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Letcher County Day draws crowd in Harrison, Ohio

Southern Ohio


Hello once again everyone! Rain, rain go away! Come again some other day! Letcher County Day in Harrison, Ohio is now just a memory. A very pleasant one I must say!

I had planned for this event to be held at the small shelter next to the woods where we were forced to meet last year, then decided the big shelter was better in case it was bad weather. Saturday morning at five-thirty I was sitting under the big shelter reading “Rennie’s Way” by Verna Mae Slone. While sitting there waiting for daylight to appear I listened to the quiet, then enjoyed the birds at the breaking of day, and thought of the words it is always darkest just before the dawn.

My brother Richie Hall, Wanda and their granddaughter Kirsti Deaton came to spend the night with me specifically to be a part of Letcher County Day. I really hated to be gone and not being able to spend time with them.

Richie came over to the shelter to stay while I came home to get the things I needed and to bake a pone of cornbread. I came home to find Wanda had done the dishes I had left, and had straightened up for me. Oh I had a senior moment, Richie said he did the dishes! Thanks, Wanda and Richie, for all your help.

We had a very good crowd considering the weather forecast had predicted rain. Those who attended were Richie and Wanda Hall, Kirsti Deaton, Johnny and Ann Calihan, Shelby Bockover and son Bobby Bockover, Richard Thomas, Mae Vaughn, Bill Proffitt, Larry Roark, Tim Roark, Clarence, Arlyn and Scott Halcomb, Polly Maucher, Collins and Cena Fay Graves, Bob Bryant, Don and Betty Back, Woody Whitaker, Kay and Samantha Jo Gray, Carl Crase, Larry Smith, Fayette Holcomb, Freddie Ball, and Rose Ballard.

Letcher County was very well represented, and there was enough delicious food to feed an Army!

Larry Roark and his son Tim Roark along with Bob Bryant entertained the crowd with some mighty fine singing and picking. Later Larry Smith joined with his banjo. Larry and his brother-in-law Fayette Holcomb live in Middletown, Ohio.

As Larry picked up his guitar, Richie told me that Larry may have some of his CD’s, so I asked the crowd if they would like to buy one. As I collected the money, I slipped it into Larry’s jeans pocket. I told the crowd I wasn’t used to putting money in a man’s pocket, I was more experienced taking money out (meaning my husband).

My daughter Kay Gray and my great-granddaughter Samantha Gray were able to stop by for a while. Samantha has a little saying that I love to hear, “When you do something good don’t let it rest, till your good is better and your better is best!”

Richie, Wanda and Kirsti left early to go to Hamilton, Ohio to spend time with their daughter Crystal Caudill and boys.

Happy birthday to Clarence Halcomb who well celebrate his birthday Oct. 8. Clarence will be 91 years young. Except for some problems with his eyesight and a little with his hearing, Clarence is in remarkable health. He raises a garden each year and his brain is still as alert as anyone I have ever talked to. Clarence is so knowledgeable he is a delight to talk to and, more importantly, to listen to.

Clarence and Arlyn have been active in an event which is held each year at Governor Bebb’s Park. Clarence grinds corn on his small gristmill that he made himself. Last year it was the same weekend as Letcher County Day. I am so glad they could attend this year as Clarence brought a couple of his treasures that he made, a replica of his old homeplace, and a wooden toy that danced, much to everyone’s enjoyment.

We missed Bill and Jean Ison, Eveeda Ison, Vivian, Hayward Day and their daughter Kim. I know Vivian and Hayward won’t mind me telling somehow there was a mix-up on the date.

The post office has changed their address and The Mountain Eagle hasn’t been delivered in three weeks. How dare someone interfere with The Eagle?

I read where Emma Engle has a large turnout each year for Letcher County Picnic. I hope to see this grow here in Harrison.

Relon Hampton, I especially enjoyed your column. You asked the question, ‘How do you want to be remembered?’ I would like be to remembered as kind and caring, however some will remember me as not being afraid to speak my mind.

I received the nicest phone call from Kathleen Hall Hoffman who grew up in the Little Colley area and now calls northern Kentucky home. Kathleen said she thought by my writing I had a college degree, oh how I wish I did! I do envy people with their schooling and ability to do things. I have found out also that life’s teaching, though no degree or certificates comes with it, is very important. I did graduate from school, better known as the school of hard knocks. I was very intelligent at a very young age, and had more guts than brains in some situations. I am thankful to God that I did realize the importance of education and was given the opportunity to make sure my children got a good education.

Did anyone see the news of the 80 -year-old man who fell in the septic tank in his backyard, and was in there about 6 hours before he was rescued? I know this family personally, he is so lucky to survive this ordeal.

His wife was in the hospital at the time of this incident. Later I was at the hospital with his wife when the news and his picture came on television and I bent over his wife to block her view and sneaked and turned the volume down so she couldn’t see what was going on.

Gwen Huff Farmer is expecting her grandson and his wife for a short visit. Gwen is still having trouble with her knees. She said she is really having lots of mustard greens.

Belated happy birthday to her brother Dale Huff Sept. 27. I went to high school with Dale.

I have corresponded with Shirley Wells and Gwen for a little while this week.

Dean Cornett of Alaska sent me this little bit of news about Roxana: “Seventyfive or so years ago Roxana had four section houses. The largest, a two-story, was upriver of the others and the foreman lived there. A relative of mine, a young girl at the time, spent the night with the two girls who lived there, and they slept upstairs.

“The door to the bedroom didn’t close securely, and they put a coal bucket against it before going to sleep. The visiting girl was awakened late that night by a returning section crew, which had been working on a track problem. She saw a lady standing at the window, watching the crew, and thinking it was the mother of her friends, went back to sleep. The next morning she woke before the others, and slowly became aware that the coal bucket had not been moved.

“She told of what she had seen at breakfast, and was told that the lady had been seen before — that she had lived in the house at one time, and her husband had been section boss. He had been killed on a late night problem, and the lady had been seen, several times, waiting for him when crews were out late at night.”

These section houses that Dean is describing, I remember very well as B. and Alice Whitaker lived in one, and a man named Sid Griffin lived in another one. I do not recall who lived in the other one.

Vickie Power went to a family reunion with her son-in-law Tracy and her grandson Kyle, and Katie Ledford.

Vickie and I went to listen to bluegrass music at Bath, Ind., then stopped at Wendy’s for a bite to eat.

Hello to my brother Jerry and Mattie Hall and all who read this column, hello to my sister Loretta Church, Wallace Lee Hall and his wife Georgia at Letcher Manor

Life is short, break the rules, forgive sooner, love with true love, laugh without control and always keep smiling. Maybe life is not the party that we were expecting, but in the meantime, we’re here and we can still dance.

Well, I guess I had better get this on its way. Until next time Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4 @aol.com, 513-367-4682.


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