I woke up smiling this morning.

Just before the morning sun penetrated our bedroom, I dreamed I was sitting at my parent's home in Johnson County, eating biscuits and gravy with both of my brothers and my little sister.

There was a big platter of bacon, most of it extra crispy, in the middle of the scene. An assortment of jellies, honey and sorghum awaited anyone with a sweet tooth.

My mama's biscuits, however, were the star of the show in this dream. Hot from the oven where they baked in a cast iron skillet after being brushed with butter (or was that bacon grease?) on top.

It as been a long time since I shared a meal with my mom, dad, brothers and sister, and I count us as blessed because it is not too late to make it happen again. While we have been scattered across a couple of states, we are all still here.

I think we need to make this dream come true.

Tough to talk about

Believe it or not, there are a few subjects I can barely bring myself to talk about.

Suicide is surely at the top of that short list.

That was the case Monday morning as I talked with Josh McGlone, one of the founders of the upcoming “Break The Silence” music festival. McGlone's brother, Zach, took his own life in 2008, making the suicide-awareness message near and dear to him. His fellow musician/committee members have suicide stories of their own, McGlone explained as he told me of “the aftermath of everything” following his brother's death.

“If anyone of these 14 bands reaches somebody, I've done my job,” he said.

The festival itself will be held September 21 and 22 at the Carter County Shrine Park in Olive Hill. Musical styles will range “from folk music to heavy metal,” McGlone said. Tickets are $15, which includes both days of band performances as well as primitive camping overnight.

“After the show we just sit around and pick guitars all night long,” McGlone noted.

Fans of good music also have a chance to show their support during a fundraiser September 8 at Bayso's Sports Pub in Grayson. For more information, visit the Breaking The Silence page on Facebook.

By the numbers

State Representative Jill York is also working to raise suicide awareness, and passed along some sobering numbers:

“Between 2009 and 2017, there have been 32 Carter County suicide deaths.

Across the region (Carter, Boyd, Greenup, Lewis, Lawrence and Elliott counties) the number of deaths by suicide for the same time period is 174 people.

To get the true “impact” of those deaths, you multiply each death by 135 (the number of persons within that individual’s sphere of contact and influence that will feel the effects of that loss — classmate, colleague, friend, family member, etc.)

174 deaths multiplied by the impact factor of 135 means that an incredible 23,490 people here in our region have felt the effects/loss of a suicide.

If you have a friend or family member die by suicide rather than natural causes, you are at a higher risk for suicide. This “suicide contagion” increases risk by 65% over persons who have not lost a friend or family member to suicide.

So, Sunday, September 9

State Rep. York is doing her best to let people know about a community walk to raise suicide awareness in Carter County as part of the 2018 National Weekend of Prayer for Faith, Hope, and Life, which is September 7-9.

“ … a national effort to raise awareness among faith community members about the problem of suicide and how communities of faith are perfectly positioned to help those who are in crisis or impacted significantly by suicide loss. Last year, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Faith Community Task Force was able to garner over 300 pledges from faith communities across the United States willing to participate in the National Day of Prayer on September 10th(which also happens to be the annual World Suicide Prevention Day).”

The local walk will begin at 3 p.m., at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

Visit PrayFaithHopeLife.org for more information, and read next week's Journal-Times for local event information.

Lake shots

We are working with the local Corps of Engineers office as they assemble a celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of construction for the dam at Grayson Lake.

Black and white or color, they are especially hoping local people will be able to find family fun photos taken on or around the local lake, especially between 1976 and the present.

If you can share a photo or two of your family’s picnics, big fish catches, boating or floating together, please pass them along. If you can’t make a copy, bring the original photos by The Journal-Times office in Grayson and we’ll scan them in.

Tim Preston can be reached at tpreston@journal-times.com or by telephone at (606) 474-5101.

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