"wait 'til you hear this one."

We all know that Bandytowners love to hear and also share a good story.  We also know there is only one way to tell a good story and that is to share it with everyone.  On this page you will find stories that have been sent in by visitors of this site.  If you have a good story to share please send it in to us at  We would love to share them with everyone.

The Lucky Ones

My  best friend Darlo Workman & I loved hiking all over the hills around Bandytown. One day we took off early and climbed up and down several hills. We got lost and was getting very hungry when Darlo remembered her Uncle Loren had an old cabin not far from where we were. I forget the name of the hollow but there wasn't another house in sight. We were hungry & thirsty so when we got to his cabin, he wasn't there & door was locked. There was a side window with small window panes. Darlo didn't think her uncle would mind if we went in so she said since I was the smallest, I should climb through one of those small panes after she removed it. I wiggled myself through. I crawled over a bunch of barrels that had boards laid across them & went to door to let Darlo in. We found something to eat and then since she knew where we were, we took a shortcut home. We decided not to tell our folks about getting lost or breaking into Loren's cabin.  Later Loren told about “someone” breaking into his cabin and how lucky they were when they climbed over the barrels as they were full of rattlesnakes he had captured. I don't remember if either of us ever admitted we were the guilty party.  

June Gunnoe Brown

My First Groundhog Hunting Trip

I was 8 or 9 years old. 1949 or 1950 My grandmothers sister's sons Donald Ray and Hassel White took me, an old dog, a shovel, and a burlap bag up an old coal road in front of the cemetery in Bandytown.  We walked about an eternity [one hour] past natural gas jets shooting flames out of pipes sticking up out of the ground.  We came across an old donkey or mule and they put on his back for a while. Soon the dog started barking at something in the woods.  We went to investigate.  The dog started digging at a hole in the ground.  Donald Ray helped the dog with the shovel. Soon the dog pulled out a fat furry ball that Donald Ray hit with the shovel until it was dead.  Hassel put it in the burlap bag and we started back down the road.  When we finally got to Aunt Onie's house Donald Ray skinned and cut up the ground hog and Aunt Onie cooked it and we ate this delicacy on the spot with some leftover morning biscuits and buttermilk.  I have always been so proud to be a part of that great hunting team. 

Al "Pud" Greenwood

An Unexpected Surprise

At our church they always had Foot Washing every so often.  One day Harrison Harper's nephew told a bunch of us kids on the school bus to be sure & be at church that night as it was Foot Washing night. [If you`ve never heard of this, A pan of water starts with one person washing the feet of another & they in turn wash the next persons feet & so on] When the pan got to Harrison, he removed his shoes & socks and his feet were just black. He had such a surprised look on his face & loudly explained that he had washed his feet good before coming to church. While he was bathing before church, his nephew had poured soot into his socks. I still get a big laugh when I think of the expression on his face.

June Gunnoe Brown


I'd love to write a story about me as a young boy, living at Robinhood but visiting my aging (He was younger than I am now) Grand Paw, Charley Halstead, when he lived there. He had those icy light Blue Eyes that just burned a hole thru ya when he looked your way. Scared the bee jeebers outta me. He was one of those old hardcore union organizers who was still fathering kids at past 70. I'll never forget that look or the one my Grandmother gave me the day I thought her homemade marmalade was the same as kool-aid and she caught me adding water and stirring to mix up a batch to drink. Or my Daddy sayin' he had to quit making Moonshine 'cause my sister would tell anybody who visited us just how he made it. He said, "She'd tell a hangin' crime on a man." Of course, he was the same one who gave my Mother his paycheck on a Friday and went drinking while we visited. He came to my grandmother's about 1:00 A.M. and wanted the rest of the money and my Mother said "No, we got bills to pay and we ain't done no shoppin'." He hit her and my Grandmother came out on the porch w/a 9 shot automatic and emptied it as he ran away. You tell me we didn't know how to have fun. I asked my Grandmother much later in life if she was trying to scare him. She said, 'No, I was trying to kill him but he kept zigging and then zagging. Everytime I saw corn tassles move, I shot." Of course, back then we didn't have TV or even telephones, much less Internet. I asked my Dad many years later if he was scared. He said "I never quit running for about two miles." When he finally came back around her house he was a mite more respectful. Coal miners might be tough but Grannys carry the hardware that demands respect. lol

Tom Bailey

1948 Robinhood

I never lived in Bandytown,  My Uncle did, my Paw Paw did and my daddy died young....from working in the coal mines.  I lived at Robinhood. It was way back between WWII and Korea.  There were a lot of firsts in my life about then.  My grandma, Minnie Hager, had died and we inherited her dog Buddy. She lived ,as the Madison crowd called it. (Up Spruce) Buddy was a good dog and a better pal for a inquisitive little boy who ranged far and wide looking for anything to get into. My dad's whistle was shrill and ear splitting piercing. No matter where me and Buddy went I was responsible to listen and ride like the wind getting home in a hurry when the call came. There was open range, as we would call it today but people didn't have to keep their animals fenced. One day Buddy  decided to show his stuff and chased a horse. The horse kicked Buddy and killed him. We had to give him a proper doggie burial and we dug a hole down from where we lived at the end of the row of houses across the creek and placed Buddy in a box and did a proper respectful burial.  We found and rolled a stone over his grave to mark it and keep anything from digging it up and also showing proper respect.

  In the late 40's we were in a that in between state of affairs where people didn't know if you needed all the things we take for granted these days. People knew about things like bridges but as often as not they just drove through the creek at low water crossings. People more ambitious than myself pulled, stacked and arranged rocks out in the creek at Robinhood to make a shallow pool of water and we had ourselves a swimming hole. Well, actually more like a splashing pool but it was cool and wet on a hot summer day. It was downstream from where the only bridge was located and just up from the low water crossing favored by all except in high water flooding times. Coal trucks run on both sides of the creek and often they had small lumps of coal fall or bounce off near bumps in the unpaved roads.

 One day my dad was at home when a neighbor came by and asked if he would come and look at his hogs. When you are a boy who loves to be around his daddy you are always tagging along. Now, i never interfered with conversations but i was always around close somewhere listening or watching or just playing like the free spirit I was. If there was 6-8 houses there at Robinhood we lived in the lower end last house and the neighbors hogs were near the road in a pen above the last house on the upper end.  If I only knew then what I know now I would have gotten a little closer to the conversation. Coal miners talk coal mining. They can run all things underground through their collective minds and make it an endless stream of details that can keep a man or men alive or just make a hard job a little better. Well, it was that or baseball or my beloved West Virginia Mountaineers in football season. Coal mining, sports or beer drinking; I've always said if WV had more sports teams there would be less of the other bad stuff.  

This day it was all of that and then the talkin' got around to why this neighbor's hogs were not acting right. Later in life I asked and was told they were lethargic. Now, they might have said that but I wouldn't know. Years later when I asked about that day I had to go look it up. I'm more inclined to think they just said the hogs don't look right. and ain't acting normal. After about a half hour of discussing most everything my dad mosied on over to where some of those small lumps of coal had made a run for it to escape the coal truck and made it to the side of the road before succumbing to gravity. He picked up several in his hands and as they continued talking he walked back to the hog pen and threw one or two lumps toward the hogs. Those pigs grunted and started eating those lumps of coal. Well, that will get a little disinterested boy's notice and make him pay attention.  My dad threw a few more lumps and then collected some more from the haul road shoulder and threw them to the scurrying hogs. They were actually all trying to get to the lumps of coal. I asked my dad 30+ years later what that was all about. he said the hogs were sluggish and lethargic and he thought they needed sulfur and he knew the coal there was high sulfur so he threw some in and it proved his point. He told the grateful neighbor to get some sulfur and feed them that dietary supplement. My dad the pig doctor. Who'd a' thunk it?

I have a lot of good memories of Robinhood BUT one sticks out in my mind. I got a bath every Saturday night whether I needed one or not. I was second in line for a bath in the same water of a Wheeling #2 galvanized washtub. Our bath was near the back of the house near the kitchen where my dad would come in from work in the coal mine. Our Central Heating was a coal burning Warm Morning stove near the front of the house. In Winter that was a long trip to warmth and drying off before bedtime. I learned to stand in the tub and wash the scum that collected on the water off of my legs before darting to warmth. It was cold that Winter as I scurried through the house in nature's glorious splendor . I backed up to that red hot stove and got a little too close and burned my left cheek of my buns. I jerked around and my little pot belly hit that stove. I knew about then that I was having a bad day but I turned around again real quick and burned the other cheek.  Any attention i wasn't getting before that was soon turned my way. I still had burn scars many years later.

 There was a lot going on in 1948 Robinhood and it served me well for many years just as it still does.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tom Bailey

Before the Refrigerator 

I had said that the Jarrell's on Bailey Mountain had a summer kitchen which only means that the kitchen was separate from the main house. Folks here in the true South did this a lot to keep the main house from getting so hot in the summer from the coal or wood cooking ranges the ladies used to fix meals. Of course this was long before our now-a-days air conditioning units were invented.

Most of the folks off the mountain in the valley used ice boxes for refrigeration of foods. Ice plants would deliver big chunks of ice to install that melted and had to be replaced regularly with more big chunks but on Bailey Mountain the ice truck didn't run up there.

The house was built just short of an artesian well or spring that overflowed over a large flat rock grandpa had placed there and he built a well house around the spring so grandma could set milk, butter, and etc. on this big flat rock the water oozing up from the spring would pass over this flat rock thus circulating cool water constantly and this kept the milk, butter and other items cooled. The water was coming out of the spring to overflow down the mountain and grandpa had hued out troughs from tree's which transported the water under rocks he had used for a walkway from the fence gate. Outside of the gate and fence, was a rather large tree that he hued out to make a big open wood tank. Water coming via the yard would dump into the tree tank and this was beside or right near the hitching post for the horses folks would ride up the hill to visit etc., horses could water themselves. This tree tank overflowed back into more open smaller troughs that went on down hill to the hogs, chicken, sheep and other barn animals so they could get water anytime they wanted a drink.

He also had built two fruit drying houses which were also used for drying green beans and he built a smokehouse where big salted Hams and sundry items were kept. Up the hill from the house he had a blacksmith shop with the big bellows to blow air, anvils and several different kinds of hammers. He fixed his horseshoes there and would shoe his own horses. He had a ginseng patch protected by a big dog on a thick wire like a clothes line and the dog with a collar and a chain that would slide on the wire for a dog run.

Dennis Jarrell

(Grandson of Louis Jarrell)