Carlos Herren Poetry
By Tommy Roberts - 6 Jun 2019
Carla Herren, daughter of Carlos Herren and Edna Hendren, was at this year's Roberts Reunion. She graciously gave me a copy of a poetry book that her father had written. The book is titled "Scenes of Yesteryear". I have added one of his poems below titled "Memories of Mine Lick Creek".
Carlos is the gg-grandson of Joseph Roberts through his mother, Lettie Roberts.
Carlos & Edna Herren with daughter, Carla
Photo courtesy of Wanda Sue (Herren) Maxwell
Memories of Mine Lick Creek
I like to visit Mine Lick Creek
And think of long ago.
I reminise there, so to speak,
As the small waters flow.
In times of drought, the creek gets low--
I've seen it rather dry.
In rainy times, it'll overflow
The waters get quite high.
At Baxter, Mine Lick starts its flow
Down to the Caney Fork
To walk the creek's full length, we know,
Would be a bit of work.
There are steep hills on either side.
O'er them we used to go.
Some were so rough, we could not ride,
And walking was quite slow.
Throughout those hills, "all nature sings".
Great beauty lies therein
The flowr's, trees, birds, and creeping things
Could not've been made by men
Once, a cloudburst caused a deluge.
Mine Lick got wide and deep.
The awful torrent was so huge
That it made a clean sweep.
Much property was quickly gone--
Tools, barns, some livestock, too.
Fields were flooded, waters rushed on.
"When will this flood be through?"
Down by the creek, on Grandpa's place,
Dad grew from boy to man.
There on the farm was work to face,
Since they lived off the land.
Grandpa Logan had quite a bunch:
Sixteen children in all.
If none had left, I have a hunch,
His house would've been too small.
Dad owned some land by Mine Lick's edge,
Close to where he was reared.
We farmed that land, bottom to ridge,
Wherever it was cleared.
We cleared a big hill on year.
It was too steep to plow.
Though some may've said, "Can't raise corn here",
We raised it anyhow.
We had to work upon that farm
To raise some corn and hay.
The work, though hard, did us no harm.
It groomed us for our day.
If, while we worked out the corn rows,
We could have had our wish,
We'd park the mules and drop our hoes,
And take out time to fish.
As we hoed corn once near the creek,
Dad offered extra pay.
We'd have, if we got done tht week,
Ice cream on Saturday.
The thought of ice cream spurred us on;
We looked forward to it.
Not once, before the job was done,
Did any of us quit.
Now days, some folks might not work hard
For a little ice cream.
To them it would be no reward
About which they might dream.
The crops we raised along the stream
Had to be hauled up hill.
The heavy loads took a strong team,
Like our mules, Dave and Bill.
Let me pay tribute to that team.
Those mules knew how to work!
They'd fulfill any farmer's dream.
We never saw them shirk.
Dad trained them well while they were young.
They soon learned to obey.
As each command came fro his tongue,
They'd do what he would say.
Near the lower field was a spring
That often quenched our thirst.
To us it did much pleasure bring,
It's quality was first.
On up the creek, there was a cave.
In its entrance we'd sit.
We would have had to be quite brave
To go far back in it.
Below that cave, into the ground,
Some of the creek would ruin.
We'd watch the water swirl around,
And we thought it was fun.
It's said, that in the vale on down,
That stream appears again.
The question was: "While underground,
Just where all has it been?"
Near one of Dad's fields, I'll declare,
There was the "Money Hole".
Twas dug 'cause some thought cash was there.
At least, that's what was told.
A graveyard's near, 'bout which I'll tell,
Where our ancestors lie.
Some graves, because they're not marked well,
We can't identify.
Mother's great grandparents there lie:
Joseph Roberts and wife;
And Mom's grandparents rest nearby,
Together as in life.
Mother's grandpa was Marion.
A large fam'ly he had.
Now Scott was the name of one son,
Who came to be Mom's dad.
Some fine folks lived in Mine Lick's vale.
They had integrity.
They honored God, and without fail,
Were very neighborly.
There were times when we'd hunting go
Upon the Mine Lick lands.
Sometimes we would return, I know,
Without much in our hands.
At night, we'd hunt those varmints down--
Either possum or coon.
Now when there was a skunk around,
We knew it very soon.
In daytime, we'd hunt squirr'l or hare.
At times we looked for quail.
We had our hunting dogs out there,
Hopeing they'd strike a trail.
Along the creek were fishing holes.
We enjoyed them a lot.
Sometimes we'd fish in them with poles.
At other times we'd not.
Those fishing holes were quite all right,
When we wanted to swim.
We plunged therein with great delight
And had joy to the brim.
One swimming hole I have long prized.
To me it's very real.
For 'twas therein I was baptized
By Brother Walter Neal.
As I look back in memory,
And scan the Mine Lick vale,
I see therein God's great glory.
His wonders e'er prevail.
When Center Hill Dam came to be,
There was so much at stake.
Much of Mine Lick's now history
It's covered by the lake.