THE FIREPLACE ROOM
by Jack Scott, 2002
I was born in the Fireplace room. It was on a cool morning on July 22nd, 1922 and there was lots of company around. The old log room, with it's large fireplace had seen many uses in the past 120 years. Birth on a farm in Kentucky in that era was a family affair. My five siblings had been sent to Granny Scott's house about a mile across the fields and woods, but plenty of people were still around. Lizzie, our colored friend and helper, who lived on the hill above Granny's place was there, along with Aunt Maggo, Dad's sister. Dad was there as was Mom's brother, Uncle Jess. Uncle Sam Stith, Mom's mother's brother got there at the last minute, riding his horse from his farm near Ekron, about five miles away. Ab, the black man who helped around the place and usually slept behind the kitchen stove was around somewhere.
Uncle Jess and Dad helped when Mom needed to hold on to someone on each side. Mom was great for planning ahead, so plenty of old clean sheets were on hand plus homeade diapers and belly bands to wrap around my navel. Lizzie had seen to it that the customary axe was under the bed to cut the pain. I came out, looking pretty scrawny and Lizzie was heard to say, "lawsy me miss Ruth, you should have quit before you run plum out." The good old family names had already been taken by two older brothers, but I was in luck, just the same. Our white mare, Old May had a mule colt the day before they had named Jack so all said that would fit me also.
As was the custom in those days, Dad took the afterbirth out on the hill to bury it. Things move along pretty well and Lizzie and Aunt Maggo fixed dinner for everybody. Mom loved to talk so while she rested some, she had someone to talk to the rest of the day.
The Fireplace Room was the center of our home activities. On the old library table in front of the fireplace, Mom taught my sisters to sew. Dad would read to us and we did our studying there, with the lamp lit in winter. The old log walls made it fairly cool in summer and, along with the fireplace, it was the warm place to be in the winter. That was the room where Dad made his cigars and tobacco plugs while we all read and talked. I've often thought since that time of the many family things that went on in that room.
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