Whitesburg KY
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Appalachian Festival features good music, storytelling and more

Southern Ohio


Hello, everyone! I hope all mothers and grandmothers had a special Mother’s Day. In fact, I hope anyone who isn’t a mother had a good day.

I received a dozen beautiful yellow roses from my daughter, Kay Gray, and her family, and a Mother’s Day card. The note inside written by Kay meant more than anything she could have ever purchased. Kay said if she could have found a card the size of a refrigerator she would have sent it. Now she is a mother she realizes how much she appreciates all I have done for her. Needless to say I had tears in my eyes and could hardly see to read it.

My daughter, Angie Wiederhold, and little Bennie gave me cards and a rose bush to plant. I always love this kind of gift as it keeps on giving for years to come.

My son, Keith Ballard, filled my car up with gas, and wanted to give me money which I refused as gas is so ridiculously high.

My daughter, Anna Nottingham, called me as I wasn’t home for a visit.

Each year on Mother’s Day I like to go to the Appalachian Festival at Old Coney. This was the first time I was able to go in a few years. I had made plans to attend since some friends of mine were performing there. It was a lovely day, sort of breezy in the morning then it warmed up just enough to be comfortable, the music was very good.

While enjoying the early morning watching the Ohio River, I talked to one of the storytellers, Steve Hollen, who is one of the Traveling Bogger Holler Storytellers. Steven told me of some the things he talks about to the children; he is from Clay County. This man has more things to say to children than you can imagine.

I talked to a man from England. He found information about the Appalachian Festival on the Internet, so he came to see the crafts and music, then he was going to Virginia. He will be traveling for two weeks then back to England.

The next day I almost didn’t go back as it was so rainy, cold and nasty, however I did go, the music was very good. Gracie Muldoon had church service with special guest singers. Following church service, Ginny Hawker and her husband had a gospel session. This was the first time I had ever taken the time to sit in with this. Judy and Warren Waldron, who are members of the Old Time Fiddlers, were among the group. It was worth staying for. I even joined in the singing along with others, and I didn’t even get thrown out.

My friend Ma Crow (Elaine Doyle), who has a band of her own, did a show Saturday then came back Sunday and picked with a trio Sunday afternoon. Ma can really sing and play a guitar. I could sit for hours and listen to her.

There was a horrible wreck late Friday night within walking distance to my house. Two teenagers were killed instantly. It was getting close to the time for Angie to pick up Bennie, of course my first thoughts were it was her as the firetrucks and emergency vehicles were screaming past the house. My heart goes out to these families. The driver had gotten her license the last of January; she and her friends had been to a movie. It is so heartbreaking.

I do wish the law would stop something. When a fatality happens, people puts flowers and crosses at the site. In this particular incident, it is very close to the road. I travel this road frequently. I have seen how close the teenagers are standing to traffic. It is a curvy road.

My friend, Shirley Wells, is having her daughter, Alice, and her family coming for a visit along with Shirley’s granddaughter, Kayla, and Shirley’s daughter, Kristie, and little Sheldon. Shirley’s house will be filled with laughter I am sure.

Shirley enjoyed the Country Gentleman show with Larry Roark. We both really enjoy Larry’s recordings. W e listened to WMMT’s “Bluegrass Express” with Angie Hall for a while.

I missed Bobby Joe’s “Gospel Jubilee” on Bounceradio.net as I was gone Saturday.

Gwen Huff Farmer is really disappointed as she can’t seem to get her garden planted this spring because of so much rain.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are in the same predicament as the weather around here is so rainy that you can hardly get the yard mowed. Has anyone got an extra goat? Johnny and Ann have been so gracious to share lettuce and onions with me.

Bruce Jones, what’s this I hear you had to plant your pea patch over? Just sneak on down to Barb and Rick’s garden, then pick some extra and send to me.

My brother Richie Hall hasn’t been feeling well again. It seems his legs are back giving him trouble. Wanda and Barb Jones have been enjoying a good country walk in the evenings.

I haven’t talked to my sister, Loretta Church, nor my brother, Wallace Lee Hall, who are in Letcher Manor for a while; my brother Jerry Hall called me.

Betty and Doyle Ison are doing OK. Betty is chomping at the bits waiting to sit on that beautiful boat dock of a deck. I think Betty and Doyle are about ready to go on vacation somewhere as they usually do in the summertime.

I had an unusual phone call from two sisters originally from Hot Spot (Premium), Peggy and Bea Frazier! Peggy wanted to know how old I am. I will be 63 May 27. Bea said she remembered me, that I was a little short fat girl. No, I wasn’t ever a little short fat girl, until now! I was very petite growing up. Besides that I didn’t stay very long with Mommy and Daddy (Clayton and Ora Hall) at Hot Spot. I left home at a very early age.

Bea had me mixed up with my sister, Loretta Hall Church. I knew very few people at Hot Spot. Bea is much older than I am. Peggy is a little older.

There are two special women who still live at Hot Spot, Susie Noble and her sister Cora Gilley, then Eula Ison. I remember Lora Patrick as being a very nice person. I will say one thing, if you are nasty to a young person it will never be forgotten.

While driving in my car listening to the radio I heard someone talking about corn shelling contest! I remember Mommy talking of going to a square dance at Lloyd and Nora Calihan’s. Sometimes they would shell a tub of corn before the dance, then there were times there would be bean stringings. How I loved to hear Mom talk of much simpler times when there wasn’t as much violence going on.

Oh Lord, what did I just write? Harlan and Breathitt counties were known for their killings; that is why they got the names of Bloody Harlan and Bloody Breathitt. At least it wasn’t bad on Big Branch and Paradise Valley (Paces Branch). That is unless you got someone riled up and then there was always trouble.

My little grandson is walking and into everything he can find. I am trying to talk Ann Calihan into relieving me a couple of hours each evening, as I know she needs her house rearranged! This little tyke can empty a drawer before you can turn around. As you get that one put back he has gone to another one.

I smacked the chair arm and said “no, no, no.” The little quirt picked my hand up and hit it on the chair arm and said “no, no, no” back to me. He is so smart that it is scary. I think each generation gets a little smarter. I will not let a bad word come out of my mouth when this baby is here. He will repeat anything he hears; it might not be the same instant, he remembers things.

Hello to young Devon Cornett on Ingrams Creek. If I come down to visit Richie and Wanda I wonder if you have a bicycle I can borrow to get around on. With gas being almost $4 a gallon I don’t think I will be going very much anywhere that I don’t have to go.

Lesa Turner sends her love to her mom, Genita Calihan, and says she has the digital photo frame ready for her mom. I had to have her explain what that was to me.

Charles Ratliff of Morristown, Tenn., sent me some pictures of Kingdom Come High School. Charles says some of the students in my freshman class pictures were juniors. I don’t understand why they would have been in the freshman homeroom class pictures if they were juniors. Charles is a retired law enforcement officer.

Here it is the middle of May and I have my furnace running. Is it ever going to get warm weather?

Well, folks, it is time to get this ready to go as the clock is giving me the evil eye once again.

Until next time: Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.


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