Whitesburg KY
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Anna Nottingham used fresh snow for snow cream

Southern Ohio

Hello everyone!

Is there anyone that would like to have snow? My son Keith Ballard says he would deliver snow free of charge. This area of the Ohio Valley area and surrounding places have sure seen our share.

My daughter Anna Nottingham had nine inches, then we got another three or four inches. Anna is the only one of my daughters that has carried on with a tradition, as Anna always makes snow cream for her family.

I looked out the window watching it snow Wednesday through Friday, and we are under another weather alert.

As I was looking through memories on Facebook, the mountains of eastern Kentucky were hit hard with snow. I enjoyed all the beautiful posts. Well you know something, snow is beautiful, while you are sitting in a warm house looking out your window. It becomes a problem when you have to work outside all hours of the day and night, when you are climbing on telephone poles to fix things, driving to and from work , shoveling snow to keep your own yard safe.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Keith for all that he does to keep me safe when I have someplace I have to go. Keith clears a path that looks as if he has thrown a ruler as when he shovels it is precise.

We have a large yard with a 40-foot concrete slab in the back. Now that looks like a car lot at times. Keith has two pickup trucks, a car he plans to restore, plus my old Cavalier, and of course I have my Honda Fit.

Some time ago, a friend of my daughter Kay’s called Kay asking what was going on at my house, that it looked like a junkyard out back.

I replied that for one thing, it is none of her business. I paid for my house alone, and I pay my taxes. If she doesn’t like what she sees, well take another route.

Keith enjoys working on, and drives certain kinds of pickup trucks, 1992-1995 F150. He is not bothering anyone, and is not out in bars. Why can’t people mind their own business?

In last week’s column I mentioned a cousin ,Stevie Ray Gibson, shared by the librarian from Blackey. I received a telephone call from someone. I am sorry I haven’t got information to pass on to anyone. I’m sorry to say I hadn’t been in touch with Gibson family since I was 13 years old.

Their mother Leona wasn’t able to raise the children. I guess Johnny Gibson did the best he could. Bessie Jane was my age, and she didn’t have anyone to teach her how to clean. Their older brother Edward tried the best he could. Stevie Ray and Earl William were the two youngest of the family.

They lived in the little wide side path that was beside Harim Mitchel’s house called Green Briar Holler “not Hollow”. It is a wonder that Bessie Jane and I didn’t burn the house down. Johnny did get commodities which consisted of cheese, butter, powdered milk, etc. Bessie Jane and I would cut a chunk of cheese and dip it in sugar.

I came up with the idea to mix flour, sugar, butter and a little powdered milk. We mixed it then we baked it.

You might say I was interested in trying to cook back then. Mommy used to say I was born with a grownup’s head on my shoulders.

It was good. Actually when I have eaten something called shortbread cookies, that is something that I make now. Bessie Jane and I was probably about 10 years old.

J.C. and Ora Burke had a grocery store, and let’s not forget Jr. and Bernice Amburgey, and there were Hallie and Blanche Hogg

The person actually has information that I find is wrong, somehow he is under the impression that Harlan Hollins owned about 200 acres on Big Branch. I can’t prove it, however I doubt that Harlan owned that much land. After our conversation, memories started to drift back in time.

My great-grandparents, Will and Nance Coots, owned a parcel of land and not far away were my grandparents, Ben and Betty Coots Adams .

Mommy stayed with Pa and Ma Coots most of the time until she was 14 years old, then her mother walked off and left the family, so with Mommy, being the oldest girl, had to move back to raise her siblings. In 1944 Daddy and Mommy were married and the rest is history.

Mommy would stand on the cemetery lot, and point to the area where they lived. Over the years she would name all the families that lived on Big Branch.

Another thing that was mentioned by this caller, who said that Harlan was in service and drew some kind of small pension. My grandma Rosa Hollins Hall never mentioned that her brother Harlan was ever in service. I remember Grandma Hall finally got something called Old Age Pension. It was, if memory serves me correct, about $13 a month.

Harlan did own some land and a rundown house. I barely remember Harlan coming to Roxana. Once in a while he would come by Grandma’s. For some reason he was scary looking to me as a child.

Grandma had several other brothers, including Sherman Hollins who had a daughter that lived real close to Grandma in Caudilltown. Grandma didn’t have very much association with the family as she preferred privacy.

Oh my goodness, a realization just hit me smack in the face, where I get my weird ways. I knew where I got the guts and determination as it is instilled from both grandmothers.

Last week the mountains lost a legend, Lee Sexton. My sympathy goes out to all Lee Sexton’s family and friends, especially Jack Adams, as Lee was a Grandpa to Jack as well as teaching him to play the banjo.

I had heard of Lee Sexton for several years, then I had the pleasure to meet Lee at the Appalachian Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio.

We really had a good, long conversation as Lee told me about the passing of his son. When I finally reunited with my cousin Beverly Adams when Jack was about 10 years old, of course I became acquainted with Lee and Opel.

If you didn’t know Lee Sexton’s history, you would never know he was famous as he was always down to earth.

In my personal life I let years slip away, lost touch with someone, decided to try to find out something about her, well I waited a year to late as she passed away exactly a year ago. Please tell that family member or friend how much you love them, give them a hug regardless of this coronavirus. It’s too late to cry after they are gone.

My family and I don’t live very far apart and I don’t see them often. You better believe I am not going to wait a year. If I had to put a plastic garbage bag , mask and gloves I am going to hug my grandchildren.

Too bad we can’t square dance dressed like that. Oops, I can’t square dance anyway.

Mike and Marcia Caudill have been very busy, as Mike’s mother had a bad fall, breaking her leg or ankle. This woman is a tough cookie and is staying in a good frame of mind.

Now Marcia may decide to take up sled riding, so Mike better keep his eyes on her.

Their son Matthew Caudill is a Ft. Mitchell policeman. Matt and friends took their children sled riding. At least some parents spend time with their kids enjoying doing things as I am sure Matt did his share of playing in the snow when he as young.

I can’t sleep so I am awake all hours of the night. One morning as I was about to turn the TV set off, all at once something caught my attention about Letcher County. You never know who or what you will see on television.

My daughter Kay and her husband Clarence Gray have spent the last three weeks at their home in Destin, Fla. The temperature dropped to 30 degrees in Destin, and Clarence and Kay decided to take a road trip to warmer parts of Florida for a few days. They were going to Key West, but that plan got averted.

I wonder if you can put a 57-year-old daughter up for adoption.

Belated happy birthday to my oldest granddaughter, Jennifer Lynn Gray, Feb. 22.

Hello Buddy and Bernice Grubb and Mike Grubb. Please be careful when you are out and about.

Price Pogan, formerly of the Woodrock area of Blackey, calls Illinois home. She said she has 20 foot snow piles in her yard. I think it must be like around here. Keith has shoveled snow piles in certain places and they will probably be there until July. Actually Keith loaded a pickup bed full of snow and took it to empty it.

With all the snow, death and destruction through Texas and other places, I am not going to complain about what little snow we have here in Ohio, as we did get some deep snow. Please keep Texas in your prayers.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are still doing as well as can be expected. Johnny is able to watch the late news at 11 o’clock, then he is ready to go to bed.

I stopped out for a few minutes. It was wonderful to see Johnny and Ann sitting together after all they’ve been through.

Please keep Ann’s brother Hubert in your prayers.

Congratulations to Sue Wagner. A year has passed since Sue received a liver transplant. It was a happy event for Sue, mixed with sadness. Thank God for His blessings.

Les and Pat Wagner, let me know what is going on your way.

It is time to give my fingers a rest, and my ankle.

Until next time, Rose Ballard.

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