June 2008

Only in West Virginia

Kenneth Zinn

Ken recalls the memory of an "unusual image at the Spiker Farm."

I’m a Zinn relative. Enid and Earl, my grandparents, were very active at South Fork Baptist Church, as were the Spiker cousins. Nelson Zinn was my father, and Bob Spiker (second cousin) was his best friend. They were the same age. Dad always fondly recalled their childhood and teenage years, hanging around together and probably getting into mischief. They would camp out and go fishing, then get some corn and roast it over a fire with their fish. As a young kid, my parents never took a summer vacation other than our annual pilgrimage to the Zinn Farm on Sugar Run. Once or twice he introduced me to Bob but, being a stupid kid, I did not appreciate their relationship.

I have many happy memories hanging out with Miles Ball, and his siblings, David and Sylvia. Miles and I are the same age. We got into all kinds of mischief, which I would never reveal in order to protect Miles’ reputation as an upstanding member of the community.

Anyhow, back in the early 1980s, in my late 20s, I became quite involved in long distance running. Once, on a farm visit, I left the Zinn farm, ran up the hill to Bear Run, and continued down to the Spiker farm and made the circle back to the Zinn farm. As I got to the Spiker farm, I could hear a vehicle behind me. I stopped to rest and let it pass. Looking back, I saw a stake body truck [*] coming down the road to the intersection. The parents were inside the cab, and standing on the bed of the truck - holding on and looking out over the cab - were three young girls in their Sunday dresses.

The truck looked like it had been used on Saturday to haul cattle to market, because it was very dirty, and the bed was covered with what appeared to be manure. Yet, there they went, the parents and their three daughters, their curls and dresses blowing in the wind, standing in the bed of a farm truck going to church.

I will never forget that unusual image at the Spiker Farm.