The Monster of Rocky Bottom Creek

Today's guest poster, on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural, is Eva Tomlisson.  Eva is a "retired" homemaker now that both of her sons are married and out on their own.  Eva enjoys writing on her cooking blog, horseback riding, gardening and volunteering at the local "Big Brother Big Sister" organization, in Minnesota, for kids who need a role model in their lives.  She loves both her Doberman, King, and her cat, Breezy.  She also loves her husband, Brandon, as well, a retired small business owner.

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural.

I grew up in a part of Kentucky, in the late 1960s,  that was so far out in the woods, they had to import sunlight to separate night from day.  That might be an exaggeration.  But, only a slight exaggeration.  We didn't know what it was like to have store bought items to eat.  We grew our own peas, beans, corn and tomatoes among other vegetables.  We raised pigs and cows until they met their ultimate demise on our dinner plates.  So, we just didn't know what it was like to shop in town unless my dad needed a new part for his tractor or some other machine needed to run a small farm such as we had.  Going into town was a rare treat. Mother acted as if she hated it.  I never understood why.  It was something we did about once a month at most.  We would show up in our Sunday Best for this rare event in our lives.  Dad would break out the money belt to buy us some rock candy, and the ultimate treat of them all, the famous all-day sucker (lollipop) that even to this day I cherish the memories.  It wasn't much.  But, to my little brother and I, it was the greatest thing on earth.  We would linger in town for as long as we could.  But, eventually, we had to get in my dad's beat-up old 1958 Ford truck.  My dad had a time keeping that thing running.  But, it was still running until the day my father died in 1982.  My Uncle Joe took it from that day on.

My story really begins in 1967 when I was 8 years old.  My brother, Tim, was 2 years my junior.  Of course, I had to take him everywhere with me.  That was a real drag. But, there was one place that Tim would not cry to Mama about going to if he found out I was going there.  That place was none other than Rocky Bottom Creek.  Tim didn't want to go there not because of the great fishing and beauty of that place.  It was due to what many have referred to as the Rocky Bottom Creek Monster. The Rocky Bottom Creek Monster (I'll just use RBCM for brevity sake) was a part of folklore of this area of Kentucky since at least the 1700s.  It had a scream very much like that of a huge mountain lion.  But, much more powerful and much more louder.  We lived about 2 miles from Rocky Bottom Creek. We could hear that scream late at nights, especially in the winter months.  The scream would make our window panes vibrate and sometimes, they would crack.  That's how loud it was.  Many men would get up late at night to go looking for it, kill it and be rid of it once and for all.  But, only a few hardy souls ever even saw the RBCM.  Only one man who was still alive, old man Sanders, ever claimed to see this monster of Rocky Bottom Creek.  Mr. Sanders was in his late 80s as I recall.  His wife had died due to pneumonia some years back.  So, he was all alone.  As the story goes, Mr. Sanders was going to feed his dog out in back of the house one cold January night back in 1962.  His dog started growling, flashing his teeth and snarling.  Mr. Sanders didn't know what to make of that.  He was afraid his dog had rabies.  But, the dog was not looking at Mr. Sanders.  The dog was looking behind Mr. Sanders.  Mr. Sanders looked around to see some incredible being standing at least 7.5 to 8 feet tall.  He said he later measured by the creature's head touching a limb from a nearby tree.  The creature, as Mr. Sanders described, was reptilian in features.  Mr. Sanders said the creature probably weighed in the neighborhood of 400lbs and ran like a deer as the monster fled from Mr. Sanders. That was about all he would ever say in describing it.

Mr. Sanders was numb from fear as the creature quickly, very quickly ran off into the woods to the side of Mr. Sanders home.  From that point on, old man Sanders never fed his dog after dark set in for the day.  Of course, many felt this whole RBCM thing was nonsense.  The scream or roar at night was just simply a lonesome black bear or panther, people would say.  But, that never explained the number of missing children over the past two centuries of this area of Kentucky.  Most said these children got lost in the woods.  No trace was ever found of these children though.  Of course, others would say the Monster captured and ate these children.  Fact of the matter is that no one ever knew what happened to those missing children.  We still don't know.  Mama told us to not go to Rocky Bottom Creek without my dad or some other adult male.  Rocky Bottom Creek was the only place to swim in the summer or fish.  It was our only entertainment out in the woods of Kentucky.  No way we weren't going there to enjoy ourselves.  We rarely went to the creek alone.  I frequently would go there with Beth Halloway and her two older brothers, Jake and Jack, the Two J Brothers as I called them. Like I said earlier, Tim never wanted to go to Rocky Bottom Creek for the very reason of his fear of being captured and eaten by the monster that was alleged to live there.  Nothing I could say would change his mind.  That is, except for one late summer day in August of 1967.

It was an unusually hot, late August afternoon.  It was the kind of summer afternoon that you could almost exhale the humidity as you did the cold air of a winter day.  There was only one option for us to take since air conditioners were virtually non-existent during that time period.  That option was to go swimming at Rocky Bottom Creek.  I wasn't the type of girl who would disobey what my parents told me.  But, dadgumit,  Beth Halloway and her brothers were down there.  I imagined I could hear them laughing and frolicking away in the cool water of the creek.  I was going, come hell or high water, I was going!  I went into the house, grabbed my frayed one-piece swimsuit grandma bought me a couple of years back and headed down the trail toward Rocky Bottom Creek.  "Where do you think you're going, Eva?"  My brother Tim, of all people, caught me before I even left the yard. "Tim, you know where I'm going.  It's hot and I want to go cool off.  You don't want to go there.  So, why do you even care," I asked my little brother.  "You know we can't go there without a grownup, Eva.  Mama wouldn't be happy with you if she found out.  And why should you go without me?"   Now, I was mad at Tim.  He didn't want to go to the creek.  He was scared of the place.  But, he didn't want me going either out of spite.  "Tim, please don't tell.  I'll only be gone a few minutes, just enough time to cool off.  That's all. If you want to go, then get your swim trunks and let's go.  If you don't, just leave me alone!!!" I yelled at Tim. Tim looked at me quizzically.  Then, unbelievably, he went and got his swim trunks to go with me.  I was stunned.  But, not stunned enough to not start running toward the creek with my little brother Tim right behind me.  Little did I know, at the time, it would be our last trip together to Rocky Bottom Creek.

We arrived at the creek about 4PM.  The sun was just blazing hot.  As I expected, Beth Halloway and the J Brothers were there having themselves a good old time!  I jumped right in the water.  It was strange how the water could be that cold in the heat of a hot August day.  But, that wasn't a concern of mine at the moment.  I just wanted to get cooled off and have some fun in the water.  The water was just over my waist at its deepest.  So, no one was really worried about getting in trouble in the water.  Tim was still on shore, looking worried and scared.  "Come on in, scaredy cat!!!" I yelled at the trembling Tim.  Tim was not budging from his perch on the rocky shore of the creek.  Beth's oldest brother (about 12 years old at the time), Jake, went up to Tim and asked him what was wrong.  Jake just turned and laughed saying  "Tim thinks there is some monster in the creek that is going to eat us all up!!! Ooooohhhhh, I'm sooooooo scared!!! Hahaha!" Jake yelled to us all.  I was upset with Tim not getting in the water with the rest of us after practically blackmailing me to bring him to the creek.  But, I didn't like Jake mocking my little brother either and I let him know it.  "Jake, leave him alone!  If he doesn't want to come in the water, it's none of your business!!"  Jake got the message and left Tim alone.  Tim was very uncomfortable.  But, it was his own fault!  I knew he wouldn't enjoy himself at the creek.  He always told me it was creepy there.  He was right about that.  To paraphrase Yogi Berra, it got late, early at Rocky Bottom Creek.  The shadows of the trees were now completely covering the creek.  It was kind of spooky and I decided it was time to leave.  Darkness comes quickly in the woods of Kentucky, even in late August.

(The following happened as best as I can remember.  Some things I left out because the years have blurred my memory.   Plus, the horror of that day has made me block out some images of what took place. So, please bear with me.)

About the time I stepped out of the creek, I heard a blood curdling scream come from in the direction of Jake and Jack.  It was getting darker than I had anticipated.  So, I couldn't tell if it was Jake or Jack who had screamed.  I now recognized it was Jack screaming.  Saying "blood curdling scream" didn't do that justice as to what I heard come from Jake's lips that day.  It was the scream of pain that words simply can't describe.  It is something you had to experience, to hear first-hand.  Beth started screaming also, as did Jack.  But, none were louder than Jake.  Jake grabbed his left leg with both hands and pulled it out of the water.  From mid-way between Jake's knee and his ankle,  his leg was GONE!  It was missing and blood was squirting out of the remainder of his leg like a water fountain!!!  It was at this time, I joined in the screaming.  Behind Jake, something was rising out of the water.  It had human form....but it was far from being human. It was at least 7 feet tall, probably close to 7.5 feet in height as best I can recall.  It was a pale greenish in texture, not unlike some water lizards I have seen before.  It had  something very similar to a rooster comb on top of its head, but a bit smaller. This thing was barrel chested like nothing you can imagine which indicated great strength.  It probably weighed every bit of the 400lbs that Mr. Sanders estimated years ago.  In it's right scaly hand was Jake's missing leg part!  This thing let out a roar that nearly shattered all of our ear drums that day.  It was an unholy scream of outrage, of hate and of anger. It was a roar that you could actually "feel" even more than you could hear if that makes sense. I was now paralyzed with fear.  It was now obvious, this was the Monster of Rocky Bottom Creek that was before all of us.  It was no myth.  It was no bear.  It was no bigfoot.  It was the monster that every child has had nightmares about at one time or another.  Only this nightmare was REAL. 

I was in shock.  I could not believe what I was witnessing and hearing.  This thing, this monster continued to roar at us children with unbelievable intensity. Jake was still screaming for all he was worth.  Suddenly, the Rocky Bottom Creek Monster stopped roaring.  He grabbed Jake by the neck (which caused Jake to stop screaming), tucked him under his left arm as if he were a loaf of bread, and took off into the woods at a speed that a Cheetah in Africa could not match.  It was incredible how something that huge could move that quickly. The last time I saw Jake was just a blur with his leg still gushing blood.  We all stood there as if we were zombies.  No one said anything.  I turned to look for Tim.  He was still in the same place on the rocky shore.  Tim was motionless and had a blank look in his eyes.  I don't recollect how long we all just stood there in disbelief.  Maybe two or three minutes.  I don't know.  What broke our trance-like state were voices coming from the woods.  It was Beth's dad and uncle coming through the woods with rifles.  They had heard the screams of us and especially the creature, the monster of Rocky Bottom Creek.  "Where is Jake, Beth?  WHERE IS JAKE????" Mr. Halloway screamed at us. The men could see the enormous amount of blood in the water as they waded out to us.  Beth slowly and quite simply pointed in the direction of the woods where the creature and Jake had disappeared into just a few minutes previous.  Soon, others arrived with shotguns, rifles, axes and anything else the men who lived nearby could get their hands on to help with this tragedy.  They all heard the screaming, the massive roar of a creature who had no sympathy for children.  None. Mr. Halloway, along with his brother and two other men took off in the direction Beth had pointed to in the woods.  The other men helped us out of the water, they took their shirts off to cover us.  None of us responded to their questions.  I remember hearing them.  But, the words could not come out my mouth.  Tim was the one that worried me most.  He seemed as if he were dead with his eyes open.  My dad had arrived by this time.  He was crying and trying to get Tim and I to respond.  I finally broke down crying.  But, Tim was still in a trance.

The men looked for Jake all night and into the next day to no avail.  They followed a blood trail to a cave, about five miles from the creek.  But, there was nothing in there but a few bones.  No one bothered to check to see if they were human.  Law enforcement did come in to investigate.  But, nothing was ever said what those bones were in the cave.  Mr. Halloway and his brother looked for Jake for two solid weeks and found nothing except for a piece of what they thought was Jake's shirt.  Everyone gave up searching for Jake, even Mr. Halloway's brother.  But, Mr. Halloway searched, off and on, for the rest of his life until he died of a heart attack in 1976.  Jake was just gone.  Beth and Jack never came to our house to play like we used to before the incident related above.  Beth, Jack and Mrs. Halloway moved away after Mr. Halloway died.  I never heard from them again.  Tim was in a catatonic state or a catatonic stupor. He stayed this way for approximately three weeks before responding to electric treatments in a hospital.  But, Tim never truly recovered from that day.  Tim never showed any inclination to learn a trade, go to school or help out on the farm after that fateful day.  My parents never blamed me directly for taking Tim to Rocky Bottom Creek.  But, I could see the pain in their eyes and the accusing looks.  Tim joined the Navy in 1979.  While on "dog watch" one night, aboard a U.S. Navy ship, Tim jumped overboard and disappeared into the sea.  The Navy still has him listed as "Missing, assumed dead."  Tim's death just about destroyed me. 

As soon as I was able, I moved away from the Rocky Bottom Creek area.  I married and raised two fine boys of my own.  But, I never have gotten over what transpired that day when the Monster of Rocky Bottom Creek killed Jake and ruined the lives of so many others.  Men continue to look for that monster as he roars late at night, usually during the winter.  I think of poor Jake and how he never had a chance to grow up.  For that reason alone, I hated that damn creature.  I hated how it destroyed Tim's life and mine as well for a while.  I went back to visit that area of Rocky Bottom Creek in 2010 with my two sons.  Our house was shuttered up and abandoned as both my parents had long been dead.  Despite my two sons urging me to, I refused to go to Rocky Bottom Creek.  The screams and visions of blood are still too vivid, too real to me.  I know how all this sounds to you, the reader, of this story.  If I were you, I would be skeptical also.  But, this did take place.  With all my heart and conviction, it actually happened.  It takes place over and over again in my dreams at night.  It never ends for me. I still see Jake screaming, with blood spurting everywhere, but can't hear anything in my dreams.  Sometimes, after a really bad nightmare of that day at Rocky Bottom Creek, I will lay awake, .listening to my husband's snoring and wondering what my life would have been like if I had not taken Tim to the creek that fateful day.  Sometimes, during these bouts of insomnia, I swear I can still hear the roar of that creature, the Monster of Rocky Bottom Creek. The pain, the absolute horror of that day will haunt me forever.

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Vacation Time!

It is August 1, 2014.  Normally, this is vacation time for owner, staff and editors at David's Musings.  Our present course of action is to take two weeks vacation.  That could change to the entire month of August.  It just depends on a set variables we have no control over at this time.  August is the traditional month of vacation in Europe.  So, if it is good enough for Europeans, it is good enough for us. We are embarking on year seven of David's Musings.  On April 5, 2015,. this blog will be all of 7 years old.  That's a long time in the the blogging world, folks.  So, time for rest and relaxation.  We have another guest poster who will share a post on the paranormal/supernatural theme when we get back.  In fact, we may post that story while still taking the month of August off.  Until next time, enjoy the remainder of your summer!


Life In The 16th Century

I've often wondered what life was a hundred or even a thousand years ago.  What was their daily life like?  What did they do if they got sick?  By most accounts, if they got a sudden illness, they died.  Medicine was based on superstition and barbaric practices back in those days.  The Middle Ages or the Dark Ages was best known for the Bubonic Plague that wiped out about 25$ of the population in Europe. Life was anything but routine as people scratched out an existence in small farming communities.  There was mining of coal, tin and lead.  But, most people made their living farming.  By most historical accounts, the 16th century saw the rise of the West as Spain and Portugal explored the seas.  But, by most standards of today, life was exceedingly harsh back in the 16th century.  Let's take a look of a few examples of what life was like during this time in history.

Most people married in June because they took their yearly bath in May (imagine that). Some smelled pretty good in June. However, they were starting to stink, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence, the custom of carrying a bouquet when getting married.  I had often wondered why brides had the bouquets. 

The floors of homes were dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt; hence the saying, "dirt poor."

Some things never change.  In 1506, a riot in Lisbon, Portugal caused the deaths of over 2000 Jews.

Most homes had a big kettle always over a fire. Few could afford to eat meat.  Most people ate vegetables, eat the stew for dinner and leave the leftovers in the pot. Then the next day they would start over.  Food stayed in these pots for days, weeks even.  There had to be a lot of food poisoning back in the 16th century.

 Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

People during this time were also quite small due to a poor diet.
The men only grew to be about 5'6" and the women were 4'8". So in their house they had 27 people living. Most homes were quite small.  So, just try to imagine living conditions if you will.
Bread was divided according to status. The workers would get the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family would get the middle and guests would get the top, or the "upper crust".

England is so old and small they started running out of places to bury people. So they started digging up some coffins and would take their bones to a house and re-use the grave. They started opening these coffins and found some had scratch marks on the inside.  Obviously, it was difficult to detect if someone was actually dead back then.  This brought on placing coins over the eyelids of people considered dead.  If their eyes opened, the coin would fall off.
Young girls couldn't choose their husband, it was the father who decides who she should marry.  Often times the father would make sure his daughter was a virgin by threatening the life of any young stud who sought the sexual pleasures of his daughter.  A virgin would bring forth a large dowry to the father.  

Ever wonder where the term "room and board" came from?  Probably not.  But,
if you were going traveling and wanted to stay at an Inn they usually provided the bed, but not the board to eat off of.
Now, life was harsh in that era of history.  So, if you ever get to thinking about the good old says of long ago when life was simple, you might want to think again.  We are living in the "good old days" right now.



Puppy Day - 25 July 2014

It's been over two months since I did a puppy day on this old blog!  That will not do!  Puppies fill your day with laughter and always seem to bring a big smile on your face even when you are down.  I don't have a puppy now.  My "puppy" is over six years old now.  Ralph, my beagle, is something of a celebrity on this blog.  I made an entire series on our travels to civil war sites last year.  I doubt Ralph will be going with me next time.  But, as cute as puppies are, they soon grow up into adult dogs like my buddy Ralph.  If you want a puppy, why not consider rescuing one at the local animal shelter.  They are the best dogs in the world. 

Now, without further adieu, here are puppies for this day. As always, click on the pics to expand them.

Snug as 3 puppies in a rug
German Shepard puppy
Did I mention I love beagles?
Four pals


Some Basic Tips on Job Interviews - Part III

I have learned in email that two people who took my advice in my first two posts (Some Basic Tips on Job Interviews and Some Basic Tips on Job Interviews Part II) were able to get employed in the field from which they had been laid off. I was extremely gratified to learn this. Basically, I gave some "old school" ideas on how to get employed even in a tough economy. I'm not saying it will help you. But, I feel there are people who can take the approach I talked about to gain employment. As I said, in the previous two posts, I was an assistant superintendent of a regional industrial controls company for five years prior to my going into the federal service. My main purpose, in that position, was to hire people. So, if someone I hired turned out to be a dud, they knew who to blame. I was not fond of the job for that reason alone. I did the interviews and made the final hiring decisions on all white collar and blue collar positions. Today, I'm going to talk more about the interview process. I'll also give you an inkling what that interviewer may be thinking when you are in that interview room.

During my five years of hiring people, I went through thousands of resumes and job applications. I learned one thing in those five years; the flashier the resume, the least likely that person would fit the criteria of what I was looking for to fill that position. It just seemed that way for some reason. Now, that was not always the case, of course. But, here is something to remember...keep it simple. I didn't have time to go through a five to ten page resume. There were literally dozens (if not hundreds) of people applying for a particular job. Now, our HR department was outstanding. But, on some highly technical positions, they were of no use to me. I had to go through the resumes myself. Just remember this when you start to send out another resume.

If you came through the door and saw someone else in the interview room, other than me, that was a good sign for the job applicant. I doubt they knew it. The reason for that is because I had a strong belief this person was someone that could help us. Rather than reschedule them for another appointment with HR, I had the HR department head present. As bad as you want a job, a job interviewer wants to hire you even worse...as long as you fit his or her criteria. You see, that job interviewer has a job to do also. He has to get the right personnel in place to fill positions for the company. Believe it or not, he is a bit nervous also. Just not for the same reason you are, the job applicant. The job interviewer is always being evaluated on how well he or she is doing their job. So, they have to get it right. If they screw up and hire the wrong type of person, that is money spent on someone that has gone down the drain. I was told they (the company I worked for) didn't expect me to be perfect on each hire. But, just don't make a habit of hiring the wrong people on a consistent basis. If that happened, I would quickly go from a job interviewer to a job interviewee. Lots of pressure in this type of position.

Now, some more "don'ts" when you go into the job interview room. My secretary would let me know when people would call to inquire about the job or jobs we had available. Most of the time the calls were about if I was male or female. They would then ask for my name. I never had a problem with that. One thing for the ladies; while I am a great admirer of the female form, showing lots of leg or cleavage didn't work for me in the interview. Sure, that works with some men who really don't care about their job. They don't usually last very long. Don't smoke in the interview room. Now, it may be that the interviewer is a smoker. I do believe it is now a federal law prohibiting that during any job interview process. I could be wrong about that. So, correct me if I am wrong. Anyway, even if the interviewer offers you a cigarette (and you are a smoker) turn it down. Today it could be their way of testing if you are a smoker. Like it or not, smokers are discriminated against. I'm not taking a position on that either way. But, it was done back when I was interviewing. I suspect it is being done today also. Don't appear meek and timid. Speak with a strong, clear voice to the interviewer. Sometimes I had to ask people several times to speak up!

Don't make any sexual innuendos during the interview. My secretary was what one would call "hot" using today's nomenclature. Several men who came into the interview room would make note of that with some rather crude language. They were usually toast from that point on in the interview. I would not tolerate sexual harassment, nor would anyone else in the company. The following I never had to experience since it was before my time. Don't bring your cell phone into the interview room. If you forgot to turn it down or off, you have just mortally wounded yourself. Don't smile all the time like you are a cheshire cat during the interview. Sure, it's good to convey you are nice and friendly. But, smiling like you are happy you are unemployed or underemployed makes one wonder.

Do bring paper (preferably a small notebook) and pen. If the interviewer gives specific information about the job and what he expects, it would do you well to remember them in a second interview. It also shows how much the job means to you. Do use proper language. Avoid, hmmmmm...well, aaah.....like man....you see what I'm saying? No, I don't see what you are saying! Do arrive on time for the interview. A good rule of thumb is to always be there 10-15 minutes early. Whenever I was scheduled for a job interview, I would arrive 15 minutes early in case I had to fill out any paperwork. If the interviewer says something you didn't understand, do ask him or her to clarify what they just said. For example, I asked a man applying for a high-level security job if he had an arrest record. I remember he looked confused and then said, "Yes, I do!" Clearly, he didn't understand me. Finally, do sit still in your chair. Turning and twisting in the chair is distracting to the interviewer. This happened more often than you would believe. Frequently I would ask if they were alright, if they needed another chair. Most would just stammer to say, "No,I am ok." One more do...at the end of the interview, most interviewers ask you if you have any questions. DO ask questions at that time. Even if you make crap up, ask questions!

During the interview, you are being evaluated. I bet you already knew that. The interviewer is trying to determine if you will fit in with the company. It is up to you to make him think you are qualified for the job. You literally and figuratively need to put your best foot forward during the interview. The interviewer is on the spot. He needs to fill positions quickly as feasible. Jobs not filled hurt company productivity. Unfilled positions also hurt the bottom line. So, the interviewer is under pressure just as you are. As I stated previously, it is just a different type of pressure. You both are under the gun in that interview. You need a job. The interviewer needs to fill that job. He's thinking that he has X number of days to fill the position. If he can't, the company will find someone who will. So, remember that when you go into the interview room. You need to think you are not alone when it comes to pressure during the course of an interview.

Job interviews are always stressful.  There is no hiding that fact.  It is just something you have to accept.  But, by reading all three parts of this job interview series, it will help you possibly get the job you want.

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