Whitesburg KY
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Education, honesty, backbone are all important

Southern Ohio


Happy New Year and hello, everyone!

How is the new year treating you so far? With me, it seems just a continuation of the old. I just realized I made out a bank deposit statement yesterday and put 2007 on it. I don’t think the teller even caught it either.

Just so I didn’t make a mistake in counting is all I care about.

I jokingly say there are saner people in mental institutions than me. If I had to see a doctor, then the doctor himself would be seeking help! Oh well the word normal could never be used in describing me!

My daughter, Angie Wiederhold, used my computer pertaining to her work as a nurse. I had to laugh as she sat fussing about using a computer. She said she would rather just do hands on and leave this stuff alone.

One day when I stopped to pick up Bennie, Angie was at her computer fussing up a storm. She couldn’t figure out how to make the screen larger or make a small window disappear. I showed her how by clicking on an X. Angie laughed and said, “Mom, I never thought of that”, and last night Angie told me how smart I was.

Now I will tell you this compliment coming from her pleased me very much. I know through my lack of formal education I instilled the importance of book learning to my children. Yes, we can go through life and make a good living without college, as so many have done down through the years. However, education is so important. Honesty is as important, backbone is very important too. The desire to want to do!

I still think there’s too much free stuff in this world. It is fine when you need it, that is fine and dandy. But to just get all you can whether you need it or not is something else, and begging people to me is a no-no. Now come summer and garden season, I may change my mind about that statement.

I want to tell you something that will make you laugh. This story is true and I won’t use any name but mine as I wouldn’t want to upset anyone.

Years ago my grandma, Rosa Hall, wanted some cucumbers and no one wouldn’t give or sell her any! I was running around with a boy from Marlowe, and he said his uncle had lots of cucumbers, so one night we sneaked into his garden with a bucket. Remember, it is dark. We pulled off the biggest cucumbers we could find. When we got to Granny’s we had yellow cucumbers. We never tried that trick again!

Did I say something about honesty?

I was never in any bad trouble as a kid, though I have been mischievous before. A girlfriend and I did something one night. We were out with a couple of boys and didn’t have much gas. We were someplace called Camp Branch, a country road. We pretended we were out of gas and someone came along and got a hose and a can out of their car and gave us some gas since they thought it was just two girls out alone. We had the boys to hide in the car. We did this a couple of times and got enough gas to run around on.

I am proud of who I am today, not of some things I did. I will say I have tried very hard to raise my children to the best of my ability. Now if I could have instilled the love of bluegrass music in them. They love music, just not my type!

I had the pleasure of corresponding with Elaine Crase, who is Ted Crase’s daughter and the granddaughter of the late Riley and Sally Crase of Roxana. She is the niece of Carl Crase, who lives in Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Elaine now calls Somerset home. She reads The Mountain Eagle and enjoys my column. She knew my mother, Ora Hall, and my aunt, Tena.

Elaine attended Mill Branch School about three years and attended under Anna Stewart in the first grade. She was in the same grade with Shirley June Whitaker, Jo Wanda Davis, and Mary Grace Caudill.

Sadie Ison, Merlene and Phyllis Whitaker, etc., were in the upper room when Elaine went to school at Mill Branch. She said there were quite a few kids who went to Mill Branch then. Elaine also attended Upper Blackey and Upper Cowan School, then back to Mill Branch as both her parents, Ted and Ida Crase, were teachers.

One of my anonymous friends would like to know if anyone remembers a girl named Joyce Hampton from Mill Branch.

Thanks to a distant cousin, Boyd Coots of the Harlan area, for responding to my inquiry of the tavern under the cliff or in a cave around Cumberland. I tried to find something on the computer and couldn’t pull up anything pertaining to a bar or tavern, however I did find a lot of interesting information about the State of Kentucky.

I called to check on Gwen Huff Farmer as tornadoes hit through some parts of Illinois. I am glad to say she was fine.

Belated happy birthday to Gwen’s brother, James Wayon Huff on January 12, and happy birthday to Wendell Huff January 18. Waylon and Wendell both live in Indiana.

My three granddaughters, Sarah, Jessica and Katelyn Nottingham, along with my great-granddaughter, Samantha Gray, spent Saturday night with me. About 12 o’clock I had to separate them since none of them would go to sleep. They really enjoy spending time together at my house. Sunday afternoon all three girls helped me set up tables and chairs for our monthly meeting at Old Time Fiddlers at Miamitown, Ohio.

My daughter, Anna Nottingham, said I couldn’t do everything I had to do and handle the girls. She should have seen those three girls helping me.

It seems I completely forgot that my great-grandbaby, T.J. Proctor, was a year old Jan. 2. T.J. was born on my sister, Loretta Church’s, birthday.

My grandson, little Bennie, will be a year old Jan. 31. He hasn’t eating his baby food so I made a kettle of potato soup and gave him some. He loved it. That was his first table food.

I am never more happy than when I am with my grandchildren unless I am at a bluegrass festival in the warm sunshine, wind blowing through my hair and good old-fashioned bluegrass music. I am ready for bluegrass festivals to begin!

My son-in-law, Scott Nottingham, is always teasing me for being a hillbilly. He should have seen his three daughters, Sarah, Jessica, and Katelyn, doing the old hoe-down dance at Old Time Fiddlers.

I was telling nine-year-old Sarah of the way children had of having fun while I was growing up in the mountains. I told her of the game Ante-Over where you throw the ball across a building, Red Rover and several others.

I was telling Shirley Wells of this. Shirley told me her grandson Tyler who was about three years old at the time she bought a small bag of marbles for him at Cracker Barrel. When they got home Shirley taught him how to shoot marbles. Tyler still has that little bag of marbles.

I started laughing because I still have a jar of marbles with the dirt in it that belonged to my son, Keith Ballard.

I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my little tidbit last week I inserted in my column, although from what I understand I sure caused a few people to laugh quite a bit.

I had several calls saying they really enjoyed “If My Body Was a Car!.” Sometimes we all need a laugh!

My brother, Richie Hall, is still under the weather with that old flu bug or something that bit him. I have tried to get him to go to the doctor, but he is like his oldest sister (me). Richie was telling me things and places, like Paw-Paw Holler I had almost forgotten about. Wanda works so much I don’t get to talk to her too much. In a couple of months I plan to head once again for the mountains when it isn’t too bad to drive.

Johnny and Ann Calihan and their family are doing okay. I think I am going to send little Bennie her way.

It seems a couple of Christmas cards came back since I made a mistake on the addresses, Levine Jones, one was to you! Hello to Levine and Bruce Jones and all their families.

Polly Ann Maucher sends a big hello to all her family in the mountains and scattered throughout.

My granddaughter, Jodi Gray, is back at Ohio University. We didn’t make the trip to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo as the weather turned nasty.

My granddaughter, Jennifer, is in college again. She is struggling with working and school.

We have been having storms in this area so once again I am rushed to get this to the Eagle, and that old clock is giving me the mean eye!

So until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com. (513) 367-4682.


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