June 2, 1979Jim Porter (son of John C. Porter, s/o Andrew J. Porter)

†††††††††††††††††††††† Everett Porter (s/o Jasper Porter, s/o Alex Porter, s/o Andrew J. Porter)

 

Track 2(1st 14 of 34 minutes)

 

Alice:Are you out of High School?

JC:Ya, Iíve been out a year now.Working full time for a year.

JC:You say Alick (Alex Porter, s/o AJP) didnít joke around either?

Jim:No.

JC to Everett:I wonder where your dad (Jasper Porter, s/o Alex, s/o AJP) got all of his joking around then?

Everett:He was bad.

Jim:He liked to joke around.

Grace to Alice:(About JC)Heíll be 20 in December.

Alice:Heís your daughterís son.

Grace:No, heís our sonís son.

Jim:My mother was over at Uncle Alickís.Coming back across the hill, there was a big apple tree there.Back then, there was apples just laying, going to waste.Anybody could pick them up, whoever wanted them.Your dad (Jasper) and some of them pulled a joke on my mother.He (Jasper) stuck a note on the tree, that said something like, ďThou Shall not steal.Ē

Everett:Boy he was just all the time, just anything to have a big laugh.

Jim:He caught my dad and mother out at Fairview church one Sunday, and he (Jasper) said, ďThere comes Adam and Eve.ĒHe said, ďEve got the forbidden fruit, and Adam helped eat it too.Ē††† He had a big lot of fun out of it.Nobody cared about that.Weíd go up there, and those apples would be just laying there going to waste.

Jim:Now we canít raise apples.We canít raise them here.

Everett:They get killed every year.

Jim:Back in the 20ís, I had several big apple trees right down there.They were just full.but then in the 30ís, 9 times out of 10, the freeze would get them.Just once in a while,

Everett:You donít have very many apples this time do you?

Jim:No.I couldnít set out no fruit trees on that account.It would freeze.

Everett:The last few years, if you set out a little tree, it would kill em.

JC:What do you know about Levi (Porter, son of Andrew J. Porter) and his hypnotism?Did you ever see any of that?

Jim:He said he could do it.

JC:Did you ever see him do it?

Jim:No.

Alice:Who was that Jim that you said he could do it?

Jim:Uncle Levi.He had a book that he read up on, and he quit it because he said you could harm some people with it.

Everett:Itís evil spirits is what it is.

Jim:It ainít a thing, but the Devil.I could tell you, we had a little homemade stand table, I guess I better change that.You know, just four legs, homemade.My brother (Will Porter?) and Wint (s/o Alex, s/o AJP), I believe it was there at our place, and they had that table, I can remember well, if I would get up on this side of it, you know and set there, it would raise up and stand on the other two legs back here, and it did.I can remember, I got on it and it just raised me up, and it stood right there on two legs and nobody touching it.Me a sittíin on it, I was just a boy.

JC:So you were on there.They did it for you huh?

Jim:They asked it to knock a lick, and it would raise right up and knock a lick.They would ask it with this boy on it.

JC:What were some of the questions they would ask it?

Jim:It was all sorts of foolish questions.If you started anything about the Bible, it wouldnít work.It would quit.

JC:It would go away then huh?

Jim:Itíd go away.

Jim:Now my brother, he didnít like Elijah Purnell.Youíve heard of Elijah Purnell?

Everett:Ya, Iíve heard of him.

Jim:My brother didnít like him.

JC:Whoís that?

Jim:Elijah Purnell.My oldest brother, Will, didnít like Elijah Purnell.My brother said to it (the table), or Wint, I forget just which one, ďIs Elijah Purnell a thief?Ē Or something like that.ďKnock a lick if he is.ĒWell it knocked a lick.

Everett:It did?(laughing)

Jim:Ya.And then they said, ďWould he (Elisha) steal sheep?ĒIt knocked a lick.(laughing)And they said, ďHow many sheep did he ever steal?ĒThat thing just went to pecking up and down, and up and down, and up and down as fast as it could go.

JC:The table knocked up and down?

Everett: Ainít Elisha Purnell the feller that went way off some where and had a bigÖ

Jim:He went to New Castle, Indiana.

Everett:Well didnít he have some kind of church or something that had a big following of some kind?They called him Father Purnell.

Jim:He was a preacher of some kind.

Everett:The people just run in there and thought he was a God.

Jim:Chalmer tells me that he went plum off.Went wild before he died.

Everett:Now was Leslie Purnell his boy?I knowíd Leslie.

Jim:Thatís his boy.Heís got grandchildren over here now.

JC:You could see that table jumping up and down.

Jim:It would raise right up and just peck the floor.

Everett:Iíve heard Dad, Dad told us, he was staying with Wint.Wint was married.

Jim:I think Wint was into that too.He was there that night, Iím pretty sure.

Everett:Dad was the one doing most of it.He was just boarding with Wint.Wint lived down there on Clark Hill.Dad was boarding there with him.He wasnít married, Dad wasnít.

Jim:That hypnotism can be worked.

Everett:Evil spriits.

Jim:Uncle Levi, they said there was some feller aimed to preach over there, and he didnít like this preacher.

Everett:Jess Collins, Iíve heard.

Jim:Was it, I forget the name.He said I just took a notion to go down there and keep him from preaching tonight.

JC:So what did he do?

Jim:He won, he said.The old man got up and started to preach, and finally he justÖ

Everett:He said, ďThe Devilís in the house.Ē

Jim:The preacher said he canít preach tonight, and he sat down and quit.

Everett:The next night they said he came out and said, ďIs that old man Porter here?Ē

JC:They said the old man with the beard, wasnít it?Did Levi have a long beard?

Jim:Ya, he had some beard.He used to come to our house, and he would set up there and talk all night.

Everett:They said Uncle Steve (s/o Andrew J. Porter) was preaching somewhere, and Levi got up there and tried to charm him you know.He was preaching, and Uncle Steve, he could feel it you know.He was preaching and Uncle Levi was sitting there looking right at him, trying to charm him.He said, ďLevi, if you donít quit fooling with that Devil spirit, the Devilís gonna get you.ĒBoy, they said he just poured it on him.(laughing)Levi said, ďNow, it wonít work on Steve.ĒThey said his charm wouldnít work on Steve.

Jim:It was kind of on people that was easily pulled over.

JC:Wonder how he got started into that?

Everett:Books I guess.

Jim:Well sir, I donít know.Ofcourse he went through that civil war.He got mean, thatís all there was to it.

Everett:The Devilís in him.

Jim:He didnít care much what he done.†† I know he come back from the civil war they said.He hadnít been back long.Some of the neighborís hogs had been getting out, his father (Andrew J. Porter) told him.They were getting out in his corn field.So he (Levi) didnít know his fatherís hogs from anyone elseís hogs.He goes out and shoots three of his fatherís hogs first thing.He thought he had killed his neighborís hogs.Just killed three of em.(laughing)

JC:What did his father do?

Jim:Well, he just put up with it.He (Levi) had went to the war, and saved him (Andrew) a goin you know.†† He didnít mean to kill his fatherís hogs.But he just thought it was his neighborís hogs, you see.

JC:Have you ever heard anything about when they came across the river, that Levi swam across to get the ferry to bring it back so they could get across on it, when they were coming from Virginia?

Jim:No, No I never heard of that.

JC:Somebody told me that.

Jim:They was supposed to have come through the Cumberland Gap across those mountains where there ainít no river.

JC:They came through the Cumberland Gap?

Jim:That was my understanding.All of them you see.That was the road through there.

Everett:Wouldnít have been no river to cross.

Jim:Wouldnít have been no river to cross.And they come down Little Sandy, wasnít much of a river in that country.

JC:You mean they came on a boat down the Little Sandy?

Jim:No, they come in wagons.

JC:they came along the river then?

Jim:My motherís people did, the Catrons.The Catrons and the Kegleys.They come in wagons.

Alice:Who was it that Mae Porter said was trying to get something on that?She said someone was over at her house.

Grace:Maybe it was JC?

Alice:Ya, it might have been the boy.

JC:About a year ago?

Alice:Ya.

Jim:It was you I guess.They said, some of Jasís (Jasperís) people.

Everett:That was him.You were down here about a year ago werenít you?

JC:Ya, about this time last year.

Everett:Him and Edís boy with plum up to Grayson county, Old Virginia.

Jim:Thatís a poor county in there, that Old Virginia.

JC:Oh, itís beautiful.Itís real nice farm land.Just rolling hills at a high altitude.

Jim:I thought they said it was kindly high.

JC:That county (Grayson county) has the highest place in Virginia.

Jim:Is it?

Everett:They said they (Scott and JC) couldnít see what made them leave a place like that and come down here.Looks like they would have stayed up there.Prettiest county up there.

Jim:I guess it was awful bad at the time of that civil war.

Everett:I guess it was.Itís improved a lot since then.

Jim:People you know was going hungry.I know my mother said, my grandmother said that lots of soldiers come in starving to death and they eat so much after they come home that it killed em.They were just starving.She said that.

Everett:Pitiful wasnít it.

JC:Your momís grandmother said that?

Jim:Uh huh.After they got out that away, that was the trouble with Uncle Levi, he laid out that away and got so he didnít care for nothing much.He was a great fella over there, he raised fruit and everything.

Everett:He had a big seng (ginseng) garden over there.

Jim:Grapes and fruit of all kinds.Apples, pears, he had it.

JC:Where did he have that at?

Jim:There at home, over there where he lived.

JC:Over here?

Jim:Ya, over here.

Everett:Ya he had all kinds of trees, big orchards back then.I donít guess there is a tree in that country anymore.

Jim:I donít imagine.

Everett:I ainít been back in that country for years.

Jim:Well I never was.

Everett:I used to go there and stay all night with them.Different times.He had a big seng garden, I know that.He sold seng.He would dig it up and sell the roots.

JC:You donít have a picture of your dad do you?

Jim:I think I do have upstairs.

JC:Would it be hard to find?

Jim:It is in that old trunk ainít it?

Alice:Uh huh.

Jim:I suppose I have a picture of him when he was a little boy.

JC:Is that right?

Alice:Iíll go get it.†† (14:02)