Happy Halloween everyone!
Fall is definitely here. Without ever looking at a calendar you can smell it in the air, almost feel it and see it all around you as the trees are taking on their beautiful autumn colors.
There are pictures of three feet of more snow in South Dakota. I sure hope it stays there all winter and doesn’t come to visit in this area.
Saturday, I spent the day at Versailles Bluegrass Festival. I am really glad that I decided to go, as this will be the last time for this event! This bluegrass festival has been in existence for 25 years at Versailles State Park. It will be moved to Friendship, Ind. At least it isn’t being dropped.
A woman was saying how beautiful Friendship, Ind., is. There’s only one place that I can compare to Versailles, that I have ever been to in all my years of attending festivals. It is New Albany, Ind., which I attended twice. It is beautiful with the Ohio River in the background. I almost forgot about Madison, Ind.; it is also on the river.
I love the setting of the Osborne Brothers in Hyden, as you are surrounding by the mountains and the blue skies. Happy Valley Bluegrass festival setting is so relaxing as once again the hillside reminds you of the mountains of home.
Versailles State Park has it all as the stage sits close to the lake with the wild geese, ducks and whatever the beautiful fall foliage is at the glance of an eye away.
To sit and enjoy the music and have all this beauty around you was just a wonderful pleasure.
Saturday was a beautiful day with rain in the forecast, and as I was getting ready to leave a few sprinkles decided to fall. I knew there was a big tent so I went anyway.
There’s usually a board for dancing, but someone decided not to put this out for some reason. I guess they thought no one was crazy enough to dance if it rained! Some guy couldn’t sit still any longer and hit the wet grass dancing by himself. Let’s just say he wasn’t dancing alone for long.
As I changed from my gym shoes to my dress flats, I found I made a mistake and picked my heels up so I tried dancing in my gym shoes, but no way Hosea. I tried socks and to no avail, so off came socks and shoes and I danced barefoot in the wet grass with my pants rolled to my knees.
All of a sudden a friend that I haven’t seen in several years came from the crowd and joined us. I was in such splendor of glory for a little while.
When I removed my socks and shoes, the crowd started laughing, so I touched the hem of my shirt like I was going to do a strip show and that really made everyone laugh.
Rural Route 2 Bluegrass Band was great as usual. I was a little disappointed Gary Eldridge didn’t do his song ‘Distant Town.’
There’s something about the words, even though it is song about Ireland. The words make me think of a young girl who came to Indiana from the distant town of the mountains of eastern Kentucky.
Art Peters does the sound, and he and his wife Joan had extended an invitation to me to stay with them since they have a motor home, but I am so restless I don’t want to stay with anyone.
Sunday the weather was predicted for rain and more rain, plus turning cold all day!
Now who wants to go to a bluegrass festival and sit in a monsoon? I woke up about three and it was pouring at my house, so I stayed up until almost daylight. It was still raining as I proceeded to go back to bed.
It was almost nine when I awoke and the rain had slowed to a drizzle.
My feet took over once again, and I was dressed in a few minutes, and out the door. Actually I turned around three different times and still made it to the festival.
The first band was Lost Mill String Band, and in my confusion I hadn’t connected the name of the band with the performers. Jerry and Joan Paul are a husband and wife team and live in the Gatlinburg, area. I really love these two. Bob Bentley from Rural Route 2 played the fiddle for them. I would have been so disappointed had I let a little rain keep me home.
James White and Deer Creek is another group that I am very fond of. James will come off of the stage and dance, and when his wife Bertha isn’t with him and I am in the crowd, James knows I will gladly dance at the crook of his finger.
As the music played even though there was no dance board, James announced he had danced for several years and he was going to dance at the final.
All at once I walked towards the stage, and motioned for James to come off the stage. By the time he got around the front, my shoes and socks were off and once again I danced in the very wet grass barefoot.
If there’s an award for being crazy, I probably would win it.
Just as I was putting my shoes and socks on a lady came to tell me to leave them and dance with her, which I did.
I had a woman come to me Saturday and she said she remembered me from the Madison, Ind. festival this summer.
Sunday, another woman came to tell me how she always enjoyed watching me dance at Georgetown Bluegrass Festival in Georgetown. They also remember seeing a guy called Long Legs dance. His first name is David.
Her husband said Rural Route 2 Bluegrass Band was formed in their garage over 25 years ago.
I miss Gwen Huff Farmer so much that it has been difficult to concentrate on trying to enjoy even the smallest pleasures, along with some personal things.
Music and being able to just dance a little is like therapy to me. None of us knows when the final curtain is going to be closed.
My last column I didn’t say a lot about the Letcher County Picnic. I really want to apologize again to Forester Hogg for not having the common sense to properly introduce him and let him give a little presentation about the book ‘Roxana,’ which is a very good.
I also owe Gary Eldridge an apology, as I wanted everyone to know about RR2 latest CD, ‘Silver Medals and Sweet Memories,’ which is really great. I have two copies, one stays in my car and one in the house.
Belated happy birthday wishes to Berma Matthews and Ann Calihan on Oct. 7. Your birthday cards are in my bag.
A very special happy birthday to Clarence Halcomb on Oct. 8. I regret so bad that I didn’t call to remind someone to bring Clarence. I did try to call his home and no one answered.
Letcher County Picnic was not the same without Ann Calihan, Hayward Day and his daughter Kim. I often say she looks so much like her mother, right Kim?
Then of course the deaths of Vivian Day, Bill Proffitt, Eveeda Ison, and Arlyn Halcomb, all who were so faithful to come. It really leaves a void.
Hayward, Vivian and Kim were my first three to come to the Letcher County Picnic when I first started this event.
I forgot it was Johnny Calihan as he came to help put the signs up, plus Ann sent him with a broom to help clean the shelter.
If God is willing we will meet again the last weekend of next September.
If anything should happen that I take my final voyage and have finally quit dancing, please someone keep this little event going. If a golden leaf should fall just say that must be Rose checking in.
Ann Calihan is improving with her broken leg, with the help of a rod that runs from her hip to her knee.
Betty Ison has to take it easy for a little while as she is recuperating from a recent knee replacement.
Please keep Austin and Mildred Rogers of Jackson in your prayers as they are both going through bad health problems.
Blackey Days are rapidly approaching and I still don’t know if I will make it or not. I am sure it can survive without me, only thing is, I will surely miss it.
Old Time Fiddlers has a new location and date. It will be held at Whitewater Senior Center, Dry Fork Rd., in Cleves on the second Sunday of each month at 1:30 p.m.
I hope everyone has a safe Halloween.
Belated happy anniversary wishes to my brother Jerry and Mattie Hall on Oct 5. They have been married 28 years. Jerry still isn’t over his surgery nor pneumonia; he has to have oxygen.
Hello to my sister-in-law Wanda Hall. I hope she is doing all right. I don’t hear much from her.
I bet Les and Pat Wagner, along with Larry, Becky, Polly Hasty along with my beautiful Kelly are missing me, or could it be that I am missing them
James D. Wagner, are you over the shock after meeting this hillbilly? Wayne and Lettie Jane Blair, I hope to see you at Connersville in a few weeks.
Thursday night I listened to WMMT via the computer, Sunrise Ridge Bluegrass Band did an outstanding show. I finally had to get out of my chair and danced in my living room. I am so proud of this band.
Jack Adams, I couldn’t love you more should you be my own kid. They opened for Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley
Hello Jack and Jackie Salyers, it was nice meeting you.
Well this is about all for now.
Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, telephone: 513- 367-4682.