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Adventure takes friends to Tennessee

Southern Ohio

Hello everyone!

Are some of you enjoying peace and quiet of children back in school? I don’t know about anyplace else, but in this area it seems there’s no bus service if you live with a short distance of a school.

Growing up in the mountains in the little town of Roxana, to catch a school bus to Mill Branch for grade school, we hardly knew what a school bus looked like except for the kids that went to high school.

This has been a very busy week for me as a friend and I sort of went on an adventure Sunday afternoon. It was a very pleasant time although didn’t last long enough to suit me. We ended up someplace in Tennessee.

I finally went through the tunnel that goes to Middlesboro. This in itself was such a treat for me as I don’t ever recall going through Middlesboro or Cumberland Gap.

We did stop long enough to look over a few places, and now I can say I have walked from Kentucky to Virginia, or it might have been from Virginia to Kentucky as I stepped over the state line. I seem to always be one who seems to keep one step over lines anyway.

Except for being tiring, this was one of the most enjoyable trips I’ve experienced in a long time. I hope one day we can go back again when more time is available as there’s just so much you can do in such a short time frame.

Friday, I spent the day at Brown County Festival in Georgetown, Oh. A favorite band of mine. Larry Efaw & The Bluegrass Mountaineer, was there. This band is one of the best bands on the bluegrass circuit.

My friend Norma Ashcraft was supposed to be there, but something came up and Norma couldn’t make it.

There’s one thing about it. I really don’t worry about going someplace and not having someone to talk to as it seems there’s always someone I know.

I had the pleasure of seeing old friends that I haven’t seen in several years. I even danced a couple of times with a very famous guy who goes by the name” Long Legs,” but actually his name is David. Gold Wing, a band from Oklahoma, was on stage when David was asked to come on stage and dance, as they wanted it on video.

I first met David at Northern Kentucky Bluegrass in 2007 as he was dancing and I joined him. It was muddy in the area and I ruined a new pair of gym shoes, of course.

David goes to almost all bluegrass festivals and his legs are as long as my body almost. He is from a place called Prospect, which is near Louisville.

If you ever see a tall, thin man wearing bib overalls with a beard up kicking up his heels, say hello to him as he is a very nice person.

Speaking of beards, Sunday I went to Whispering Beard Festival at Friendship, Ind. This was a first for me. Two favorite bands of mine, Rabbit Hash String Band Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers, performed there. This festival was sort of different as it was a folk festival, mixed with a little other music.

Hulahoops must be an in thing at Indiana Festival as I observed a few being used a little distance away from the crowd. There was a woman who was so pregnant she looked like she would pop like a balloon, who pulled her top up under her breast, and her shorts under her huge abdomen, and was doing the hulahoop. I am taking a chance of irritating someone, but to me this wasn’t a very pretty sight.

I turned around and spoke to two women who were sitting behind me and started laughing. I told them I wasn’t wearing my glasses and wasn’t sure if I had seen what I thought, and when I put my glasses on, oh yes it was. The two women both laughed and remarked that they had been watching what a spectacle she was making of herself.

It reminded me when a guy in a band at Happy Valley almost fell off the stage trying to catch a glance the young girls and the hulahoops.

On my way to Friendship, Ind., as I got close to the Aurora exit, I had to pull off the shoulder of the highway to make a decision as my heart, brain, soul and feet wanted to keep going toward the sign that said Kentucky.

I called my son Keith Ballard and asked should I decide to head Kentucky way, would he stop by and shut the air conditioning off. I actually sat for a few minutes weighing the pros and cons as I really had absolutely nothing with me for traveling.

Then I reasoned with myself that I could sleep in my sister-in-law Wanda Hall’s gown, I could stop by Family Dollar and buy a few necessities, then I realized I didn’t have any medication, so I continued on to the festival. I know I have an extra pair of socks in the trunk of the car because I found them the other day when I was looking for something.

October will be here before we know it, and I am trying to wait until then since I have gone this long without heading that way.

My brother Richie Hall isn’t doing any good, and my heart is telling me to head for the mountains of home.

So don’t be surprised if my next column says I made a trip to the mountains.

As my friend and I went to Tennessee, I really felt guilty not just heading the other way when I saw the Hazard sign.

Gwen Huff Farmer really had a great time for her birthday Aug. 16. Gwen’s daughter Letha and her family were there for a week, then her son Forest and his wife Sherry from Arkansas, and as if that wasn’t enough her son John and his wife and son Grant popped in to help celebrate Gwen’s birthday.

Happy birthday to Gwen’s grandson Grant Farmer, Sept. 8. Grant will be 16.

I still haven’t gotten to talk to Shirley Wells I hope she is doing all right.

Johnny and Ann Calihan had a great time with their family for their anniversary. I think Johnny was wanting his share of cake and Ann’s too.

I have a request for you readers: does anyone know where you can buy malt syrup?

I’ve just about decided if people can make moonshine, maybe just maybe, I might get into making homebrew business.

While at Doyle and Betty Ison’s I mentioned that Grandma Rosa Hall made something called homebrew when I was a little girl. It had a sweet yet bitter taste, and was sort of murky, muddy looking. I was only nine or 10 years old, but I would dip a coffee cup, which was called a teacup, to get a taste.

While I am telling tales on myself, I also smoked my first Prince Albert cigarette at the ripe old age of about six. I am proud to say that was the first and the last for many years. When I was about 16 I tried a few, and no more.

That is one thing I won’t get into a discussion about. It is a personal choice and I am not in a position to go around telling someone what to do. If it were me, well I probably would put one in each hand.

I don’t drink as I have seen too much of the destruction, what it has done to destroy lives, mine especially, without consuming alcohol. I am crazy enough sober. I really hate to think would happen if I drank anything intoxicating.

Saturday, I might have needed something as I kept my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold. We went to Miami Whitewater Park, and Bennie played in the sand. Oh he was so dirty, and had so much fun.

When we got home I told Betty to get him in the tub, that he was dirty. Well! Bennie plainly told me that I could get a towel and wash him off, as just his face, hands and feet were dirty, that his belly and butt was clean.

Now readers, he was right as those were the only places he wasn’t dirty.

Does anyone have any idea where I could buy a little car called Herbie the Love Bug?

I took him to Toy’s R Us to look for one, and was that ever a mistake. I could have driven to eastern Kentucky on what that trip cost me as I bought him a Lightning McQueen race set. Plus a trip to Kenwood to get extra cars as the Coletrain Store was out of them. Kenwood is a good distance away from Harrison.

My daughter Angie Wiederhold works some short hours, so she had to work an eight-hour shift and I kept Bennie for her.

Bennie said, “I am sad”, and I asked why. Bennie replied that his mom was working and he was stuck with me forever and ever!

Silently I was thinking please, God, let 11:30 hurry and get here. Oh not really, but I will say it seems I tire out a little more than I used to.

It is time to get this on its way as Keith just dropped of a load of laundry and I have a newsletter to get out for Old Time Fiddlers.

Keep your calendar marked for Sept. 29, Letcher Co. Picnic/Kentucky Day, at the Harrison Community Center at 300 George Street Harrison, Ohio 45030. Please bring a covered dish and a drink to the big shelter behind the center.

Until next time: Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, telephone: 513- 367-4682



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