Whitesburg KY

Clarence Halcomb is turning 93

Hello once again everyone.

It is officially fall, so shake hands with Mr. Winter as it will be here before we can turn around or say Jack Sprat! As I said before, we may as well just enjoy whatever kind of weather we get as there’s nothing we can do about it. I just hate cold, cold weather as I don’t seem to ever be warm from beginning to end.

I’ve already pulled my electric blanket out and have used my electric fireplace a few times.

The Letcher County Picnic is now just a memory. The weather was sort of dreary with a small bit of rain, and the air was more chilly than crisp. We had a smaller crowd, but that didn’t mean we didn’t have enough food to feed a small army.

Those who were determined to brave the weather were: Hayward, Vivian and Kim Day; Shelby Bockover and her son Bobby Bockover Jr.; Johnny and Ann Calihan; Don and Betty Back; Polly Ann Maucher; Berma Matthews and her brother Olan Whitaker; Robert Bryant; Clarence and Arlyn Halcomb, and their son Scott and his wife Jan Halcomb; Jeff and Dottie Collins; Green Calihan and Jennifer Collins; and I almost forgot —me.

I really appreciate Berma Matthews for driving so far to take part in this event. She spent the night with her brother Olan who lives in Waynesville, then came here.

The crowd was small but I will tell you there was food galore. Polly said we are becoming modern day cooks as there was not a kettle of green beans nor soup beans.

It was a pleasure to meet Jennifer Collins and her sister-in-law Dottie, and wonderful to see everyone again.

In previous years I have forgotten a special occasion, so I want to say happy birthday to Ann Calihan, on Oct. 7, and to Clarence Halcomb on Oct. 8. We enjoyed a cake celebrating the birthday of these two.

I want to focus just a little on Clarence Halcomb as he was the oldest person there. Clarence will be 93 years young at his upcoming birthday.

Clarence says he eats well and sleeps well, and he is in good health except problems with his vision and he is wearing hearing aids.

Clarence is from Linefork and attended school at Kingdom Come. If I am not mistaken, Clarence and some other students helped build some of Kingdom Come School.

Clarence was fortunate enough to attend Caney College for two years, then his dad became ill so Clarence dropped out of school to become the man of the house. He got a job in a sawmill making $2.20 a day. I believe he did fine a job later, making a little more.

Then one day Clarence received a letter from a friend of his in Charlestown,

Ind., and all the letter said was, “Come here, come here! This is the land of milk and honey!” Southern Ohio

Clarence hitchhiked from Linefork to Charlestown in one day. He got a job making $30 a week, and managed each week to send a $20 bill to his mother. Clarence came from a large family. I believe he said there were 12 in his family.

Clarence and his wife, Arlyn Jean, who is a retired schoolteacher and a beautiful lady, have made their home in Hamilton, Oh., for several years. He is a retired carpenter and had built several houses until his vision problems. He was active in woodworking.

Clarence said to tell everyone he enjoyed Letcher County Day immensely and hopes to see everyone next year.

I feel as if my life has been enriched by meeting these two people and being made welcome in their home at different times. Thanks to their son Scott and Jan for bringing them to this little event.

We really missed Doyle and Betty Ison this year. With Doyle having openheart surgery, it wasn’t possible for them to make it. I just found out Doyle spent several days in the hospital again. It seems as if I have became a fair weather friend as I neglected to call about them.

Thelma, Lavone and Ben Halcomb couldn’t make it as they have no transportation since a car accident several months ago.

Johnny and Ann Calihan’s daughter Carol and her husband Jack Dieckman went to Niagara Falls on Crosswell. Carol said it was a great trip. When they arrived in Harrison, the bus stopped at McDonald’s to let some people off. They went in to get something to drink and found that Carol’s niece, Angelica, was working there, and was so shocked to see them.

Angelica went home and told her mom, Theresa, there was a bus with old people who came in and then she saw Uncle Jack and Aunt Carol! Carol’s mother Ann and her daughter Theresa have laughed their heads off! Jack said anyone older than her is very old!

Belated happy birthday wishes to Joy Watts, who celebrated her birthday with her family. Joy is Juanita Hensley and Wanda Lene Watts Whitehead’s mother. Wanda has a twin, and I am sorry I do not know her name.

Sunday I decided I wasn’t going anywhere so at almost 1 p.m. I was being lazy and still in my good heavy nightgown. I was fooling with the computer when I saw the Larry Gillis Band was appearing at the Richwood Opry. I called Gary Strong to see how much it would cost on Sunday and within 15 minutes I was dressed and out the door.

Thanks to Berma Matthews for bringing sweatshirts for Blackey Days. I bought one and it was lying on the couch.

I have listened to the Larry Gillis Band for some time and they are a great band. The only thing I can say is that it is a good thing there wasn’t anyone to dance with because even on my best day, I don’t think my feet would keep up with his fast picking.

The Larry Gillis Band has recently played in California and they were at Bill Monroe’s Uncle Pen Bluegrass Festival at Bean Blossom, Ind. over the weekend.

Alex Leach plays guitar and sings with the band, and hosts a radio station on WDVX on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m.

Alex picks occasionally with Larry Efaw and the Bluegrass Mountaineers from Akron. Bluegrass Mountaineers have a huge schedule. I really like this band as they play good traditional bluegrass. Larry Efaw comes from a family of musicians, and his son, Stanley Efaw, is a great musician and not only plays in the family band, he also has picked with several well known artists.

Larry Efaw is not only a great musician he is a very nice person, but if he should ever read this I may deny I said that as I love to give him a rough way to go.

My brother Richie and Wanda Hall have a special little guy celebrating a birthday Oct. 3. Their grandson Blayke (Poppy’s boy) will be three years old. Blayke is the son of Donald and Tina Bates.

Richie and Wanda went to a pig roast up the road from them, and Barb and Rick Jones were there and so was Bertha Turner and lots of others. A good time was had by all.

Gwen Huff Farmer is very pleased as her daughter Lisa will be coming for a visit soon. Gwen is always so pleased when her family gets to come home as they live far away.

Hello to Gwen’s son Glen Jr. I am glad you are improving from your surgery.

I received a phone call from Linda Pennington Hall’s cousin who lives in Sylmar, Calif., saying she remembered the accident that happened on Pine Mountain about 55 years or more ago. I am sorry I wrote her name down and have misplaced my notes. I think that old age disease is catching up with me. I really enjoyed her phone call so I hope I find the notes I made.

I found it rather ironic that Linda had called me just a little before and I wasn’t home so I called her back. Linda said she really enjoyed my column. Linda says it is like sitting and talking with me when she reads my column. I am sorry, Linda, but at this time I am broke so I can’t pay you for your beautiful compliments.

Oma Hatton, I always look forward to reading your column, along with all the other writers in The Mountain Eagle.

Emma Engle, if I could send you a few of my extra pounds of fat through the mail, you better believe I would gladly share as you are losing weight. I would love to see you again.

Wednesday night I kept my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold while my daughter Angie worked. All of a sudden I heard Bennie let out a scream, and of course I ran to see what was wrong. I asked what happened he said, “Mamaw, I am scared, there’s something in the kitchen.” Then the next instant he says, “Oh, it is just me, I am getting bigger.”

Bennie had seen his own shadow!

While Bennie was here he decided he wanted me to look for something called ET on the computer. I told him I didn’t know if ET was on there, but Bennie said all I had to do was type in www.watchET.com.’ Well there isn’t anything under that, but I did find several sites for ET. Bennie jumped up and down and pointed to the letters ET and said, “There it is, Mamaw, I told you there it is.” How he knows the alphabet of ET is beyond me.

I believe it would have been cheaper for me to pay the baby-sitter as I took him to Walmart to buy Spooky Buddies.

This child is so thin that Angie has to take a tuck in his size four pants. He is still a very finicky eater.

Thanks to all who helped make Letcher County Day a success.

Hello to my sister Loretta Church and everyone at Letcher Manor Nursing Home, and hello to my brother Jerry and Mattie Hall.

I still have few copies of my book, ‘The Beauty of A Rose’ available, if anyone is interested.

Well, thanks for this visit, and I will be back next week.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road Harrison, Ohio 45030 email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, telephone: 513-367-4682.

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