by Karen Warren
Here is a story about one of my Cassidy relatives in Kentucky a 150 years ago or so. You have to read this with an Irish accent:
Seems like Mr. Cassidy was just a “wee little” man. One day 2 Indians came and attacked his house. He put up a terrible fight. He swung at them with all his might. I guess this little man must have looked pretty funny to those Indians because all of a sudden they started laughing. Well, they laughed and they laughed and they laughed so hard they couldn’t fight anymore and so they let him go.
Not all that great a story, but it’s true.
Told by James Heath (retyped by April Heath Pastis)
One day when we were coming home from school, we came across some kids playing in front of their house. Well like all kids would we stopped to say hi and pretty soon they asked us to come inside. So, we did of course and we went up to one of the sons’ room. There were three kids that lived there. We had a great time and pretty soon it was getting dark.
It was a rule that we should be home before the street lights came on, so we hurried out of there. They asked us to come back tomorrow and of course we did.
They didn’t live but three or four houses away from us and we spent a lot of time over there after school. It never occurred to me that I didn’t see them at school, I just enjoyed playing with them. As I recall they had a lot of great toys. We were poor and most of the toys we had had been made or carved out of wood. But these kids had store bought toys. They seemed to enjoy our company though they didn’t talk much.
Every day and weekends we’d go over to their house and hang out with our new neighbors. One Saturday, we were all Derald and I, were dressing quickly to get over there to do some serious playing. Kittie, who always tagged along, was rushing to catch up with us.
Well, my mom noticed that we were getting ready to take off again and she asked where we were playing these days that took up so much of our time. Well, we told her about the three kids who lived down the street.
“What house?” mom asked, trying to figure out what we were talking about.
With a look of puzzlement, she decided she’d walk over with us.I thought she was just being friendly and wanted to say hello to our new neighbors.
So, Derald, Kittie, my mom and I all walked down the street to the end of the Ridgeway. When we arrived there was nothing there. I mean there was a lot and a house foundation, but there was no house.
“Is this where you’ve been coming every day?” mom asked.
“Well, Yes and No,” I said. There was a house there and there were three kids that we played with.
“Jimmy,” my mom said softly, “I used to play there with three kids when I was little. But the house caught on fire and everyone, including the three kids, died in the house.”
told by James Heath
(as told to April Heath Pastis)
After your mom and me got married we lived with mom’s mom for a short time in a house on Avenue A. We stayed up in the second floor and we didn’t have much furniture at all. In fact, I think we were using some lawn furniture for chairs. Anyway, Jimmy couldn’t have been more than two or three, he probably was two because I remember we borrowed your grandma’s rocking chair so Donna could rock the baby (Curtis). Jimmy was the best kid you could imagine, he’d make up his own games and keep himself occupied so that you barely knew he was there. He was always talking to himself, so I thought he had an imaginary friend like most kids do. One afternoon, I heard Jimmy talking to himself again. It wasn’t kid talk but sounded pretty adult, but he was always an old man, even at the age of two. I was feeling a little guilty that I didn’t spend more time with him and worried that imaginary friends were probably not healthy, so I walked into the bedroom. When I did, Jimmy fell silent.
“Jimmy? Who are you talking to?” ”That man,” Jimmy said and pointed at the rocking chair. ”Now, Jimmy. You are only pretending,” and I walked over to the chair. “There’s no one in this chair.” I said and reached my hand out to touch the back of the chair, but before I touched it, the rocking chair tilted back. It began rocking back and forth and I found myself backing away from the chair as I watched it rock back and forth. It started out slowly and then it began to rock furiously.
I stood next to Jimmy and I felt that something was sitting in that chair. It also did not like me. I felt as if it was going to say something, but it didn’t.
Instead, I felt it say “Get Out of My House.”
Well, I nearly shxx my pants. I grabbed Jimmy and got out of that room. The thing is, it didn’t seem to have anything against Jimmy. I felt it didn’t like me.
told by Donna Heath
(as told to April Heath Pastis)
I had the most beautiful dog when I was a kid. It was part Pekinese and part Terrier. It was golden with long, soft beautiful hair. I called her Pug, even though I didn’t know anything about Pugs then, but because she had a flat nose that was more like a Pug than even some of the Pugs I’ve had since. One night, we were all at the dinner table. Which wasn’t usual cause my brother Tevis was usually working or one of my sisters were out. During dinner, Pug used to sit as close to the table as she could hoping someone would drop a bit of food and she’d nab it. We hadn’t been sitting down too long when Pug started barking. She ran over to the front door and barked and barked. She didn’t stop. Then she started backing up, barking the whole way. She backed up, right under the table and kept barking. I watched her head and eyes move as if they were following the path of a person walking through the kitchen and start toward the hall. She followed the “person” who wasn’t there, barking all the way and chased “the person” we couldn’t see to the bottom of the stairs. She didn’t go up. She just stopped and kept barking.