Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Does it seem to anyone else that this year is speeding by much too fast? It seems that Christmas was just a few days ago and now spring will soon be here!
Our recent snow is slowly fading away, except the snowpiles. I do believe we may have snow until July! Thenext thing I will be writing about will be flooding in this area, which I really dread since my house isn’t that far from the river.
I want to say a special thanks for all the phone calls and emails concerning the absence of my column in The Mountain Eagle
last week. No it wasn’t because of illness. Something happened that it wasn’t received.
Please keep Eveda Ison in your prayers. I am so sorry to hear that she had a bad fall and was injured severely. Eveda went out to get her paper and must not have realized there was ice on her driveway as she slipped and fell. She was lucky someone came down the road and saw her. No one knows how long she was in the cold. At first the diagnosis wasn’t good, however Eveda is stronger than she looks so she is some better now.
Eveda is a sister to the late Harding Ison from Kingdom Come. She is a sister-in-law to Polly Ann Maucher and Jean Ison.
Ann Calihan called to see if I was sick because of the absence of my column and told me about Eveda. Eveda is connected to Ann’s family also. Once again it brings to mind how may people from the mountains of eastern Kentucky have settled in Harrison and surrounding areas!
Johnny and Ann live close enough to me that I could walk there. Polly Ann Maucher lives in New Trenton, Ind., which is just a hop and jump away, I am not sure just where Bill and Jean Ison live. Bill is Ann’s brother. He knew our dad Clayton Hall when they were young!
Dad knew George Ison, Polly Ann’s dad, too, I remember George faintly since I was just a little kid when Daddy worked in the log woods for George Ison. I remember Doug and Michael “Frick and Frack Ison” a little from Roxana. Now we are older and some have kids and grandkids. I have two great-grandchildren, yet our lives are still entwined and most of it has become possible by a simple column through The Mountain Eagle.
Doug and Michael enjoyed a trip to Lexington to watch the Wildcats in action, and they really had a good time. Doug sure is brilliant. He tried dropping the name game to get a motel room. Hey Doug, does the name Rick Pitino sound familiar to you?
After enjoying the game Doug and Michael came to New Trenton to visit Polly Ann then they got together with their sister Jean Ison. I think they all went to see Eveda at the hospital.
Polly thought Frick and Frack were going to spend the night with her, so she had the fixing for an old-fashioned country breakfast. The only thing was, she forgot to lock the door and board it up when it started to get late in the evening as somehow Frick and Frack decided it was time to head back to their homes. Doug lives in Columbus, Ind., and Michael lives on Paces Branch.
I told Polly I could relate to that feeling. As much as I love the mountains, when it starts getting dark I am ready to head back this way to my own home. In fact, it doesn’t matter where I am, when it comes to night I want to be home.
I really want to say a heartfelt thank you for all the wonderful comments about my book ‘The Beauty of a Rose!’ Willamae Boggs reads it every day; she is such a special person.
Shelby Bockover of Greensburg, Ind., spent most of the day reading it, and sent me a beautiful letter saying how much she enjoyed my book and could relate to so many things.
My brother Richie Hall has to go back and forth to Lexington as he is still having problems with his vision. My sister-in-law Wanda is feeling better than she did for a while. Wanda stays so busy she doesn’t have time to get sick. The weather has slowed her down somewhat as the roads have become treacherous due to the snow and ice.
Hello to my brother Jerry Hall and his wife Mattie. It seems Jerry doesn’t get out to walk as much as he used to as he is afraid of falling.
A belated happy birthday wish to Castle Boggs on March 1, and to Richie and Wanda Hall’s grandson, Chase Caudill, of Hamilton.
A belated happy birthday to my granddaughter, Jessica Nottingham, March 1 also. Jessica was eight years old, and it seems like she had plenty of company to share her birthday.
A belated happy birthday to Doyle and Merlene Day’s twin daughters, Amelia and Cecilia.
March 4, our mother, Ora Hall, would have been 91 years old. Mom being that old is hard to visualize. When I hear certain songs I can see her feet hit the floor dancing as she went about her chores of housecleaning. Mom loved music and dancing, so I guess that is where it was instilled in me through her.
Vickie Power and I went to Whitewater Senior Center to listen to music. Letcher County was once again represented well; Polly Maucher, Carl Crase, Bob Bryant and I were all there. Vickie just laughs and shakes her head when she sees a group from back in the mountains together.
Carl Crase is the grandson of Riley and Sally Crase from Roxana. Carl was only eight years old when his family moved to Indiana, yet talking with Carl you can hear and feel the longing in his voice when he talks of the mountains. Carl doesn’t drive long distances anymore.
Before Johnny Calihan’s brother, Jr. Calihan, died you would hear of Johnny getting in his car and heading for the hills of my favorite place “Paradise Valley” Paces Branch. Sometimes another brother would meet him there and they would clean the hillside and work for a couple of days then head back home again.
I wish I was able to get a van full of people who aren’t able to drive and head for the mountains of eastern Kentucky, and hit every hollow around. There’s one thing though, there’s not enough money to get me to drive my van up Tolson Creek and across Big Branch mountain to Mom and Dad’s graves. I am almost afraid to drive my small car. The best time to go there is on Memorial Day, as someone does grade the road at that time.
It has been almost a year since I have ventured back home. This is the longest that I have ever gone without putting my small feet on mountain soil. If it ever gets springtime I am heading that way. I need nails in my shoes to hold my feet in place as my heart seems to take over. This time I won’t drive at night as I did before, as my last trip cost me a set of tires.
I haven’t heard anything from my dear friends Clarence and Arlyn Halcomb for awhile. I hope they are doing all right.
Gwen Huff Farmer was able to go shopping with the assistance of her friend. She is recovering from knee surgery. I knew you couldn’t keep this spry woman down. Gwen is already planning her garden, but she says she is cutting back this year on her selection. I don’t believe that for one minute as she will start thinking of all the good things she enjoys and then planting will begin.
Richard Day, another former eastern Kentucky guy, called me to see about Gwen Farmer since he hadn’t seen her on the computer and when he called her she hadn’t answered. This was during her knee surgery and rehab. Richard and his wife and family live in Virginia. He knows Castle Boggs, the preacher where my sisterin law Wanda and Richie go to church. Castle and his wife Opal are very wonderful people.
I talked to Betty Ison for a little while. She and her husband Doyle Ison are both ready for warmer weather as this winter has kept everyone housebound.
I ventured to the Coon Hunters Club on the outskirts of Hamilton. I was very apprehensive about going since it was forecasting a snowstorm. I had cabin fever and decided to take a chance. I left early as it did start snowing, and the road that Coon Hunters Club is located on is similar to the ones in eastern Kentucky. I didn’t have any trouble getting home, but I don’t think I will try it again in bad weather. Unless I hear of Marvin Davis playing there, then I may have to take a chance.
Hello to all the girls in Taylor, Mich., Sadie, Evelyn and Bertha. I hope everyone is doing all right.
Hello Carl and Willamae Boggs and Jessie Frazier.
Emma Engle, I am glad you and Red are doing better. I feel as though I know you, even though we only met the one time.
As I write this column thoughts of my grandmother, Rosa Hall, drift in. Grandma gave me my first taste of coffee. Of course it had more cream and sugar than coff ee in a cup, but I thought I was such a big girl as Grandma would let me dip a biscuit in the coff ee. Before I was finished I had to eat the coff eesoaked biscuit with a spoon!
Polly Maucher mentioned how we used to take our lunch to school, which most of the time consisted of milk and cornbread in a four-pound lard bucket. Polly went to Kingscreek School and I went to Mill Branch, but the lunches were the same!
My little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold is growing like a weed. I sneezed the other night and Bennie said “Bless you, Momma.” I could have squeezed him so tight for saying that. Bennie is ready for warmer weather, as he wants to play in the yard.
Old Time Fiddlers will be March 14 this month due to the Boy Scouts holding their annual pancake breakfast.
Well folks, I guess I better get this on its way. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, telephone 513-367-4682.