Some say it was a coal mine cave-in. Others say it was the fever, but whatever the reason my Grandpa Harve found himself orphaned in a time when, if children were lucky, some relative or caring neighbor took them in.
I don’t know much about his childhood, although I am told his tales of life on the Tennessee River rivaled those of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.”
When my dad was a boy, Harve gathered the children around the fireplace and before bed told a story of an orphaned boy named A.J. (his real initials), filled with intrigue of riverboat gamblers and the dangers of riding the rapids on a handmade raft.