Whitesburg KY
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Festival presents Appalachian music, culture

Southern Ohio


Howdy everyone! I hope everyone had a delightful Mother’s Day and all you mothers and grandmothers received a special gift of kindness. Mother’s Day is sort of a sad time for me if I linger on my thoughts too much, however I know I am not the only one that feels the sorrow of losing a parent.

Thanks to my children for the beautiful flowers and cards, and a special thanks to my son, Keith Ballard, for planting them for me.

I spent two days at the Appalachian Festival at Old Coney Island. This is my Mother’s Day present to me each year if there’s any possible way for me to go. Yes, my children understand, this has been my choice for a number of years. I love the music and reliving the culture of the mountains.

I am acquainted with several of the bands that perform there, Comet All Stars and Ma Crow. Elaine Doyle is a friend of mine. Ma Crow & The Flock have been around Cincinnati area for years, and they really did a great show.

A band called Newfound Road was the featured artist one day. They performed at Appalshop a few weeks ago.

Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwartz are favorites of mine, they will be performing at Seedtime on the Cumberland in June! I wish it was possible I would be attending this event too. Ginny and Tracy live in West Virginia. Ginny has one of the sweetest and clearest voices that you will ever hear. I met this woman a few years ago at the Appalachian Festival as she and Hazel Dickens, another wonderful mountain singer, were giving a workshop.

Judy and Warren Waldron, who are Old Time Fiddlers members, performed in several different bands. These two are multitalented musicians, and I am glad to call them friends. Judy and I danced a couple of dances. I had clunky comfortable gym shoes on and couldn’t move, and Judy had flats with rubber soles so she couldn’t move either.

When I go to the Appalachian Festival I dress for comfort and most of the time warmth, as it can turn chilly and sometimes rainy. I carry a blanket in my car in case it gets really cold.

I bought something at the festival I wish I had gotten two packages of. I got a pack of cracklings, and as I was driving I thought of the joke about people coming from the mountains to Hamilton. It was said you could follow them by the bologna rinds, well you know what you might have found your way by the crackling rinds as I drove down the road.

My heart goes out to all the families in eastern Kentucky that have lost so much due to the flooding and tornadoes!

I read in the paper where there was looting in Madison County. How can anyone stoop so low to steal from people that have already lost their homes?

My sister, Loretta Church, is back at Letcher Manor Nursing Home.

My friend, Vickie Powe,r along with her daughter, Tina Ledford, and Tina’s two daughters, Samantha and Katie, spent Mother’s Day at the Cincinnati Zoo, then went out to eat. Vickie’s grandson, Kyle Ledford, is spending six weeks in England as part of his schooling. He is graduating from college.

Happy birthday to my brother, Richie Hall, on May 26. I had better not give his age as he may hit me. Richie seems more like my kid than my brother, as he was born the day before my 11th birthday. I carried him around like he was a doll baby. I changed his diaper and was like a cat carrying a kitten around. I was already away from home when my brother, Robert, was born.

Wanda Hall has her daughter, Crystal Caudill, staying with her for a short visit. It was nice seeing Crystal again, she is a very pretty girl.

My brother, Jerry, and Mattie Hall are both doing all right. Jerry doesn’t get out as much as he used to as he is sort of unsteady on his feet. He said they had fresh lettuce and onions, thanks to Jesse Bates and his neighbor, Carrie Bates.

Gwen Huff Farmer says they have been having so much rain that she is still unable to get all her garden out and it will be some time before it dries up. We have sure had our share of rain around here too.

Shirley Wells has been having storms in the Clarksville, Tenn., area also.

Betty and Barefoot Bill Kelly and their family are all doing all right at the present. Bill is trying to cope with the loss of his sister, Rose; he lost a brother just a few weeks ago.

Martha Breeding sent me an email saying she had lost a family member recently due to cancer. I believe she said it was her brother’s granddaughter. Martha is a cousin to Betty Kelly.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are doing all right. I am going to raid their lettuce bed and onions again before they get too tough.

I took my little sidekick Bennie to have his picture taken with a pony and he barely would sit still. Bennie would not have any part of a cowboy hat.

Belated birthday wishes to my great-granddaughter, Samantha Jo Gray, who was seven years old May 2. Where has time gone?

Those of you planning on traveling over Memorial weekend, please be careful!

Well, once again it is late and I am tired, so until next time. Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, (513) 367-4682.


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