Cumberland Falls by: James E. Lawson

Finley Huddleston

Submitted by: Mary Lou Hudson

The Whitley Republican, Williamsburg, KY
March 24, 1977

Heads or Tales by Gene Siler, Sr.
A friend named Finley
He was a one-legged man who had lost the
other leg working in the coal mines many
many years ago.  So he used a makeshift leg
made out of iron and fixed so his left 
knee would rest on a cushion support. The
upper leg was strapped around an iron 
extension of the artificial limb and the 
whole thing seemed to make a reasonably 
good substitute for the missing leg.  
His name was Finley Huddleston, a very good
name, but I much disliked hearing him 
called Pegleg or Peg, which is a common
and cruel nickname for a person with this
handicap.
Now Finley usually hunted me up when he
would come to town on Saturdays.
"Well, Finley, what do you need today?"
I never embarrassed him by forcing him to
beg me for anything at any time. I was one
jump ahead of him.
"A twist of tobacco would suit me just
 fine".
"You bet your life I've got a quarter for
 your twist of tobacco.
"It's like this, Finley. Some of these
big fellows around Williamsburg can get in
their cars and roll down to Florida to
play golf and have fun. You can't do that.
You just get your recreation from a twist
of tobacco and I'm all for it.  As long as
you live, I will buy you a twist when you 
need it from me."
And I did this for Finley until rigor
mortis took over his frail body some years
later.
Miss Anna Mae Boyd was my secretary and
she was always kind to Finley and treated
him with courtesy and respect.
Once he told me "the lady who works for 
you is not ashamed to speak to me on the
street or just anywhere.She is nice to me."
"Of course she is not ashamed to speak to
you, Finley.  I wouldn't want her to work
for me if she wasn't nice to you."
There came a day when Finley brought a 
woman to me on the street and introduced
her as "the widder he was going to marry
soon."
They were both shy on this subject, but I
told them it sounded like a good idea and
hoped they would be happy in their marriage.
About a couple of weeks later, Finley came
in and wanted me to write a letter to the
widder for him.
I wrote the letter and told her, "I have
missed you something awful and hope to see
you soon."
"And now Finley you want me to tell her
you love her."
"Do you think I ort to tell her that?"
"Of course, of course,"
Then I added another line to what I had
written to the widder. 
"And I love you very much."
Later Finley told me she liked that 
letter. From time to time I asked him
about the widder.  Then one day he told me
she "took down sick".
Next time I inquired about Finley's lady
friend, she had died. It was a shattered,
unfulfilled romance.
"Full many a flower is born to blush
unseen and waste it sweetness on the 
desert air."
Finley's romance was born to blush unseen.
It was not meant to be I suppose.
I kept missing Finley on Saturdays in 
town. Finally I saw his son and inquired
about Finley.
"Well, Pa died some time ago. We had his
funeral and buried him."
"I wish I had known. I would have attended
his funeral. He was my friend."
"Shore. I knowed he was. He talked about
and said you had been a good friend to
him."   
Finley Huddleston, a one-legged coal
 miner who was my friend.
And now the Lord will supply all his needs.


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