Uncle John

7 Mar

I grew up in a small coal mining town in north central West Virginia called Barrackville.  I grew up in the part of the town called “the camp.”  It was also referred to as #7 which had sister mines  near Farmington, WV named #8 and #9.  The houses in this community were two-story duplexes.  My mother still lives in the house where I was raised.  She’s been living in the same house for over 60 years.

Enough about the camp.  I want to talk about a very special person who lived there.  His name was John Walton, “Uncle John.”  Uncle John was born in a coal mining camp in Maben, Alabama.  Uncle John worked at a mine there he called “Bessies.”  He was my grandmother’s brother.  Uncle John did not have any children.  My father, Jesse Smith, who was called “Jinx”, seemed to be his surrogate son and I was perhaps his surrogate grandson.   Uncle John worked at Bethlehem Mine #41 at Barrackville and did retire from there.

John Walton lived a simple life.  He never had a driver’s license, married literally the first woman he dated and remained married to her for over 40 years until her death in 1980.  He lived in the same home on Chestnut Street  for over 50 years. Uncle John was a quiet Christian man who loved to hunt.  He was especially fond of hunting rabbits, squirrels and grondhogs.  He trained his own hunting dogs and took great pride in their training and care.   Gardening was also one of his hobbies as was hiking in the woods picking blackberries and elderberries.

One characteristic I will never forget was his neatness.  From his clothing to his home and garden everything seemed to be in order.  Uncle John was even neat when he worked in the garden.  His pants and shirts were always pressed and neat.   He stopped by our house every Sunday morning  before church and he looked like a movie star.  I am sure he would have a difficult time understanding how people dress today.  Most of all, Uncle John had great wisdom.  He always shared his thoughts on the topics of the day with me.  He always taught me to do the right thing and have love and compassion for my neighbors.  He would always analyse how people in the community were behaving and would make predictions on what would eventually happen to those persons.  Not long after telling me these things, he ask me had I seen or heard about a neighbors plight.  Then he would chuckle, ” they had it coming.”

My question to my readers today is,”What do you have coming?”  What is your relationship with your neighbor and family?  Do you have peace in your community? In your home?   We all need to spend some time on our personal development.  I have found that my work in network marketing is not about selling and adding distributors, but it’s a journey of personal development.  I am fortunate to being mentored by a dynamic couple in my upline.  They are my leaders in Organo Gold.  Their guidance has been instrumental in my growth thus far.  If you don’t have a mentor, find one.  Just like the wisdom from Uncle John, you too need a good dose of advise and discipline from someone your elder, be it age or experience in your field of endeavor.   If you want to know more about my journey, go to http://www.jessebville.wordpress.com.


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