Happy St Patrick’s Day!
How’s the weather in your area? We had another blast of winter so it seems. Oh what am I complaining about as it is still winter. I really shouldn’t complain as it really hasn’t been all that bad for the past two years.
It just seems like it has been such a long time, and even though we are in the third month of the new year. My goodness it seems such a long time.
It seems I jogged several people’s minds with my column about Dr. Collins and Grace Wells who gave shots to Letcher County school children.
Ralph Brown, thanks for your letter. I sent you a reply.
I really did enjoy hearing from so many people, and, no, I didn’t confuse the names. Dr. Dal Collins was the doctor along with Grace Wells who went to Letcher County Schools as he was the Board of Health doctor. Dr. Collier delivered babies all around the countryside, and lots of times there was a midwife also.
I wondered how many babies were delivered by Elsie Raleigh. I know of six babies, all of my brothers and sisters except my youngest brother Robert Hall, who was born at Whitesburg Hospital, and my baby brother Rondal, who was stillborn and was delivered by Katherine Jones, who was a midwife also.
There has been so much sadness in the past week or so. I wish I could fast forward time to a happier place.
My sympathy goes out to the family of Evaleen Hogg, daughter of Monroe and Ollie Fields. Monroe and Ollie were the finest people you would ever meet in your lifetime. Monroe was a retired schoolteacher though he never taught me. He taught the upper grades when I was in first grade under another wonderful teacher named Anna Stuart.
Monroe Fields use to tell my mother, Ora Hall, that I was amazing, a mystery, and brilliant. My mom didn’t know what he was saying. Monroe finally told Mom that I was so intelligent to be so young.
Monroe went on to be a postmaster or a substitute in the town of Roxana for a while.
Mom and Dad moved to the old Fraze Hampton’s place at the mouth of Tolson Creek. Monroe and Ollie Fields were their neighbors. When we went home to visit Mom and Dad, I would go there with Mom and that is when I really got acquainted with them.
Both of them have been gone for years. Once again I will say they were very special people.
I remember another couple that I loved as a child, Manuel and Laura Amburgey of Mill Branch.
My sympathy goes out to the families Bob Bryant of Harrison, and Glenora Eldridge in the death of their sister-in-law, who was married to Jack Bryant in northern Ohio.
I met Jack several years ago as Bob introduced us at a bluegrass festival. Bluegrass music and writing have brought me in contact with so many wonderful people.
My sympathy goes out to the Whitaker family in the loss of a brother, Hiram Ray Whitaker of Kingscreek, near Roxana
All of the Whitakers have been fortunate as they are from a large family and I believe this is the first loss of a sibling. For what I understand this is a rather close family. I know they had a very sweet mother, Alma Whitaker, to whom I used to refer as my little mountain mama.
It is so hard to really realize March 4 our mother would have been 94 years old. I wrote the following in honor of Mom’s birthday.
March 4, 1919, a baby girl was born to Ben and Betty Coots Adams in a small place called Big Branch, several miles from Roxana in Letcher County.
Mom was the oldest girl. As her grandparents Will and Nance Coots lived close, as soon as Mom could walk she would go stay with her grandmother. Actually she lived with them almost full time until she was 14 years old.
My mom loved music so much as she got older, she, along with her sister and cousins, would walk for miles to go to square dances, and I mean miles across a mountain.
Mom met my dad at a square dance. Dad wanted to walk her home so he asked Mom if he could walk up the road with her. Mom told him walking wasn’t crowded (sounds so much like me), and he did walk with her and the group.
Mom and Daddy were married some time later and another baby girl was born. I am the oldest of eight. I left home at too early an age. I, too, love music with all my heart. Thank goodness I don’t have to walk.
Mom has been gone since August 20, 1995. I miss her as much today — no, that is not true — as I have gotten older I miss her more.
Mom would have been 94 years old Monday. It is ironic as you never forget a birth date or the day of death. Even though I left home at such an early age, Mom thought I could do the impossible. I have been accused of Mom loving me more, which is silly. Mom was close to me because I was the oldest. I was also more stubborn and determined than the rest of the family.
I was born old. I sometimes wonder if Mom knew how much I loved her as so many years I had a difficult time telling anyone how I felt.
I wish I could say I had a perfect childhood. I can’t, but I am so grateful for the times that my mom spent with me. If I could just somehow tell her, “Mom, I love you.”
Belated birthday wishes to my granddaughter Jessica Nottingham on March 1. Oh, I am getting old.
Friday afternoon, I had lunch at Subway in Bright, Ind., with four friends, Barb Campbell, Terry Sylvia, Daphne Bradley and Carolyn Gabbard.
Friday night, I went to Front Street Cafe in New Richmond for CD release party for Wayward Daughter, and to see a favorite band, Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers — Ma Crow on guitar, Trina Emig, banjo and mandolin, Margie Drees, fiddle, and Vicki Abbott, bass. These girls have great harmony.
Front Street Cafe is a nice venue. New Richmond is a quaint river town. I plan on going to New Richmond just to explore the town when it gets warm weather, and of course to stop for lunch.
Johnny Calihan had a scare, or should I say gave a scare to his family, as it seems Johnny decided to take an unexpected nap in the kitchen floor with the comfort of a pillow to protect him. Johnny hadn’t been feeling well and suddenly passed out in the kitchen. Ann tried to catch him and somehow fell on Johnny as she called 911 and her son Gary Calihan for help.
Johnny spent a couple of days in Good Sam hospital in Cincinnati. I am so pleased to say he is doing fine.
Ann managed to hurt her right hand as she tried to grab Johnny, and she didn’t realize she was hurt as bad as she was until she was sent to have her hand x-rayed.
I am telling you, if anyone can find something to laugh about Ann Calihan will. This time so did Johnny. I go to visit them, here is Ann sitting with an ace bandage on her hand. Johnny is fine and laughing about the episode.
It is always amazing to look at these two knowing how my life has come full circle of Johnny and Ann’s family connection to my family, and so many years later here they have watched my children grow up. Their daughter Sue Wagner and my daughter Angie Weiderhold were best friends through school.
Ann was my youngest daughter Anna Nottingham’s Sunday schoolteacher when she was an infant. Anna is 40 years old now.
A week has gone by and I haven’t talked to my extended family, Les and Pat Wagner and the Hasty family.
Gwen Huff Farmer, I hope you and Shirley Wells are doing alright.
Betty Ison is doing great after her knee replacement. Doyle is wanting for warm weather to get here so he can plant a garden for the deer’s.
My sister-in-law Wanda Hall and niece Sue Hall are planning a visit to Hamilton. I hope the weather doesn’t get bad.
Hello to my sister Loretta Church in Letcher Manor. I hope to see you soon.
I have made up my mind. I am packing my car and plan to camp when I go to the mountains. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I can ramble here and there and not feel I am imposing on anyone.
I plan on finding my way to Breaks of the Mountain and maybe slip over through Virginia.
Well, it is time for me to bring this to a close and get busy.
Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, telephone 513- 367-4682.