2017-09-06 / Families & Friends

Searching for Neon World War II soldier

By ROSE BALLARD

Hello again everyone! It is very hard to comprehend we are already into the month of September, although the month of August felt more like fall to me than summer.

I read where the Almanac is predicting a very bad winter. I really dread the winter months, as propane gas is so expensive.

I really don’t know how families with children make do any more with the economy being bad. I do my share of complaining, but it is only me that I am responsible for. I try to help my daughter who has my 10-year-old little sidekick as she isn’t able to work as a nurse any more.

I wish sometimes I could close my heart and eyes and not see anyone in distress, be it family, friends or strangers. I am not made that way so I guess I will never change. I’ve been used by some who sure took advantage of my having a tender heart. That is all right if they can sleep with their conscience at night, so can I, as I know what was done.

This was on Local 12 news of Cincinnati, and it caught my interest because it said Letcher County, then Neon. Who was Sgt. Ballard Bentley? A woman in Falmouth found the late soldier’s memorabilia and is trying to find his family. She’s been researching Bentley in hopes of connecting with someone in his family.

She knows he was born in Neon, and died in Germany in 1945 during World War II. She’s learned a lot about the man he was from letters he sent home.

In one of them, he tells his parents that he’s sending them money to help pay for Christmas gifts for his young siblings. “He was just a very caring, giving — 100 percent everything he had. Not just monetarily, but of course his life,” says Colvin.

She feels a real connection to the soldier after having spent so much time researching him and looking through his memorabilia.

Southern Ohio

Colvin would like to track down someone in Bentley’s family to see if they want the items. If not, she’s hopeful a museum would take the items and put them on display. She just wants to make sure he’s given the honor he deserves.

My daughter Kay Gray and her husband are finally back in their home from Destin, Fla. Kay came home with a back injury as she rides a bike quite often while she is in Destin.

I had to laugh as I stopped at a used bike shop and there was a green bike that caught my eye from a distance. After I stopped to look at it common sense took over my thinking, as it has been so many years since I rode a bike I probably couldn’t ride if I tried. Besides, my bones are brittle so I got in my car and haven’t stopped thinking about it yet.

I’ve missed several events this weekend due to my illness flaring up again. This seems to be happening more frequently.

Saturday, Ma Crow set in with Dale Farmer, Warren and Judy Waldron at Oxford Farmers Market. Now you know I had to be sick to miss seeing her and this entire group. Also there was music at Metamora, Ind., I wanted to go to.

Sunday night, I watched WEBN fireworks and I think this may be the first time that I’ve really watched the entire show on television. This makes 41 years of it being held. I will say it was really beautiful to observe this, even on my 32-inch old television. The colors of the fireworks looked like Christmas colors in the sky, they were so vibrant.

I have never been to the actual display, really haven’t ever seriously considered it, as there are thousands of people who attend this annual event. I don’t like driving in with a thousand and more of cars.

I may change my way of thinking as of watching this last night.

They have something called the Rubber Duck Regatta where you purchase a rubber duck and it helps with the Free Store in Cincinnati. Two of my granddaughters, Jessica and Katelyn Nottingham, helped retrieve the rubber ducks as they are involved with lots of things through Girl Scouts and other community events, including helping to feed the homeless. I may have more information next week.

Sunday, my daughter Anna Nottingham along with her husband Scott, Sarah and boss man Kyle took a day trip to little Nashville, Ind. It has been a few years since Vicki Power and I went to little Nashville. It is a beautiful place to spend a day, with lots of antiques and gift shops of homemade crafts, plus food.

I had planned to mow my grass and to finish scrubbing the last side my house and haven’t been able to get to it. Anna wanted to come cut the grass for me and I said no, as she hasn’t the time with all she is doing since her dad has been ill. They had to place him in another nursing home since his insurance ran out. I understand when Medicaid kicks in they can take your house and everything you have. That is awful.

Johnny and Calihan are doing all right, just not moving as fast as usual. Their daughter Sue Wagner is still with them. Sue isn’t doing very well with her health problems. Please keep the family in your prayers.

I miss Oma Hatton and it is so hard not to say hello to Oma in my column. Hello to all her family should you be reading this column. I miss her column very much, and she will be missed for a long time by everyone.

Don’t forget Blackey Days will be Oct. 13 and 14. If I have to crawl I intend to be there, if God lets me live. I may bring a friend with me to keep me company.

I mentioned earlier about Ballard Bentley, and I have an update. Kathy Colvin told me that Ballard Bentley’s 80-year-old brother from California has been in contact with her. He is flying in from California to pick up Ballard’s information that Kathy had found. Kathy said that Mr. Bentley had donated some things of Ballard’s to something before, she didn’t know to whom or what. I really hope this information goes to the Veterans Museum in Whitesburg.

I hope sometime soon to meet Kathy Colvin, who lives in Falmouth.

I couldn’t leave the story alone when I saw it on television. I looked on Facebook and yes she was there, then I typed in her name on information, found she was realtor in Falmouth.

It had her telephone number, and I called only to get her voice mail. As soon as I started leaving her a message she called me, and it was a wonderful conversation.

Kathy has a farm with all kinds of wild animals. Kathy is an artist and paints rocks. She is a delightful person to talk to, one that you feel like you have known for years.

Always remember, before you tell something, make sure it is the truth, not your version of the truth. Others might not know, but God does.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030.

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