Whitesburg KY
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Holiday, weddings and funerals bring families together

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a safe Memorial Day. I don’t want to use the word happy as to me this is a sad day as we pay tribute to our loved ones.

Sometimes we forget. Maybe I should re-phrase that statement to say sometimes I forget to be thankful for all those who gave all to make this country free!

Yet it is a happy occasion for families to get together. So often families aren’t reunited except at weddings or funerals. I envy the ones who have reunions. My own family is a small one and we never get together at the same time.

I miss my cousins, Gracie Lewis Widner and her sister Lorene Deal, who live at Partridge. Gracie is one year older than me, and Lorene is about a year younger. How I loved them and looked forward to their visits when they would come to our Grandma Rosa Hall’s.

My cousin Marcella Young was more like a big sister to me. She met and married Billy Green, and moved to Beckley, W.Va. How I missed her then. I started staying with whomever and wherever so I could to get away from home!

I have found one thing to be so true, you can never get away from your past as it will come to visit you more times than you care to remember, though it may be 50 years behind you.

Being raised in the mountains and some circumstances has made me the strong-willed, stubborn, independent, bullheaded person I am today. I have been referred to as having the softest heart and the hardest head!

As I write this column my thoughts are with Emma Engle. I know her heart is in the beloved mountains of eastern Kentucky at this particular time. It makes me realize in a few years I may not be able to drive nor do the things I want to do.

I had the pleasure of meeting Emma and Red Engle in the parking lot of Pine Mountain Grill a few years ago. Emma is a beautiful woman inside and out. Her personality would shine if she was as ugly as a mud fence! Like dozens of others I admire that Emma is a retired teacher!

There have been a few teachers I can’t say I respect, but the great, not only good ones, far outnumber the bad ones. I still think Carl and Willamae Boggs are the finest example you can find in any profession being husband and wife teaching.

Willamae is going to be a sneaky pete! She is going to go buy some artificial flowers and put in her yard before I come to the visit her! Not seriously! This is a joke between us.

My son Keith Ballard has been very busy doing landscaping in my yard. He has changed the front completely. The mulch he bought for my birthday has ended up costing me the same amount. Keith has dug all my flowers out along the fence line, then put plastic down and refilled the dirt, then put red mulch. He leveled the tree stump, then did the same with my flowers and put mulch around it, then emptied a huge black iron pot which was at another location in the yard, placed it on the stump.

I have two tires filled with flowers, so Keith dug around the tires in a half circle and placed mulch there. I have lived here for 37 years and my yard has never looked this pretty.

Actually, it has been sometime since I have taken this much interest in my yard.

I went to the Coon Hunters Club, I had been toying with the idea of driving to Hillsboro, Ohio to a bluegrass festival. After some consideration I decided to go to the Coon Hunters Club.

I was in for a great treat as one of my favorite musicians was there, none other than Marvin Davis, along with Rosie Davis and her son Jessie Callahan. Marvin and Rosie are the best musicians together that you would ever want to hear. I believe the bass player that sat in is called J.J.

Marvin was in the first group with someone played the banjo and another good singer named John. Then Marvin, Rosie. Jessie and J.J. sang, and oh the harmony Marvin and Rosie Davis can put out together Gil Benson, another fine fiddler, sat in for a couple of songs. Marvin and Gil played twin fiddles.

Yes, Mildred Rogers I danced three times.

Thelma Brooks Halcomb was there with her daughter and grandson Ben ‘Cornbread’.

The evening ended much too soon for me. As I got close to Harrison, I called Vickie Power and we went to Walmart.

I am very sorry to share some very sad news again. My sympathy goes out to the family of Eula Ison. Eula lived a good, long life with her family close to her.

Eula’s husband, Lawrence Ison, was a distant relation to our dad, Clayton Hall. For several years Mom and Eula were more like sisters than anything.

As I have so often said, my brothers and sister and I have walked in that same road as her children are walking.

I kept my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold. I must say this made some sweet memories. I let Bennie play in the yard until it started to storm. After the storm I took him out in the yard to get a toy he left out, and by this time I had taken his shoes off. Bennie enjoyed stepping in the rain puddles that had fallen on the trailer pad, he got under the mimosa tree and I shook a branch so the small drops fell on him, Bennie laughed and said, “Try that again!” Bennie meant do it again!

Bennie found a little spot of dirt and he enjoyed stepping in it and making it muddy. This is the first time that he has actually enjoyed this simple pleasure. I had to spray his feet off with the garden hose before I brought him in the house. Angie said he still has dirt under his toenails.

When Angie picked Bennie up, as they were going down the steps the last thing I heard Bennie say to his mom, “Mommy, Mamaw is tired!

Willamae Boggs got to hear Bennie sing ‘Little Birdie’ on the telephone.

I had more copies of my book, ‘The Beauty Of A Rose’ re-printed. Thanks to everyone who has ordered the book, especially for the compliments. Gracie Cornett, I am sorry I didn’t take the time to sign it for you.

I understand Jewell Calihan really likes her copy, as her sister Lee Reese got one for her.

I hope I survive this weekend as I will have my granddaughters, the Nottingham girls, Sarah, Jessica and Katelyn.

My brother Richie Hall and Wanda are doing okay. Richie informed me that he will be having peas before long!

Bill Profitt was in the mountains during Memorial weekend, and called to say he looked for peas and there weren’t any. I told him they go out of places like hotcakes. Thanks Bill, for trying.

I wonder if Jessie Frazier is enjoying peas and new potatoes?

Doyle and Betty Ison are doing all right. I will be heading their way in a week or so to sit on my favorite place, her private boat dock, (the deck) that Doyle built. Betty said it is calling my name.

Gwen Huff Farmer is trying to work in her garden between raindrops. I hope Gwen doesn’t do too much.

Well as usual I wait until the last minute to get this on its way, so until next time. Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email, Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, telephone, 513-367-4682.

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