Whitesburg KY
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How many still gather greens for sallet in the spring?

Southern Ohio


Hello again, everyone!

I hope it is as beautiful in your part of the universe as it is in the Harrison, Ohio area. It is finally spring. We have had several extra warm days though the nights are still cool.

The hayfield in front of the house is a luscious green and the hillside across the road has started to turn green. There are two redbud trees sporting their beautiful colors and to blend in for more beauty you will find a bunch of wild creases greens that Mommy (Ora Hall) and Grandma Rosa Hall used to pick in the spring!

I wonder how many women still gather the greens for sallet in the springtime. Joe Bates says fresh mountain sallet is so good it will make you steal out of your own suitcase. Who is ready for a mess of polk sallet or fried polk? Did I say something about needing to lose weight?

My two dear friends, Doyle and Betty Ison, made a trip to the mountains of eastern Kentucky around the Whitesburg area. Betty said she doesn’t think she has ever seen anything as beautiful as the redbud trees along the roadside between Hazard and Whitesburg. She said it was like taking a tonic just to go back at this time.

Betty and Doyle brought home some very tender green half runner beans. Betty thought she would make me hungry. As it happened, my friend, Linda Hollan, and I had gone to a flea market and I brought home a couple of pounds of half runner beans. I cooked them with a piece of cottage butt, fried potatoes, onions and green peppers, made a pone of cornbread. Keith said everything was so good.

I drove to the Olde Star Theater at Williamstown to listen to Clarence Kelly & NuCut Road Band. This was the first time I had heard Clarence in a few years. Clarence is a very good singer. Angie Hall from the Appalshop is making a very big mistake in not booking this group at the Appalshop! Gerald Evans Sr. played the fiddle, a guy by the name of Mike picked the banjo. I do not know who played the bass.

Gary Strong and the Country Lads are the house band for Olde Star. Gary and his band did a good show. The second band was called Tanner Creek Band. They are a good clean band, just a little much too progressive for me. I prefer the old soulful sound. I think sometimes the singer has to live as he sings, especially when they sing those cheating and drinking songs. At least two thirds sing from the heart because they know what it is about!

Clarence Kelly wrote the song “South of Cincinnati” that Astor Taylor and East KY Tyme and Tommy Webb Band sing. They both do a good job singing. I prefer Astor’s version as he sings it faster.

There will be a bluegrass festival August 7-9, Kentucky Ridgerunners present The Clarence Kelly Homecoming Festival. For more information you can contact (937) 873-9854. This should be a great festival as they have several good bands. I will keep you up to date.

I listened to Tony Burke on WMMT and then listened to Bobby Joe’s “Gospel Jubilee”. I really enjoy the gospel music portion, however Bobby Joe and Madonna host another show called “Classic Jukebox”. He plays a little of everything including some bluegrass especially for me. While listening to both programs you can chat with several from the mountain area, along with others in England and several faraway places. It is like one big happy family time while enjoying the music.

Thursday night I missed WMMT as I picked up my granddaughter, four-year-old Katelyn Nottingham, so she could spend the night with me. My daughter, Anna Nottingham, went on a field trip with my granddaughter, six-year-old, Jessica Nottingham to the Cincinnati Zoo.

On the way from Fort Mitchell as we crossed the bridge leaving Kentucky into Indiana, I told Katelyn to look at the lights on the Ohio River. She said, “Oh Mom-ma, I see a smoking volcano.” She had seen the smoke or steam coming from the Energy place. I told her to look at the sky, there were not any stars out. Katelyn told me to make a wish as she had seen a shooting star. What she had really seen was an airplane off in a distance. I didn’t correct her as she was being so observant. It really amazes me how little children are so alert to so many things.

I had a phone call from Dean Roark of Kingscreek informing me there’s a Fields family reunion at the Cowan Community Center. For information, please call Dean Roark, (606) 633- 3172. This is Alford Fields family reunion. Please bring a covered dish and a desert, as meat and drinks will be provided. If anyone knows where any of Ellis and Evaleen Banks children are, Kenny, Wayne, or Jerry Banks, please give Dean Roark a call.

Dean, somehow I forgot to write the date and time, so please give me a call and I will make sure I get all the information written down.

Happy birthday to Dean’s little granddaughter, Makinley, who will be four years old April 30. There’s going to be a birthday party for Makinley.

Belated happy birthday to two of my favorite readers, Levine and Bruce Jones. Bruce celebrated his birthday April 28. Bruce is a couple of days older than Levine. Guys, I am sorry I mention this before in my column.

Thanks to my brother, Richie Hall, for reminding me. It seems there’s so much going on in my life I am very fortunate to know what day it is.

Gwen Huff Farmer has finally been able to get a few things in her garden. I have to laugh sometimes when Gwen is writing to me about planting potatoes she abbreviates the word. I tease her and tell her she better be glad that no one reads the emails but me. Someone might think she is planting a different thing.

I hope I can go visit Gwen this summer. With the price of gas, I probably won’t be going very far from home. I really don’t know how people can afford to go to work, especially working at minimum wages.

Shirley Wells of Clarksville, Tenn., is really enjoying this warm weather and the beauty that spring has brought forth.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are doing well along with all the family. Johnny has been busy in his garden.

I talked to Polly Ann Maucher a couple of weeks ago. Polly is a pleasure to be around.

My daughter, Kay, and her husband, Clarence Gray, spent a week in the Dominican Republic.! While there Kay lost all of her good sense as she tried something called Zip-Lining. You hold onto a cable while you are in a harness and glide across this cable; you have a small brake to stop or slow yourself. Kay finally got so scared she couldn’t complete all phases, so she walked back to where she had started from. During her excursion somehow she grabbed the cable and it ran over her glove. Had her hand been very big she would have lost her fingers.

May 4 is Old Time Fiddler’s at Miamitown, Ohio. There’s music outside on the gazebo from 1-4 p.m. in front of the fire department on Route 128. Bring a lawn chair, come out for a few hours of good music; refreshments are available. A good time is had by all. With music in the air, the warmth of the sun, maybe a breeze blowing, who can ask for more? Levine Jones, if you are still in the area, why don’t you make your way to Miamitown, Ohio May 4?

My sweet departed mountain mama Alma Whitaker’s son-inlaw Bill Halcomb called to invite us to a fish fry at a church in Goshen May 10. Clayton and I have attended for the past couple of years and had a great time. The fish is delicious, and what is better than a bunch of hillbillies getting together?

Clarence and Arlyn Halcomb had already invited me. Thanks for remembering me.

Well, dear folks, once again it is time for me to head for the door and get away from this clock that is giving me the evil eye. Until next time. Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, 513- 367-4682.


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