Bringng Charley Back
Author: George Harold Fulks/January 9, 2014
Charley Hubbard and Tommie Higgins are two Between The Rivers personalities worthy of saving in some manner. Partners in freedom, the two roamed the area located between the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers from the 1920's and into the 1950's. Stumbling by chance upon their photos as they were seated in front of Higgins
Store, I immediately made a telephone call to Euphama Fulks Jackson of Round Oak, Georgia. My eldest sister shared with me cheerfully what she recalls about Charley.
After 1945, my visits to what was called Between the Rivers were seasonable, a time during summers that my dad chose for his vacation. Rummage Ira Fulks lived in
Georgia. Every year, he was given thirty days paid annual leave of absence from his job as a wildlife refuge aid. As one of Rum's children, he and Ella Belle brought me to Kentucky with them.
As for my telephone conversation with Sister Euphama, she said: "Yes, I remember
Charley Hubbard. He would catch green snakes and frighten all of us when we were little kids."
"Euphama, " I asked. "Who was the man who was usually with Charley Hubbard?"
"I think the one you saw with Charley there in the photo of Higgins Store was the storeowner's son, Tommie Higgins. Tommie was good friend to Charley, and he took-up with him and for him. As you know, Charley was handicapped. Charley could not speak clearly enough that anyone could understand him. When Charley wanted to buy something at a store, he would write what he wanted on paper. Other than being unable to speak clearly, he was normal.
"I remember Charley very clearly, Euphama. When I was a little child, I'd see Tommie Higgins and him at Frank DePriest's General Store. He and Tommie Higgins were always friendly to Dad and me. Charley would shake my hand and say 'hello, little boy.'
Then I continued: "I think that Charley is someone I want to write about. For some reason, he comes to mind every day."
Then Sister Euphama and I talked about Higgins Store and the owner and his wife.
We also discussed Birminghm, Kentucky and its ferry that navigated the Tennessee River. She brought to my attention that other stores were within reach of Star lime Works, Kentucky.
"Towards Eddyville about five miles west of Star Lime Works, Kentucky was Star Lime Works Store And General Merchandise. That store had a large inventory. People could buy just about anything they needed there from cloth and thread to animal feed and flour. It was the best store in that area."
"We also had a huckster," Euphama continued. "It came every Thursday, I think.
"And there's another thing you might want to include. One of the Higgins family related to those you see sitting in front of that establishment later became sheriff of Lyon County."
"I did know and meet most of those people you see there at Higgins Store."
Sister Euphama was fatigued that January, 2014 day when I telephoned her to inquire about Charley Hubbard and Higgins Store. Our conversation was brief, but I learned several important historical details on the subject of Between The Rivers.
Herein, I've succeeded in catapulting into the present time a part of what were
those amazing and interesting people- some of those from Between the Rivers. We cannot return to that time. Through our memories, it is possible to bring them here to present but only in small segments. There are those pieces.
How many people remember Charley Hubbard and Tommie Higgins? Euphama Fulks Jackson(aged 83 years-born 1930) and George Harold Fulks(aged 74 years-born 1940) do.