A recent story about Winnie Read and her 45-year service to LaRue County’s 4-H program caught the attention of Anna Mae McCubbin.
While she has lived 52 years in her Elizabethtown home, Mrs. McCubbin takes The LaRue County Herald News to keep up with events in and around the area where she was raised.
She asked for a couple extra copies of the Sept. 9 edition to share with far away friends.
During a visit to make the delivery Monday, Mrs. McCubbin discussed her late husband Gleason and their two children, a 2005 auto accident that still affects her mobility, her current struggle with a rare form of cancer and the changing nature of agriculture as reflected by products and services of Hardin County Milling, her family-owned business.
She also spoke of an eye-opening opportunity presented to her through 4-H.
As a teenage girl in Magnolia, her involvement earned an opportunity to attend the national conference in Chicago. A trip of that nature would be quite an experience for any teenager but in 1937 life was quite different.
The interstate highway system that made personal travel common was three decades away. In fact, blacktop streets were rare. Mrs. McCubbin describes catching the Illinois Central train at the depot in Cecilia to join up with other 4-H members.
E-mail and other instant forms of communication were not even a dream. Sending a teenage girl to Chicago was an act of faith and trust. It might be days before a postcard or letter arrived to assure her family that the train arrived safely. Her family had a telephone but a long-distance call relayed through the Magnolia exchange operator would have been quite costly.
But her family was proud that she had been chosen and gladly sent young Anna Mae on this life adventure, made possible by 4-H. Now 72 years later, she still corresponds with one of the other girls who shared her hotel room and the rich experiences in Chicago.
For a century, 4-H has provided opportunities in agriculture, homemaking, public speaking and dozens of other hobbies and life skills.
As Kentucky celebrates the centennial of service, The LaRue County Herald News plans to chronicle the involvement of local residents.
I want to renew our request that former members, leaders and agents submit stories and photos from their years in 4-H.
4-H Agent Misty Wilmoth and many others have contributed already. The deadline for submissions is noon Sept. 30. Items may be dropped off at The Herald News office at 40 Shawnee Drive, e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 358-4852. Please include your name and contact number.
Ben Sheroan is general manager of The LaRue County Herald News.