see if you could stick the wood with the knife tip.  It would stick if you knew what you were doing.  The men bet 5 to 20 cents.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Memories

Fall is probably my favorite season.  Some of my favorite foods come in season: pumpkin, apples, squash, warm stews and soups.

  One of my fondest memories is going to the Streeter area with Mawmaw and Pawpaw Halstead.  Pawpaw made a crate that tied to the front of his Jeep which he used to put his beagle in.  You might think, "that's odd", but it seemed so normal at the time -the radiator kept his beagle warm.  We would all take KFC and park along the road, eat and admire the foliage.

  It's a simple memory, but one that lingers.

Jack Pack

The following was posted courtesy of a follower of the blog.  The information (I believe) was taken from the Register Herald newspaper:

Birth: Feb. 19, 1926
Summers County
West Virginia, USA
Death: Jul. 9, 2013
Summers County
West Virginia, USA

Charles Jackson "Jack" Pack, age 87, went to be with the Lord on July 9, 2013 at 4:21 AM at his home in Streeter, WV. 

Born on February 19, 1926 at Streeter, WV he was the son of the late Pearl B. and Ruby V. Pack. 

Jack was a member of the Bluestone View Primitive Baptist Church on Ellison Ridge, WV. 

He retired as a self-employed timberman after working many years for the Basham Brothers Co. He continued to work in gardening and farming and was an avid hunter. Jack was a WWII veteran having served in the 7th fleet of the United States Navy. 

Jack was preceded in death by his loving wife of 51 years, Annabelle Wooten Pack; an infant son, Charles Dale Pack; a daughter, Sharon Elaine Pack; two brothers, Curtis Pack and James Pack and a sister, Alice Francise Okes. 

Those survivors left to cherish his memory include his daughter, Terisa B. Pack of Streeter, WV; sons, Tommy and wife Janet of Daniels, WV; Tony and wife, Connie of Daniels, WV and Herman and wife, Karen of Streeter, WV; thirteen grandchildren; five great grandchildren; a special cousin, Missy Price and special neighbor, D.J. Pettry. 

The family is grateful for the ceaseless loving care extended to him, especially in his last weeks here on earth, by his son and daughter-in-law, Herman and Karen Pack and grandson, Ernest (Timmy) McGraw II. The family would also like to thank Hospice of Southern West Virginia for their support and compassion. 

Funeral services will be held at Rhoda Ann Missionary Baptist Church at Streeter, WV, on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM. Viewing will be Thursday, July 11, 2013 at Jack's home in Streeter from 6:00- 9:00 PM. Services will be conducted by Elder Tony Pack and Elder Tommy Pack. 

Burial will follow in the Pack Family Cemetery on Panther Knob, WV. 

Grandsons and D.J. Pettry will serve as pallbearers. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Billy Pettry and Dale Pettry. 

Family links: 
Pearl Bryan Pack (1900 - 1988)
Ruby Violet Cooper Pack (1907 - 1991)

Anna Belle Wooten Pack (1927 - 1998)

Curtis Pack Cemetery 
Summers County
West Virginia, USA

Maintained by: lesa seberle
Originally Created by: Walter H. Pack Family
Record added: Jul 09, 2013 
Find A Grave Memorial# 113575468

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mystery of Streeter name solved?

In earlier posts I mentioned that Streeter was not originally named Streeter.  It was originally named Vandalia.  This name change seems to have occurred between 1888 and 1889 (per Postal records)*
No one I've spoken to (including Jack Pack or Vernon Pack) is sure of the origins.  I have been curious about the name for a long time myself.  Let's face it, no family by the name of "Streeter" lived in the Streeter area (at least, not that I can find in the U.S. Census).  Also, there are no birth records for a person with the name Streeter per WV state online records and the only records that show families with that name living in WV are in counties far from Summers Co.  There is one family in Mercer County in the 1920s.

So, what is the origin of the name?

 My first hunch was that there might be a connection with a man by the name of A.J. Streeter.  Reason being, he was a presidential candidate for the Union Labor Party in 1888.  He was a miner and a farmer and had the resume that would on the surface appeal to the average West Virginia voter.  Plus, the election coincided with the year of the name change. BUT the following is the 1888 General Election results in Summers County that year:

Cleveland: 1353
Harrison: 1272
Streeter: 0
Fisk: 15

Is it possible that people living in Streeter voted in another county? Even in the highly unlikely event that they did, and I am pretty sure voting was required in-county, the voters would have had some reciprocal political influence on surrounding districts.  In other words, why would everyone in Streeter vote for him in another county, and anyone in Hinton, Richmond District, etc. not vote for him?  Absurd, right?

So, the mystery remains unsolved for now.

*per USPS.GOV, name changed 10/02/1888 to Streeter

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Creasy Greens

    Spring always reminds me of visits to my Aunt Lee's home (in VA).  She loved to pick watercress by creeks early in the season.  Typically she served it on bread with butter as a watercress sandwich.

    "We called watercress 'creasy greens'", says Vernon Pack.  "We'd pick them at my grandparents house, get a bushel and I would wrap them in newspaper so they wouldn't get wrinkled.  We would go to the courthouse in Beckley."  Vernon adds that many years ago a farmers market existed on the weekends near the Beckley courthouse.

      I did some research into creasy greens/watercress.  According to a number of sites, there is a difference.  Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) and creasy greens, or land cress (Babarea verna) are two different plants.  I've personally never had creasy greens.  Growing up I heard the term many times.  As an adult I managed to find a grocery store that sold watercress.  It's one of my favorite greens - it has a slight peppery or spicy taste.

    Ramps are another springtime crop.  My grandparents loved to go to ramp dinners.  I'd love to try them, but every time I bring it up my parents say the same thing, "you won't like them! You wont be able to get the smell out of you!"  So, I need to ignore my mom and dad's warnings and go find a ramp festival.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Children of Cleopatra Harvey

   Notes from Vernon 1/31/2013:

      Cleopatra Boyd Harvey Pack was called Pate by her family.  She was married to Andrew Jackson Pack.

      Her children Vernon recalls:  Ester Eunice Pack, Omer Pack, Ralph (children of Cleopatra and Andrew Pack), daughters:  Ethel (called by the family "little Ethel), Annie (married Fred Russell).

Omer married Lorna.  Lorna was the daughter of Ali (pronounced A-lye) Lilly and Teneria (pronounced Tin-era).

Ester married Ora Cooper

Ralph married Lydia Johnson (father Abraham Johnson)  The Adkins/Harvey cemetery was once the Johnson family cemetery by name (at Streeter).

Ethel never married.  She was a spinster.

  There were other children, but Vernon doesn't recall them off the top of his head.