Whitesburg KY
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COVID has led people to develop new hobbies

Southern Ohio

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. Time doesn’t wait for anyone as the months just keep marching on.

As I start this column it is with an aching heart. It seems the last few weeks there’s been so much pain and destruction from weather related elements. Things of Mother Nature, that humans have no way of stopping.

There are a few things that scientist haven’t found; a way of controlling, Sun, Moon, snow, and rain. With rain comes flooding, even with flood gates it doesn’t completely stop the force of the raging water.

While observing the damage on television, and seeing on the computer the damage that has been done to eastern Kentucky is absolutely heart wrenching.

It really bothers me when flooding and such disasters happen in other states but when it comes to the mountains I call home, the pain goes to the core of my being.

By the grace of God and the advice from my son Keith Ballard, I was adverted from being somewhere in this flood.

Since the snow has disappeared my feet have been overruling my brain, as the longing just to head back to breathe the mountain air, and to place my feet on the mountain soil.

One morning I said to Keith that I was going to call about a reservation and head for the mountains. Keith replied that maybe with the prediction of heavy rain that I should wait.

To be honest, with my sugar level dropping rather frequently, I really wasn’t feeling all that good, but me feeling bad has never stopped me. This is one time that I am thankful I listened to Keith and my body.

Last week I forgot to mention something ironic that happened. Delana Banks, who has the Delana’s Shop on Hwy. 7, sent me a message inquiring did I have a book published. I replied, “Yes.”

Delana sent me a picture in private message of my book. Of course I have an inquisitive mind, so I asked Delana where she seen that.

Somehow Delana was looking at something from a Bethany Christian School page, located between Campton and Jackson, with an advertisement of ‘The Beauty of a Rose,’ by Rose Ballard.

Along with the post was a telephone number so of course I called and talked to the owner, Candice, who said she wasn’t familiar with it, she would ask her employee and get back with me.

I replied that I was just curious, as I had an accident in Jackson in 2019, and I had some items that were stolen when my car was towed. If the book was one that I sold, it would have a name in the book. If it wasn’t signed, then I would know it was more than likely had been in my car.

During the conversation with Candice, I remarked that it could be someone had passed away, so the family member decided to donate, or maybe someone may have read and decided to donate. It wasn’t a big deal, that I was just curious.

The following day, I received a phone call from Candice. Her employee remembered my book as it was poetry, and a man had come in the store and purchased it.

What is so ironic, the employee knew who had brought my book among other things in for donation. As soon as I heard the name Mildred, I started laughing and replied that I knew exactly who the book was sent to.

Austin Rogers was a retired policeman in Jackson, who was a counselor, even during declining health problems. Austin and I became Facebook friends, as Mildred and Ann Calihan are related.

Although Austin and I had never met in person, he and I were in constant contact by computer message. I dearly grew to love him. (I did not say in love.) Actually Austin messaged me, just a few hours before he passed 2013.

After I found out the information about my book I called Mildred, teasing her about information the book making rounds from the mountains of eastern Kentucky, to Ohio and back to Kentucky.

Mildred had kept my book until a couple of weeks ago. While downsizing Mildred decided to donate to the thrift store. She said Austin had read my book several times and she had read it and so had her family, so she decided to donate so someone else could enjoy.

By the cover of ‘ The Beauty of a Rose’, there was proof of it being read, as you could see along the edge of the cover. I must admit, it really gave me pleasure. I may not be able to travel, but ‘The Beauty of a Rose’ has sure made its way, even to Sweden.

Sunday was Old Time Fiddlers meeting. Warren and Judy Waldron, who are members of O.T.F. and who also performed in Mountain

Minor movie, are close friends of mine and gave me some information which really sparked my interest.

Lots of people have picked up new hobbies, passions during the coronavirus pandemic – knitting, baking bread, etc. In Kentucky, Bradford Harris, from Harlan, a 20-year-old punk musician, turned to the banjo. That led to a search for a 97-year-old banjo maker, Al Cornett.

Bradford Harris has been playing in all kids of punk rocker bands then started getting interested in the banjo as he found one in storage then traced the owner to Al Cornett. Harris said learning to play old time music was a surprise to him, and he is really enjoying it. Meeting 97-year-old Al Cornett was wonderful.

Have you had your coronavirus vaccine yet? I had my first one, and so far it hasn’t seemed to bother me. OK, everyone needs a laugh. I don’t know if it was the vaccine or my sugar dropped during the 15-minute wait, when I started feeling nausea I put a piece of hard candy in my mouth. When I finally found my way outside, the door, I turned left instead of right to go to my car, which was the wrong parking lot.

Guess who had a real nice walk as I walked the full length of building then up to my little red Honda. It was a blacktop street behind the building. Thank God I had the Hurricane, first time using it. I walked slow and to be honest enjoyed the walk.

I will add one more thing. I wish they made plastic pants for adults like they used to for babies, as by the time I got home it is a good thing I wasn’t like the little Piggy who said, “Wee, wee, wee,” all the way home. I was glad to get to the bathroom.

Hello to Mike and Marcia Caudill. I hope the mud isn’t too bad with the snow gone and the rain.

I finally got to have a good conversation with Les and Pat Wagner. Pat is still having health issues. I hope she gets to feeling better.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are still well, thank God. Johnny has sure come a long way. Their daughters Carol Dieckman and Sue Wagner are both having health issues .

My daughter Kay Gray finally found her way back home from Destin, Fla. I am going to ground her.

I spent a couple of hours with my daughter Anna Nottingham and Kyle.

Until next time.

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