{This is the final of 4 installments – reprinting this story exactly as it appears in the 2001 Ward Community Reunion Book…}

Please click here to see the beginning of this story

My mother’s best friend at Ward was Frances Akers.  They lost track of each other for years but curiously one of my high school teachers sat on a Greyhound bus with Frances and they talked and connected Ward and Oak Hill and so began a renewed friendship of two good friends.  Wayne Akers was the husband of Frances, and I am pretty sure he had been manager of the Company Store at some time.  If anyone has any information about Frances please contact me.

On two separate occasions in the mid 1950’s I met the Norman Johnson and Marshall families on the street in Oak Hill.  They had been our next-door neighbors at Ward and were only up there for a Sunday drive.  It seems unusual though, since we had not seen or heard from them since around 1948.  These unusual occurrences have happened to me my entire life.

In writing this story, there have been many tears wept and many emotions felt, but I am very glad to have shared my memories with those who still remain.

Ward was home for many poor and struggling people.  They were strong, industrious people, doing the best they could for their families.  It wasn’t easy for anyone, and they had to be a special breed to live and endure those difficult times.  Nothing was ever given to them and little we know the extent of their suffering.  Though most of the ones I knew seemed to be very cheerful and happy people and they were always helping someone in any way they could.

Sadly the world, the people and all things are no longer the way they used to be.  Our once thriving town of Ward is no longer there.  But for those of us who lived any part o f our lives, up that winding road, between those beautiful mountains, we won’t forget our days at Ward.  We will always remember…

At this moment, I can remember being 9 years old, riding my little red tricycle up and down the sidewalk as I did many times, anxiously waiting for my daddy to come home from work…He loved Ward too…

Dedicated in remembrance of Ward, WV and the people of Ward, January 1st, 2001.