It is officially summertime and it is beautiful here. I have heard a few complaints like, “Oh it is hot.” I just want to say, “Oh I am glad.”
Where I live it has been delightful. I am sort of close to the river and a breeze will blow so gently. It could be that I am so glad to see warm weather that I don’t mind the temperatures.
This has been a very busy week for me. My friend Shirley Godbey and I went to Hunter’s Pizzeria Monday to see Special Delivery bluegrass band, with Johnny Wax, Larry “Bubba” Griffith, Gil Benson, Wayne Haddix and Tony Hale. It is always such a delight to go wherever this band plays.
This meant I had the utmost pleasure of getting to see Les and Pat Wagner, along with Larry and Becky Hasty.
Tuesday, I was supposed to see Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers, but I didn’t make it.
Wednesday, I went to Front St. Café in New Richmond to see Evan Lanier & The Bluegrass Express. I was in for a great surprise as Tony Hale and Bubba Griffith filled in for this band, and the owner, Robert Lees, asked me to dance the last tune.
Friday, I went to Connersville, Ind., to see the house band Bluegrass Briar Hoppers with Amos Collins, who is originally from the Hazard area, and Coolie Jr. Calihan, who is from the Roxana area. Marvin Davis is playing mandolin for the group.
There was another band, and I must say I came away sort of disappointed that Marvin Davis didn’t play the fiddle for them. I would walk a mile to hear Marvin Davis on the fiddle, as long as it wasn’t dark.
I told Marvin that if I could handpick some band members, it would be Marvin on the fiddle and Gary Eldridge on the mandolin. Both Gary and Marvin are great musicians, just different style of picking. Marvin and Gary are both great singers also.
I just read what I have written, and I think I am going to start a booking agency.
My running didn’t stop as Saturday Tony Hale and Bluegrass Favorites played at Hunter’s Pizzeria. Once again I had the pleasure of being with my extended family, the Wagner and Hasty families.
Pat has almost disowned me from being an extended family member since I mentioned that I made apple pies by using canned biscuits some time ago.
Pat taught me something I never heard. She called canned biscuits “wop biscuits.” I finally got what she meant ; you have to wop them to open the can.
To be with this family is so special. A friend, Daphne Korner, who lives in Brookville, Ind., met me at my house then rode with me to go hear Tony’s band. Daphne and Polly Wagner said they would hate to see me should I drink anything stronger than water.
I am so thankful I don’t need anything except music to give me the glow I need.
I am very fortunate to have friends like the Wagners, Hastys, and Doyle and Betty Ison just to name a few.
I came home to find a care package on my porch swing of lettuce, onions, and cucumbers from Johnny and Ann Calihan, so again I am fortunate. Ann is still having some health problems as shingles has really taken a toll on her.
Gwen Huff Farmer had some friends to come to visit, Bob and Lisa Weber. While they were there, Bob did a lot of work for her as Gwen has been having a little trouble with her legs. Gwen is still trying to work in her garden.
My daughter Anna Nottingham is a Girl Scout troop leader so Anna and several girls and parents went on a trip to Mammoth Cave. Anna borrowed my daughter’s Excursion, which is a larger vehicle than she usually drives, and as she pulled into the drive at the cabin, the power steering pump went out. Which meant no brakes, either.
Anna came within inches of hitting the cabin. She took a chance of ripping out the transmission as she threw it in reverse with still no brakes and she almost hit a telephone pole.
My son-in-law had my son Keith Ballard go fix the Excursion. If this had occurred on the highway, this could be a lot different ending.
Once again we are lucky that there’s a mechanic in the family. I know he is there for me when I need something fixed on the van or my car.
Anita Brewer and I had a delightful conversation rehashing our talk about our childhood in the mountains. I find it rather ironic that all of a sudden I find so many that had similar backgrounds that I did as a child.
The food we ate was prepared almost the same. Mom would can her green beans by using a No. 2 washtub filled with her jars and use old clothes and old quilts or whatever to put around the jars to keep them from bumping into each other.
Sometimes I can almost smell the wood smoke as I would help her stoke the fire up and add more to keep a slow, rolling boil for the beans.
I can almost feel the sting to my eyes, too. I used to hear the old saying that ‘smoke followed beauty,’ well I must have been the most beautiful kid as I believe every move I made it followed me.
After I was married, I continued this tradition for a few years. I also got made fun of by some friends and especially my in-laws. I also learned to can corn and fix different varieties of vegetables for soup later.
We lived four years in a house with no running water nor inside bathroom. I didn’t mind because that is the way I lived as a child.
I know that if I should have to give up modern things, I can, though life is a lot easier now than back then.
Mom would make a relish called chow-chow. My sister-in-law Wanda Hall makes this as close to Mommy’s as I have ever tasted. I think Mom’s had just a little sweeter taste.
Pat Wagner was talking about making blackberry jam. She strains the seeds out since Les doesn’t like the seeds. Mom made blackberry jam with seeds and all.
While talking to Pat, I had to bite back the tears as I can still see and taste Mom’s blackberry jam on a hot biscuit.
As a child so many times during the day I would get a hankering for sweet and I would take a teaspoon and get a bite of jam. We didn’t know what potato chips or snacks were.
When my children were small I fixed meals. Yes, meals, not fast food. We sat at the kitchen table to eat. My children never complained about what I prepared or sat and said, “I don’t like that.”
Friday, I stayed with my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold who is six years old now. Bennie doesn’t eat enough to keep a cat alive. I asked if he would eat a grilled cheese, and he said yes.
Bennie scares me as he knows more about a computer than I do. He was showing me some websites that he gets on, and all at once he typed in www.iwantcandy.com, and as he was typing this he said, Mamaw, this might be a bad site, if so I have to click off.
I was so shocked at this remark from him, as it turned out there’s a song that keeps repeating, “I want candy.”
What he doesn’t know to spell he will ask, and he knows all he has to do is type it in at the task bar. He reads far above his age.
I felt as if I was in jail as I let Angie leave without getting her keys. She lives in a security condo, which means if I went out I couldn’t get back in. I won’t make that mistake again. Knowing I don’t have the freedom of going outside is not for me, especially staying several hours
I just found out that Sunrise Ridge Bluegrass Band will be doing a show July 4. Please check this out as I don’t know all details. My car is acting up and until Keith checks it out, I am afraid to drive that far.
I sort of was giving advice to steal a car, grab a siphoning hose and head for the mountains. This teasing really made me laugh as someone got a little too personal and asked me, how could I afford to go all the places I go.I laughed and said I have a siphoning hose and since I am a redneck hillbilly, I know how to use it.
My friend Norma Ashcraft gave me heck one time because I made the remark that I would rather have a full tank of gas in my car than a well-stocked refrigerator, which is the truth! I’d much rather go listen to music and dance than eat anytime, and I am not going hungry as you can plainly see. If I prefer to grab a sandwich on the go, and I see nothing wrong with that.
Keith is not going to let his mom starve. He brought a supper for me of barbecued steak, greens, corn, baked beans, and hot biscuits.
Emma Engle, I hope this finds you perking a little better. Oma Hatton, enjoy all the time with your family you can, and I know you do.
Time is slipping away for me once again. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com telephone 513-367-4682.