Hello everyone, how is everything in your corner of the world? I really hope everyone is being safe from this coronavirus at it seems to be elevating in every place. As we know, this coronavirus isn’t prejudiced and doesn’t discriminate as to whomever it attacks, or so it seems.
Of course there are some who think it is a joke. I really doubt the ones that have lost their loved ones find it very hilarious at all.
I must say I find it very annoying to have to make sure you wear a mask to do the simplest task. Although I guess it is better to wear a mask than to be sick or die! I am a prime candidate, as I have weak lungs, which leave me short of breath. I have lived with this for several years, along with other health issues.
This has slowed me down, hasn’t completely stopped me from going yet. The accident put quite a damper on my favorite activity, as anyone who knows me has heard me griping enough. I miss the simple pleasure of not being able to dance more than anything. I still have trouble bearing weight on my right ankle. It swells quite a bit.
At times I let my thoughts wander back to the time of spending my young years with my mother when we lived on the hill at Roxana. After Mom would get all chores done, sometimes she would take a little while to travel back in time to her childhood memories of life on Big Branch.
At about the age of 14 years old, Mother was handed the responsibility of raising her younger siblings, cooking, and keeping house, since her mother decided to walk off and leave her family to start a life with someone else. As Mom got older she would beg her dad, who was called Poppy, to let her go along with others to a square dance across the mountain to Lloyd and Nora Calihan’s on Paces Branch. After much pleading and promises, Poppy would finally give in.
Now you have to keep in mind this wasn’t a short walk across that mountainside then going back across in the wee hours of the morning, black as could be. Mommy said at times her uncle Raymond Hollins and someone else would get a piece of pine to make a torch so they would have a light to see by.
It is a miracle they didn’t set the mountains on fire. I get shivers just remembering Mommy talking, never seeming to be afraid of wild animals.
Mommy said she would no more get in bed when Poppy would be saying, “Now doggone it, get up. It’s time to start a fire, fix something to eat.” Then afterwards the day would begin, clean the house, do washing which meant carrying the water, hanging clothes on the line, then working in the garden in the summertime until it was time to cook supper, do the dishes, and then work in the garden until it was bed time.
Come time for the next square dance she would go again. Mommy never realized that she was instilling the love of music and dancing in me at such an early age.
Oh what am I saying? I can remember back to the age about three years old and Grandma Rosa Hall picking an old banjo, which had a groundhog hide, and a little blond head trying to dance.
My children like music, not to the extent that I do though. Of course they like different varieties than I do. My daughter Kay has a beautiful voice. Kay has been asked to sing before in places when her husband and she go out. She has always refused.
When my daughter Angie was younger she would sing karaoke quite a bit. Anna used to sing in school and at church when she was young.
Several years ago I was talking to someone who remembered my great grandparents, Will and Nance “Ma” Coots, who said that Ma would go to church, hear a song one time, and she would remember every word of it.
I can’t pick a lick of an instrument. I am not bragging, but I doubt if there are many musicians that can back me in a corner when it comes knowing the words to songs, unless it is something they have written themselves. Or the new progressive type bluegrass, as I don’t listen to it if I can keep from it. That includes country, and a lot of rock and roll also.
I can remember singing, “By the Singing Waterfall” when I was about five years old, and “You are my Flower” by Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family. That I take after Mom, as she would sing as she did her housework.
The Mountain Minor movie is scheduled to be seen on television sometime in December. As soon as I know of the dates and times I will let you know. There is a soundtrack of the Mountain Minor music ready, as a CD arty will be held Nov. 7 at Renfroe Valley. It really was such a disappointment when the coronavirus first started as so many appearances of the Mountain Minor were cancelled. The movie is still getting great reviews. Whoever was in charge at the Appalshop in Whitesburg sure made a mistake in not previewing this movie.
Johnny and Ann Calihan and family are doing about the same. I keep planning on taking Johnny and Ann for a ride, but they have such a busy schedule and time slips away.
Les and Pat Wagner are really wanting to head for the mountains to visit family and friends. With Pat’s health issues she is afraid to tackle the trip.
Well I have something that needs attention so this column may not be very interesting. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, OH 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.