Remembering knives and coaches

Over the past couple of days I have had the opportunity and pleasure to talk with two friends who I have known for many years. The first, Cauley Hardin, was talking to me at Sunday School this past Sunday about knives; we also talked about our Sunday school lesson, too. Cauley and I both remembered the old Barlow style knives which most of the mill working men carried. Most of these knives were Tree brand or Case brand knives made by these companies and sold at both Lydia and Clinton Mills Company stores. I told Cauley that I still had my Daddy’s Barlow with the little blade practically sharpened away. It was not uncommon for the mill workers to have pocket knives with the blades sharpened to a very small blade. These old workers could sharpen a knife so sharp that a hair could be split in half and folks, that’s pretty sharp. Cauley and I also talked about the old butcher knives which our mamas used in their kitchens and how our mamas would take the “Old Hickory Brand” butcher knives to the back porch and sharpen it by dragging the blade back and forth on the edge of the cement porch. This sharpening method worked well for our mama, for I remember how she could slice a tomato as thin as a piece of paper. The other thing I would like to mention was initiated by another long-time friend, Mr. John Dowdle. I met John way back in the early 70’s when he worked at the Thornwell Home and I worked at the post office. John and I were in the doctor’s office this past Monday, and we were reminiscing about different things from the past, and the sports activities of years past were mentioned. We both remembered the activity directors from Lydia, Clinton Mills, Joanna and Thornwell. There was Elllis Huffstetler with the Lydia Mill teams, Chuck Leatherwood with the Clinton Mills teams, Dick Templeton with the Thornwell teams, and Mr. Johnny Moore and the Prater brothers from Joanna. These men were dedicated to the youth of the villages and Thornwell and they instilled in the youths respect and sportsmanship. Any boy, and now grown men, who played for either of these coaches and gentlemen will have nothing but admiration and thankfulness to say about hem. I had the pleasure and honor of knowing all these men, except Mr. Leatherwood, as I got older, and to me, as they got older, their ability to influence got even better. Still remembering, (Tommy Kitchens lives in Clinton.)

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902


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