“We live in a small town. We don’t have too much, but we have enough.“
Caleb Adkins, Age 14; Dayhoit, Kentucky:
“We live in a small town. We don’t have too much, but we have enough. It’s good to get out sometimes. Growing up, we went out to Huff Park, played baseball, rode my bike, went outside, played basketball. I play Cornerback and Running Back (Football). Guard (Basketball). Centerfield (Baseball). My favorite basketball player is LeBron. I like watching basketball. UK’s going to do pretty good.
My mom, she’s a social worker, she does everything she can for me. She runs back and forth all the time with all the sports and stuff. She has taught me to be respectful, and to help others and to put others before yourself. My dad, he passed away when I was two and now I have a stepdad, and he works for the state. He’s really into old cars and cleaning stuff. He has taught me to put God first.
I have a twin brother. People get us mixed up all the time. The good thing is we can share clothes and stuff because we’re about the same size. We used to try to trick my mom sometimes, but it never worked. People told us to switch at school sometimes but we never did. My brother has a mole on his nose, and my eyes are a different color, so our mom could always tell us apart by that.
[Having a twin] Is pretty good. I like it. I guess he’s my best friend, but he gets on my nerves sometimes. Sometimes we’d say the same things at the exact same time so I thought that’s kind of weird. It’s been happening lately. Like…about two weeks ago we just started singing the same song at the exact same time. It’s just weird.
I haven’t really decided what I want to be yet. I probably want to do something with sports. I kind of want to move away until I get noticed [in sports] a little bit better, but I don’t think my mom wants to so I’m going to have to work extra hard to try to get noticed. If I do move away, I’ll be back [to Harlan County] to visit and stuff. [I’d miss] my friends and family. [The school’s] not that big. We don’t have that many kids, but the teachers are great. They give a lot of homework. There are 300 to 400 in the whole high school. I think it’s like 70 [in my class.] Being in a small school has its ups and downs.
Living in the mountains, you can do a lot more stuff. Go hunting, and ride around on four-wheelers and stuff. Here, people are not packed in there with everybody and they have their own space and stuff.
My saddest times are when somebody’s passed away; my dad, or my great grandma or great grandpa. I remember him [great grandpa] he passed away maybe two years ago. Close to it. He was really funny. He’d always have stuff for us like brownies and bananas and stuff. He’d just say funny stuff sometimes. He’d cuss sometimes. Went walking a lot [with him], went fishing. Where he lived there was a pond out there and we’d just go out there. He had old fishing poles he used when he was a kid, and he took us out there and he helped me bait it and taught me how to cast and stuff.
I don’t think [people] should stereotype us because they’ve never been here before, and they don’t know how we live. [They think] we wear overalls all the time and talk real country and stuff. I’d tell them we’re just like them, we work hard and we do the same stuff they do. [I’m not a hillbilly]. To me, it means you talk all country, work outside in the field all day and wear overalls … and crazy I guess, I don’t know. [I’m a] normal person who does the same thing everybody else does.
My happiest times are when I’m around family and we’re having a big cookout or something. Like Fourth of July, all my cousins and uncles and everybody gets together and play cornhole and have hotdogs and hamburgers and play basketball and football.
We have a family up in Richmond, and we usually go up there every Christmas. And we stay in Harlan and we go to my mom’s mom’s house and everybody gets together there. I mostly stay in during Christmas. At home, we’ll get up and open presents and thank everybody and listen to Christmas songs. My mamaw always cooks way too much; usually ham, fried chicken, a lot of food.“