Court Days still memorable decades later

Published 9:38 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

By Sue Staton

As a small child, I loved Mount Sterling Court Day. My first memories of Court Day are always brought to mind every third weekend in October. This year they returned again.

My mom and dad, my brothers, sister and I all loved Court Day. For that one day, Daddy let us skip school on that particular day because as he always wrote on our note to the teachers, “I think my kids get a better education in Court Day than at school on Monday.”

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We all still love Court Day. For most of my nieces and nephews that grew up there, it is in their blood also.

While my parents died many years ago, I still remember the drive from Kiddville to Mount Sterling. The trip into town would just be fraught with anticipation for us as we all discussed in the back seat what we wanted to see.

Daddy would be talking about getting some good sorghum. He always returned home every year with a gallon to be put on Mommy’s delicious biscuits for breakfast.

Daddy was always thinking of feeding his family as he loaded bags of apples, maybe a few sweet potatoes. The only thing I remember him buying for himself was an axe handle.

It never occurred to me, until years later, that by the time he gave us all a dollar or two to get our meal that day, it was all he could afford. After all, we were used to looking and not buying. We were OK with that. Our fun was going and seeing everything. We never questioned or asked for more money that I can remember.

Mommy usually returned with a crock or some type of dish, since she loved dishes. She enjoyed seeing her friends from work before she hurt her back. We always knew a lot of the crowd since we either were akin to them, went to church with them or my parents worked with them.

So, when my husband Eric said, “Would you like to drive up to Court Day?” I was happy. Feeling better than we had for some time, we decided to go for a short while to get out together.

As we neared the Mount Sterling exit, the traffic was lined up for about three-fourths of a mile from the exit. From the look of traffic coming from the opposite direction, we knew it would be a long wait to get through the two miles or more of traffic to get down town so we decided to go on to Preston. We thought it would be easier to get into. We were wrong about that.

The day was beautiful Saturday. As we drove, I thinking of all the times I had been to Court Day in all kinds of weather. I mainly remember very cold days were normal when I was a child. Mommy made sure we knew to go inside a store to warm up if we got cold and that we had gloves on. I can always hear their words in my mind every Court Day. I loved hearing the banter between my brothers on what they had seen and heard on the drive home.

Preston Court Days has grown larger than the Mount Sterling Court Days. Our wait in line was an hour long. We both found it a little amusing as we waited in line watching cars coming and going with the license plates showing cars as far away as California and from every area of the United States to come to this humongous yard sale and to view, in some ways, junk of every description. It is now more fun to watch the crowds of every shape, size and fashion. Most of the buying is done from the food trucks which make the most money or so it seems.

I left with a package of Thanksgiving napkins, a green pepper and a stomach full of the best steak sandwich from the cattlemen’s association. Ale-8-One got enough money from this weekend that we probably could have lived on it for several months. It too, is a memory from my childhood.

Eric could only walk for one hour, which was a great improvement from the last time we went. This time I was spent too, so we left. We were both worn out from the day. Funny, how my day at Court Day used to last all day and now I am give out after an hour. I think I am getting old, folks!

While I may be slowing down at Court Day, my memories of it never will.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.