Three of our all time favorites that kept us entertained throughout our childhood
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I was born in Scuddy Hollow in 1932 and except for one year that we lived at Glomawr, we lived there until 1945.
Author Willard Ashworth called Vicco the "Dodge City of the East". He is
correct except there was no Wyatt Earp. In its heyday, Vicco was a thriving little town.
It was the center of the coal camps in the eastern corner of Perry County. From Scuddy to
Vicco was about a half-hour walk. We could use the railroad tracks, pass by Georges
Branch, and cross the bridge into Vicco. Another way was to go by Hwy. 15. If we went this
way, we would walk over a hill top, notorious for its Lover's Lane, down and around a
curve into town. At the curve, was a small store that sold more beer than groceries. At
the edge of town was a Church of God. A lot of residents attended this church because its
pastor played the guitar and was a good singer. There were other churches there including
the Methodist where my mother and father attended. The pastors were two
brothers, Royal and Franis Baldwin; after whom, I was named.
For us kids, the Pastime Theater was where we went on Saturdays. For ten cents, one could see a Bugs Bunny cartoon, The Iron Claw cliff hanger, Gene Autry western, and The Outlaw feature. The shows would always start with the Star Spangled Banner, Bugs Bunny singing "Any Bonds Today, and a ten-minute Fox Movie Tone news review, mostly about the war. One of these reviews showed one of my cousins, John Shively from Sassafrass, in a battle in the Pacific. He was standing there holding his helmet with a bullet hole in it and a dead Japanese soldier. His cousin was watching and she screamed, "That's my cousin". When he came home, I asked him about it . He showed me the Japanese rifle that he brought back as a souvenir. Popcorn and soft drinks were five cents each. Some times we didn't have enough money for everyone to get in. One would buy a ticket and the doorman would give us back half of the stub. This was just in case we wanted to take a break outside and he could see this stub to make sure that you had bought a ticked earlier. Before we went outside, we got a half-stub from one of the other kids to give it to the one waiting. He would walk in showing his half-stub.
One time my cousin wanted to go to the movies with him. Neither one of us had any money, but he said that he could get us in. When we got there, I asked him how were we going to get in. He said for me to watch him. He walked over to a man who was walking by and asked him for a quarter. The man refused to give him one and then he looked at me and asked "Ain't you Bob Feltner's boy? Wait until I tell him what you just did." I stood there dumbfounded. I told my cousin that I was going home and tell my father what he did.
If it were after dark before we left for home, we always
walked the highway. The top of the hill was supposed to be haunted by a person who was
murdered there some time ago. As we passed the place, our hair would stand on end and we
hurried by looking over our shoulders for a ghost.
There was always a lot of activity going on in Vicco. On Saturdays, during the day, the streets would be filled with people shopping and going to the movies. At night the bars would be crowded with young men drinking and shouting to let off some steam. They had been working at the four coal mines located nearby and this was their time to relax. Where there is drinking and women, there will be a lot of fighting and killing and there was.
One time, when Marcus and I were walking the highway to Vicco, three brothers, who we knew, were driving by and when they saw us, they stopped to give us a ride. As we were passing the curve with the store, one of them wanted to go in to buy a pack of cigarettes. About two minutes later, the door swung open and out came our friend and another man going at it with their fists. The other two men got out to help. When the man saw this he quit fighting and ran towards town. By this time, Marcus and I got out of the car and told the men that we would walk the rest of the way. The brothers said that they had been looking for this man and were going to search for him.
We had been in town for half hour when we heard people
hollering and laughing. To their sad mistake, the three had found their man. He was
chasing them down the street and throwing rocks at them. The last we saw of them, they
were high-tailing it out of town. The man came over to us and started to say something
when Marcus told him that we had nothing to do with the three of them. We only had gotten
a ride with them. He believed us and walked off.
These are some of my memories of Vicco. If you have some fond memories that you wish to share, please email me and they will be added with your name as a contributer. This town should never just fade away.
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