March 28th, 1926.
It is with pleasure I am sure that my small contribution goes forward to join the other letters in making up this Cousins Book. A mighty fine thing that we can have so many nice letters bound in book form, so that in after years we have somewhat of a history of the doings of the Campbell family1. I am proud to know that I am one of them. While my knowledge of the family is limited to some extent and as an orator I am a failure, I do enjoy reading the wonderful letters the rest of you write. I read with a great deal of interest Cousin Joseph W. Buck's letter; those items, as a bit of history, give us some idea of the way our forefathers lived and the problems they had to face.
I have sat by the hour listening to grandmother tell of her early life. The way they used to go for the cows and how they would get hold of a cow's tail, not daring to let go, for they could hear both wolves and panthers howling in the hills. How they went to Sunday school one morning they went a bear in the road and stopped and waited till it went into the brush and then they went on their way; not many of us have the courage they had in those days, though no doubt the little incidents that come into our lives would have looked just as great to them.2
When the last letter was written I was just out of the hospital from an operation for Goitre, from which I have fully recovered, thanks to Providence, good care and Dr. Ross Loop.
I received a very nice letter a short time ago from Cousin Tommie Campbell, also an invitation to the Golden Wedding Anniversary. I am sure I should like to meet you all down there for it is a wonderful place and i know you would have a fine time.
We are not doing much traveling around just now. You people who have improved roads to travel on don't now what you are missing where you start to drive five or six miles and get stuck in the mud knee deep and have to be pulled out.3 The breaking up of winter makes the roads pretty hard to travel here in the country.
1. It was indeed a fine thing that Will Selph did, creating the Campbell Cousins Correspondence Club. Without the bound volumes, distributed to more than 100 households, our family history would have been lost.
2. Bears are much more common today in the Cowanesque Valey than they were in Ford's day. Perhaps as plentiful as in Eleanor's day. But no wolves or cougar.
3. Farmers still used draft horses, not tractors, so a team would be available to pull a car out of the mud, altho how far it could go before getting stuck again was a problem. The mud had been a problem for buggies and wagons too, but at least then they had horses they could ride instead and avoid the mud holes.
COUSIN FORD D. OWLETT.
4. Note that he apparently didn't plan to attend the Campbell Reunion that summer. Many of the folks who went to the Cousins Dinners did not go to the reunions.
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