By the time you read this column Christmas will almost be here! May each one take a few minutes in all the tinsel and celebrating to please remember what Christmas is all about. I am as guilty as anyone else to not take the time to remember the reason for this season, our dear Savior’s birth.
It is beginning to feel like Christmas in the Ohio Valley area, as the temperature has taken a plunge. We had our first little bit of snow, and needless to say, it was just enough to make the roads treacherous.
There were wrecks everywhere. I try to stay far enough back that if I slide I won’t hit into anyone, but there will be someone stupid riding my behind, and if it is dark they will have their blasted bright lights on so I have to adjust mirrors to keep from being blinded. No matter how fast you go it is never fast enough for the driver behind you, or so it seems.
The Christmas displays are really a sight to see, that is what I have been able to get out to see.
In the mobile home park where my friend, Vickie Power, lives is the most beautiful place I have seen in a long time to be a small area. The people who live there have not left a branch of a tree bare.
I finally decided to put a tree up. I may leave it up until Easter, since I got it put up so late. Christmas is not in my heart this year and when I don’t feel it, well nothing seems to matter.
I went to the Coon Hunters Club to listen to music, and oh was I pleased I did. Vickie was busy so I went alone. I was in for surprises, as I saw several people that I haven’t seen in a few years. I saw Ronnie Stewart and his son “Binks”. Ronnie Jr. used to have a band called Prime Time Bluegrass. Binks has a band called Blue and Lonesome and plays through the Tri-State area.
Noah and Bill Woolums are well known through the Tri-state area also. Bill played the dobro and other instruments. He has an award-winning smile.
The most enjoyable part of the evening was when I saw Red Spurlock and Noel Bowling. I knew I was in for a treat, as 12- year-old Evan Lanier had to be with them. Evan is getting so handsome and is such a talented musician. Evan Lanier & Bluegrass Express is quite a band. Those of you who have a computer, type in ‘Evan Lanier’ and see this amazing young man.
Bob Hamblin who plays mandolin played hooky and went to Florida. Alan McQueen played mandolin for the group. There’s always a group of musicians at the Coon Hunter’s Club to fill in. Gil Benson played the fiddle with another group and did one number with Evan Lanier and the group. Gil is one fine musician.
Red Spurlock and his wife Joyce are such nice people. Joyce plays bass for the band.
The club was so crowded there were people sitting on the dance space, which was OK because I wore gym shoes and didn’t feel like dancing anyway, except for a couple of times.
I really miss going to the Flatland Bluegrass Barn, as it is closed for the winter. It will open in April.
I have been forgetting something important. Gene Caudill, who is a down home mountain boy, now makes his home in the warm state of Florida, and he said merry Christmas and happy New Year to all of his friends and family back in the mountains. Gene is still having fresh fruit and vegetables, and I tell him I don’t want to hear about it. Sometimes I wish I lived where it was warmer, but I like the changing of the seasons.
Where my daughter Kay Gray has her house in Destin, Fla., it is in the Panhandles and it gets sort of cold there. Kay has their place up for sale. We were there in 2003 and it is a mansion of a place, and has 11 rooms.
I really don’t care for traveling far away from home, as I like to be in my own surroundings when it gets dark.
My sweet friend Willamae Boggs is feeling a little better. She had to have a pick line inserted in her arm so she can have a shot each day. Willamae said that Carl has learned to do this and is very efficient. Had she not chosen this method, she would have an extended stay in the hospital.
Hello to all of Willamae and Carl’s friends who read my column.
After all this time of writing the column for The Mountain Eagle, Willamae is amazed at my ability to write without formal training. I have to admit it gives me a glowing feeling to know someone enjoys what I write.
Willamae’s brother-inlaw Jesse Frazier spent a few days in Indiana with his daughter. They did some Christmas shopping, and I think Santa brought Jesse a new cell phone.
Gwen Huff Farmer will be having a knee replacement in the near future. I really hope this takes care of her pain, not only the pain of her leg but not being able to do the things she has always done is getting the best of Gwen.
Shirley Wells is doing well. The only thing that holds Shirley down is she can’t see to drive at night anymore, and she won’t drive long distances as it bothers her.
Several years ago while Mom and I were in my car, she asked me how I knew how to stay in the road and how did I know how to turn a curve. Please don’t laugh; sometimes when I am driving in my car alone it seems as if I can hear her ask this question.
For many years at Christmas time, I would be looking through a box or something and I would find a Christmas card, birthday card or letter from Mom, and for a few minutes it seemed she was with me once again!
My sister-in-law Wanda has been busy trying to get her Christmas shopping done. Richie is trying to stay in and keep warm.
I haven’t talked to my brother Jerry or Mattie Hall.
Happy birthday to my brother Wallace Lee Hall, Dec. 20, hello to him and his wife Georgia who are in Letcher Manor Nursing Home.
My daughter Anna Nottingham, along with her daughters Sarah, Jessica and Katelyn, and Vickie and I were supposed to go to see the Christmas lights, so I will have to let you know about that.
Hello to Bruce Jones and all the family. Alberta Bailey, I will try to reach you soon.
Frick and Frack, I told old Santa that you both were good little boys. By the way, Michael, my hands are cold. Do you think your wife would mind if you held my hand again? You know I love you guys and your family!
Polly Maucher, I hope to see you either at Old Time Fiddlers or Whitewater Center soon.
Betty and Doyle Ison are trying to stay warm and keep ahead of the flu that is hitting hard everywhere.
Emma Engle, I am very sorry you have broken your arm. I swear, you and I have to stop our drinking so we can stand up, or maybe we need a drink to make us more limber or something. Now I am joking!
May you have a fast recovery, and you and Red have as good as a Christmas as possible!
My son Keith Ballard is in the hospital, so this column has been abruptly stopped. I hope it is all put together.
Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means you are two steps ahead.
Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@ aol.com, telephone, (513) 367-4682.