Whitesburg KY
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Calihans attend niece’s wedding



Hello everyone!

Are you enjoying this prelude to winter? Here I go griping. Fall is such a beautiful time of year, with the changing of the season as God and nature put on the vibrant orange, red and golden colors for all who are blessed with vision to see.

I don’t like the cold rain. Now give me a summer rain and that is an entirely different story.

The trees on the hill across from my house were beautiful for a few days, but with the wind and rain the last couple of days have lost the vibrant hue.

This year has passed so quickly one that I can say without my usual bluegrass festivals I am very glad I did go to Hillbilly Days at Pikeville although I was so weak I could hardly walk. Same with Appalachian Days at Old Coney. I volunteered for three days without anyone knowing how sick I was, then Aug. 2, I attended the festival at Roxana on the mountain.

Southern Ohio

I knew I was facing surgery Aug. 7, knowing I might not come through. I wouldn’t tell anyone my fears, not even my children.

Friday night was Wool Festival at Falmouth, and Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers were playing. It was raining and very cold, so I was afraid to try to go.

Saturday was Friendship Bluegrass, which was in Versailles, and Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers were appearing there. I planned to go, but with the cold and rain, I am afraid to try it.

I have attended Versailles when it was so cold that I’ve had to wrap up in two covers, and wear a coat, but I still enjoyed every minute. I’ve seen it snow and the bands kept playing.

Versailles Park is one of the most beautiful settings for a festival, although I’ve found beauty in every place I’ve gone. If there are an open space, blue skies, trees, the sun shining, and a breeze caressing your face and music, how could I not enjoy? So I decided to stay home as I was afraid of getting pneumonia again.

Johnny and Ann Calihan, along with several family members, attended Ann’s niece’s wedding, a daughter of Ann’s late sister Evade and and Lafe Marcum from West Virginia. The wedding was held either in Morehead or Lexington area, and this is one time I am afraid to mention a name as my brain has been going on vacation and leaving my body behind.

It was an outdoor event with lots of family and friends, and everyone really had a great yet sad time because of the loss of the bride’s parents. Ann was sort of a substitute. This is a close family.

Johnny came home with their daughter Carol, while Ann stayed behind with her daughter Sue Wagner. Now I know there was fun and more fun with those two together.

Each time I go to see Johnny and Ann I think it will be for a few minutes then time slips away as Ann and I take our journey back to the mountains in our memories.

When I was young I would walk up Tolson Creek to Curt and Oma Brown’s, and spend the night with Brenda and Betty Brown. Oh, how I loved going there. Sometimes Oma would let us make candy.

Once in a while a bunch would get together to build a bonfire and play spin the bottle. I remember one young boy used Ivory soap, and I hate that smell to this day.

I couldn’t take girls home with me on the weekend because Daddy would drink, and I didn’t want any one to see that.

I remember Ann’s grandmother, Aunt Mary Caudill, being in her yard, and there still remains some of J.C. Burke’s store.

When I was that young walking on that road, I never dreamed later in years my parents and siblings would have a final resting place high on the mountain beside our great-grandparents.

Ann said she would like to go back once again to see the places where she grew up and look at things. I told her if I knew for sure if I was going to Blackey Days that I would take her with me. The only thing is, I will be staying for a couple of nights.

I find it ironic there are so many of us who long to walk again where our footsteps have taken us as a child, while there are a few who left those mountains, and have no thoughts of missing it, and no desire of going back.

Monday evening, Tony Hale and Black Water did a great show at Hunter’s Pizzeria. This is the first time I have been there for such a long time. Les and Pat Wagner saved a seat for me, and since I was late, it was a good thing they saved a place.

I can be feeling like I am almost past going, but where there’s music, I seem to get perked up.

It was wonderful to be able to simply be out and about again, and thanks to Tony Hale for not having me evicted.

Les and Pat had plans to go to the mountains for Mountain Heritage, but Pat got a horrific ear infection so she wasn’t able to go anywhere.

I can relate to an ear infection as I know how painful that is. How many have heard of using a small bit of warm pee in your ears to cure an earache? Yes, Mom let me urinate in a container, and pour a drop in my ear.

Mom also blew her cigarette smoke in my ear, then put a warm rag against my ear. Finally someone told Mom about warming sweet oil, then putting a drop in with cotton.

I don’t ever remember any children around Roxana being taken to a doctor as parents seemed to know what to do. If moms didn’t have a remedy there were always grandparents or someone older who knew old-time remedies or poultices.

I’ve heard what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Some of those poultices sure must have made me stronger as they sure would almost kill you.

When we had a cold or croup, Mom mixed coal oil (kerosene) turpentine and lard, then bathed your chest with it and put a flannel rag on top to keep it from getting on your clothes.

Did you ever take a cough remedy called Glesco, a thick, yucky, awful tasting cold remedy?

The Blackey Days event will be Oct. 9 and 10, and I am still not sure if I will make it in for this one. My brain says go, but body says I don’t know.

For so many years I didn’t attend, now I want to go every year. There are several I know who are going this year that I want to meet.

I received a call from William Breeding who lives in Florida. I met William’s brother and two others who traveled from Florida to Blackey to attend this event two years ago. The guys aren’t able to make it this year.

Doyle and Betty Ison, I hope to see you two before too long.

I wanted to swing by to see Betty Kelly when I was at Hunter’s Pizzeria but I was running late on the way, then felt it was too late afterward. I know once I got there it would be midnight before I left.

Richard Caudill, if you keep teasing about eating Krispy Krème donuts, plus that delicious candy Marcia brought you from Ireland, when I come home, I am going to Halcomb’s and get a huge cone of custard. I’ll eat every bite, and make sure you watch me.

That is a lie, as I can’t eat in front of anyone. I would have to share with you as long as you eat on one side and leave my part alone.

Mike and Marcia Caudill, I hope you had a wonderful trip.

Well, I am once again running late, so I will close for now.



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