Whitesburg KY

It’s time to bring on fall weather

Blair Branch

First things first. I’d like to correct a mistake from the last time I wrote. When I mentioned my great-niece Kylee Faith Gibson’s first birthday and submitted her picture to the paper, I forgot to mention her other grandparents. It wasn’t intentional and I am sorry.

Kylee is also a granddaughter to Archie and Margaret Fields of Cowan and Amanda and Fred Baldwin of Columbus, Ind. Please forgive the error.

So, what do you think about the weather? I’ll be the first one to say I hate it. I am not a fan of summer weather at all, never have been and probably never will be, but this heat wave we are having has surpassed anything I can remember in the past. It was 114 degrees when Michael and I passed by the community college in Hazard a couple days ago. One hundred and fourteen degrees! That is insanely hot. I feel like I am living in Arizona. Bring on fall, I say!

I was so thankful for the small amount of rain we received the other day, though it wasn’t enough to help the grass in our yard, which is a nice, crisp brown.

I hope each of you had a wonderful Independence Day. We sure did. My sister, Missy Fields, and her family camped at the Litt Carr campground the entire week. Our whole family spent the evening of the Fourth there with them.

Then Michael, the boys, and I watched the fireworks in Whitesburg from the hospital hill. Percy Sledge was having a concert at Riverside Park that night as well. We walked down there for a few minutes, but it was just too crowded for us.

Mom and Dad visited with Jake and Wilma Halcomb at Hazard Nursing Home on the Fourth. It was Jake’s birthday. Mom said that he and Wilma both were doing well and it was nice to see the staff had Jake dressed up in red suspenders to celebrate his birthday and the holiday.

It has been two full years now since Mom, Sylvania Whitaker, was first placed back on the transplant list for a kidney. The wait is hard on all of us kids, but I’m sure our worries don’t even compare to those of Mom and Dad. Dialysis three times a week isn’t a walk in the park for either of them. It literally drains the life out of Mom, and I know Dad is worn to a frazzle, even though he would never admit it. However, we know that faith in God requires faith in His timing. He is an on time God, and Mom will get a kidney if it is His will.

Please keep my Uncle Roger Whitaker in your prayers as well. I know that dialysis is hard on him and Aunt Deb too.

Speaking of Mom and Dad, they attended church services at Kingdom Come Old Regular Baptist Church on Sunday. Mom says they had good meeting and a good communion. Her friend, Hazel Back, wasn’t able to attend church as she hasn’t been doing well. So, some from church took communion to her at home.

There were also church services at Letcher Manor Nursing Home on Sunday. Dad, Allen Whitaker, visited with Minnie Blair and Mary Helen Blair. He said Mary was doing pretty well, but Minnie wasn’t feeling too well.

Ila Adams called and talked with Mom a little while on Sunday. She is doing fair, but is having some problems with her back.

Charles E. Blair has had a lot going on with him. He was scheduled to have open-heart surgery, but that has been put on hold for now. After having dye, his kidneys weren’t functioning like they should have been. However, the function has improved a little now, thank God. He’s also having some problems with his shoulder.

This weekend, Mom spoke with her sister, Edna Helton. She is doing fair, though the weather has been hard on her breathing.

Van Blair has been in the hospital again. Dad went to visit him on Saturday.

Juanita Hensley was also in the hospital recently, though she is home now. I hope she is feeling much better.

Fred Whitaker’s dad, Russell Calhoun, needs your prayers. He has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

I’m not sure if I mentioned last time that Jayane and Greg Lynch are going to be grandparents again. Congratulations to John and Melanie. I hope things go wonderfully for all.

The 108th annual ‘June Meeting Memorial and Reunion’ was held at the Whitaker Cemetery on Johnson Fork at Premium on June 23 and 24. The church services started at 9 a.m. each morning. A potluck style dinner followed at the home of Joy Watts on Saturday and then on Sunday the dinner was held by the cemetery.

The Halcomb/Blair family reunion will be held at the Cowan Community Center at Cowan, on Saturday, Aug. 4. We will have a potluck style dinner around noon. Everyone is invited to attend.

The 25th annual Adams/ Thompson/Blair family reunion will be held Aug. 3 and 4 at Arthur and Helmer Adams Memorial Park on the top of Blair Branch. There will be soup beans and vegetable soup served on Friday evening. A church service will be held at 6:30 p.m. After services there will be a washer toss tournament for children under 16.

Saturday evening between 6 and 6:30 p.m. supper will be served. Everyone is asked to bring covered dish, your own drinks, and lawn chairs. The adult washer toss tournament will be Saturday night.

Hazel Bowling celebrated her 65th birthday June 6; Stephen West and Taschelle Sexton on June 8; Wade Whitehead, June 10; Cyra Whitaker, June 14; Sammy Gibson, June 15; Annie West and Jordan Adams, June 25; Bill Fleming, June 29; Jeannette Whitaker, June 30; Connie Lawson and Jake Halcomb, July 4; my daddy, Allen Whitaker, July 5; Phillip Adams, July 6; Jodi Adams-Sands, July 7; Haston Whitaker, July 10; Wilma Halcomb will celebrate her birthday on July 13; and Abbie Cook Sexton, July 15.

Bill and Evelyn Fleming as well as Jocelyn and Dennis Watts, will celebrate their wedding anniversaries on July 13. Opal and David Jent will celebrate theirs on July 17. Happy anniversary to each of you. I hope you have many more love-filled years together.

Blair Branch and the surrounding areas have lost several residents recently. I ask you to keep the families in your prayers.

Travis Morton, 17, of Jeremiah, died Friday, June 15, at his residence. Travis was the son of John Paul and Melody Ann Brown Morton. Surviving other than his parents are a brother, Ryan Douglas Morton of home, and grandparents, Roland and Ruth Brown of Jeremiah and Polly Morton Collins of Jeremiah. The funeral was Monday, July 18, at the Letcher Funeral Home Chapel. Burial followed in the Mary A. Blair Cemetery at Jeremiah.

Shannoka Ann Adams, daughter of Ralph Adams and Shelsie Page Shipp, entered eternal life Saturday, June 16, in Letcher County. She was 28 years old.

Shannoka is survived by her parents, Ralph Adams of Pippa Passes, and Shelsie Page Shipp of Kingsport, Tenn.; three brothers, Luke Adams of Blair Branch, Jacque Shipp and Odgen Shipp, both of Marysville, Oh.; and paternal grandparents, Joyce Ann Adams and Linville ‘L.C.’ Adams both of Blair Branch. She is preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Minnie and Wid Page.

Marvin Jody ‘ Mojoe’ Watts, 56, of Hallie died Sunday, July 1, at Pikeville Medical Center. ‘Mojoe’ was the son of the late Carlos and Ora Watts. Surviving are his wife, Joan Caudill Watts; two children, Jessica Beth and Joshua Ryan; a grandchild, Daulton; son-in-law, Eddie; three sisters, Mildred Carver, Mary Ann Whitaker, and Marlene Walters; and a brother: Maynard Watts. Funeral was Tuesday, July 3, at the Cedar Grove Old Regular Baptist Church with Danny Dixon, Elwood Cornett, Jim Fields, and Robert Holcomb officiating. Burial followed in the Watts Family Cemetery at Hallie.

Mo was a wonderful man and felt like another dad to me. I couldn’t have asked for any better treatment than what he and Joanie gave me when I was staying with their daughter Jessica in high school. You will be missed, Mo.

Reathie LeBlanc, 80, of Whitesburg, died Wednesday, July 4, at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Healthcare Center. Reathie was the daughter of the late Obie and Hettie Adams Stewart. Surviving are three sisters, Blanche (Eddie) Bowling of Dearborn Heights, Mich., Glenna Smith of Whitesburg, and Bea Crawford of Louisville; nieces and nephews, Sheree (Don) Combs, Carla (Mario) Ramiz, Mike (Glenna) Harris, and Robin Blair; and great-nieces and nephews, Amelia, Corey, Mac, Katie and Leah.

Funeral was held Friday, July 6, at the Letcher Funeral Home Chapel with Mike Harris officiating. Burial followed in the John C. Adams Cemetery at Jeremiah.

If I have left anyone or anything out, just let me know and I will be glad you get you next time.

I hope everyone has a healthy and happy week. If you would like to contact me, feel free to give me a call or you may email me at: alanacouch@hotmail.com.

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