My Life (up to now)
I was born and raised in Salt Rock (Cabell County), West Virginia. Although I’ve spent most of my life in the state of New York, my roots are in the Appalachian Mountains. Other transplanted West Virginians will, I’m sure, understand that feeling.
My earliest memories are in and around a little house on Madison Creek Road in Salt Rock. My mother, Glenna (Adkins) Pratt had it built when I was about a year old. She was still grieving the death of my father, Rupert Pratt, which had occurred three months before my birth in March, 1933. My first playmate was Eddie Harbour, who lived down by the “hard road,” about a hundred yards away. Our little house, by the way, is still in existence, having been moved across the Guyandotte River and modernized.
My mother married Dawson Morrison when I was five years old. For two years during World War II, we lived in South Charleston and Spring Hill. Second grade in South Charleston was a miserable year for me. The next year in Spring Hill was better, but I missed Salt Rock and was glad to return.
Dawson had a full time job in Huntington. We also worked two small farms. Subsistence farming, I guess it’s now called, although we had several cash crops as well.
I went through eighth grade at Salt Rock School, then to Barboursville Junior High for a year, and on to Barboursville High School. I was on the football squad my junior and senior years. In January 1951, I was informed that I had enough credits to graduate, and that if I wanted, I could enroll for the spring term at Marshall College, which I did. I’m not sure whether it was unusual then, but I had a semester of college credit before receiving my high school diploma. I left Marshall to join the Air Force in April, 1953.
My book, Touching the Ancient One, covers my service years. Millie Mereness and I were married before I left the service. After my discharge, I finished my BA degree at Marshall and taught at Peyton Elementary School in Huntington for two years while working on my master’s degree.
We moved to Burnt Hills, New York during the summer of 1959. I started what was to be a thirty-six year teaching career in the Schenectady City School District. Millie enrolled at the State University of New York at Albany, where she earned both a BS and MS degree. She also pursued a successful teaching career in the Schenectady City School District.
We have two sons. Greg, the oldest, graduated from RIT. Jonathan, two years younger, is a Princeton graduate. Jon is married, and we have two grandchildren.
Life has been good to us, and I’m thankful.
On September 27, 2006, Jon and Bobbi presented us with a third grandchild, Andrew Peter Pratt who joins his sister, Elizabeth Milla, and his brother, Nathan Rupert.
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