Whitesburg KY

Happy Valley hosts bluegrass festival

Southern Ohio

Howdy everyone! My how time passes when you are having fun! It sure seems I must have been having too much fun, as time has really zipped by. Is it spring, fall or winter?

As I was cold I turned my furnace on again. I had unplugged my electric blanket, folded it and laid it aside, but it is back on my bed and I think it is going to stay there for a while.

Thinking back to childhood years when we lived at Vernon Hogg’s place between Roxana and Hot Spot in June. I had been cold all day, and when Mom, Ora Hall, went to the barn to milk, I built a fire in the stove. The bad thing was Mom had put paper around the stovepipes to keep the soot from coming down or something, so it is very lucky I didn’t burn the house down.

Saturday morning found me feeling frisky, so I decided to drive the van. I packed a picnic lunch, along with water and a few cans of Coke, a cover, a jacket and lawn chairs, and a pillow just in case I decided to camp, and sat out for Happy Valley Bluegrass Festival a little past Oldenburg, Ind.

This is the most beautiful setting of any bluegrass festival I have ever been to, and believe me when I say I have traveled to several in the last few years from Poppy Mountain at Morehead, to up north in Ohio.

Happy Valley isn’t as big as some places, but as I sat and enjoyed the view, a sky so blue and white puffy clouds, the hills so close on each side that you were enveloped in between them. As it started getting late you could observe the moon peeking up over the stage, then the clouds would hide it as it seemed to play peekaboo. The air had a clean, crisp feeling though a little chilly. It was so peaceful, as I arrived before the bands.

The bands were good, and I especially enjoyed an old timey band called Lost Mill with Joann and Jerry Paul from Tennessee, and Whiskey Bent Valley from PeeWee Valley.

Wildwood Valley Boys is a group which is a cast off from The Boys from Indiana, and as usual they always do an outstanding show. Michael Cleveland, who is well known, played the fiddle for them.

Wildwood Valley Boys had played a show at Xenia, earlier in the day then drove back to Happy Valley.

My favorite group was Rural Route 2, which is a Rising Sun bluegrass band.

I thought a musician would fall off the stage as a group was doing the hula hoop in front of the stage to music. I may be stretching the truth a little. It was very annoying trying to see the band with a dozen hula hoops going round and round in front of you.

Oh well, the kids were having fun.

Oh how I wanted to get up and dance. This is the first time that I haven’t left footprints in the grass, dirt or blacktop dancing at bluegrass festivals. Everyone was dancing in the grass but I was afraid it would be a little uneven, and at the present I am still a little unsteady on my feet.

I have liked Rural Route 2 for years, as I have written before. Gary Eldridge, who is my friend Bob Bryant’s nephew, picks mandolin and does quite a bit of lead singing for this band.

Gary is a songwriter and has a lot of interests that I admire, such as his ability for researching genealogy. He has been active in the Civil War era since his ancestors were involved in this.

For what I have gathered, he has traveled to different states seeking information about the Civil War. In fact, I think I heard the expression that Gary is a Civil War buff!

Just before my granddaughter Sarah Nottingham’s school was out for the year, Sarah asked me questions about the Civil War. I wish somehow I could have referred her to Gary as I haven’t the foggiest idea how to answer her questions.

I really appreciate everyone’s concern and caring about me, but I find I am very touchy about a couple of things.

I don’t usually ever fool with potato chips. I decided to eat a few, and my daughter Anna Nottingham must have thought I would die the next instant, as she read me the riot act about that being a healthy heart diet.

Sunday was Old Time Fiddlers, and someone brought pizza. I ate a small slice, and Denver Able, a regular at Old Time Fiddlers who has had several heart surgeries, gave me a ‘what for’ look.

I know it is not all that good for you, but I’ve eaten one piece of pizza in the past three months.

If I am able to work then I am going to dance a little. Should I get tired I will sit down if it is right in the middle of good ‘Old Sally Goodin’ being played by my all time favorite fiddle player Marvin Davis.

I know what is like to not be able to even get out of bed without help, not be able to walk by myself (though that part lasted just a few days), not to be able to drive, to have to depend on someone (that lasted three weeks), and I am so thankful to our almighty God for giving me the strength and determination to do for myself.

I am also so thankful for friends who have been so caring.

They say karma comes around and I don’t know about that, but I have done things for people all my life, never telling anyone and never ever expecting anything in return and never thinking that someday I would need help.

I’ve had several surgeries and have still been able to take care of things and even my small children without help.

Several years ago when I broke my right arm, I had to ask my husband to tie my shoes. That lasted one time as I found if I loosened the laces, then tied them I could slip my feet in without bothering anyone.

I switched from my right arm to my left arm, and still did my normal things of life.

It absolutely kills me to have to ask for help, yet I am very thankful there are caring people.

Belated happy birthday June 3 to my brother Jerry Hall and to my uncle Charles Barton.

A friend drove me to Central Baptist to be with Loretta during her surgery. There’s sure a communication problem between the nurses and the doctors as we were told that someone would keep us informed of Loretta’s progress during her surgical procedure.

We sat for three long hours in the waiting room, which was as cold as wintertime, without anyone coming to tell us anything.

My friend finally asked, and we were told Loretta was already in a room in ICU, and then her doctor apologized saying no one had told him that anyone was with Loretta.

My brother Richie Hall still isn’t doing too well, and I hope to visit Richie and Wanda before too long.

My cousin Bev Adma, her husband Jeff and my special little cousin Jack Adams sure enjoyed Ralph Stanley’s Hills of Home Bluegrass Festival.

Congratulations to Taylan Combs for achievement in music, Taylan is a beautiful girl and very talented.

Shawn Stamper, daughter Whitney and Taylan Combs along with a fiddle player are working on a CD.

Did I say how proud I am of young Jack Adams? Yes, I love this kid.

Hello to Gwen Huff Farmer and Shirley Wells. I know Gwen has been working in that garden and is very busy.

Thanks to Johnny and Ann Calihan for sharing lettuce and onions. Oops did I write that?

I went to visit Doyle and Betty Ison again and walked out leaving Betty’s lettuce and onions in the refrigerator. Betty was expecting company over Memorial weekend and his sister Bessie Shepherd became ill. Bessie, I hope you are feeling better.

Berma Matthews, I sure hope you are improving each day and will soon be able to be up and about. You know Letcher County Day will be coming up in the blink of an eye.

Thanks for the visit, but it is time to get this heading old Kentucky way, and I have an appointment today with my cardiologist in a short time.

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

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