Ashland, Brandon Kirk, Calhoun County, Ed Haley Fiddle Contest, Ella Haley, fiddler, fiddling, George Carr, history, Kentucky, Laury Hicks, Madison, midwife, Minnie Hicks, music, Roane County, Spencer, Walker School House, West Virginia, writing
The next day, at the fiddling contest, Brandon met George Carr of Madison, West Virginia. George said Ed was the reason he started playing the fiddle many years ago.
“I was raised in Calhoun County,” he said. “I first saw Ed Haley as a small boy in the one-room Walker School House. Sometime in the early ’30s, about ’34, ’35, I’d say. Him and his wife came and they played for us and he fascinated me with that fiddle. And he had a son called ‘Puckett’ and I don’t know what ever became of him. But Ed and his wife would play on the streets in Spencer where the stock sale was every Friday and they would play there and she pinned a tin cup in her apron and they got nickels and dimes and quarters and fifty cents but no greenbacks. He stayed with a fella by the name of Laury Hicks who was a local fiddler and a self-taught veterinarian. His wife, Minnie Hicks, was a midwife — delivered many, many babies — who held my father in her arms when he was a small baby and he died in ’75 and he was 77 years old.”