Whitesburg KY

Letcher County Day set for Sept. 26

Southern Ohio

Howdy again, everyone! Fall is surely upon us whether we are ready for it or not, and I am not! I really don’t like winter weather except I do think snow is beautiful. The older I get the more I dread the changing of seasons, though I really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. When you figure out what is wrong with me, please let me know!

I received a call from Richard Cornett of Dayton, Ohio. Richard is a brother to Jim Cornett who writes for The Mountain Eagle. Richard was asking about Letcher County Day at the Harrison Community Center, 300 George St., Harrison, Ohio, Sept. 26. This is directly across from Monk’s Restaurant. Richard is planning to come; he is also telling people about it. I hope we have a good turnout. This is a dream I have had for several years to see this event in Harrison.

For those of you who enjoy reading, I have just finished reading “What My Heart Wants To Tell” by Verna Mae Slone. It is really good. I also have the book called “Rennie’s Way”.

I never met Verna Mae Slone but I feel a close connection as I love to write. I really didn’t know if I would find the time to read, however once I opened it I found I couldn’t put it down. At three different intervals I read the whole book. Now I am going to start reading “Rennie’s Way”!

While reading “What My Heart Wants To Tell”, I felt as if I was sitting in the midst of Verna Mae’s company. So many things were like being with Mommy, Ora Hall, and my grandma Rosa Hall.

Verna Mae mentioned “aspargrass” being grown in the yard, never eaten for food. Grandma would plant her “spargrass” as it was called in an old tire someone had discarded. The shoots would grow tall and straight, then real soft leaves would feather out. It made a very pretty plant.

Verna Mae also mentioned artichokes. Someone did say we could eat the roots of the plant. They were tuberous, grew along the riverbank there at Roxana. We would pull them up, wash the roots, and eat them like a raw potato. Now I would be afraid to even try that.

Sometimes I tell my kids and grandchildren how we would find a plant which we called “rabbit ‘baccer”. It was a rough feeling plant that grew wild. We would chew the green. fuzzy-feeling leaves and spit out a juice which resembled ‘baccer (tobacco) juice. It is a wonder some of us kids didn’t die.

At the edge of the swinging bridge at the mouth of Tolson, really it was more like the mouth of Mill Branch, there was a birch tree. I used to break a small branch and chew it, scraping the bark with my teeth. That was the best taste and smell. I wonder if there are birch trees still growing?

Beechnut trees are another favorite memory. I never hear anyone say anything about this small tasteful nut. This time of year brings so many memories of hunting for walnuts and hickory nuts, trying to save some for the winter months. I am so glad that Mommy and Grandma took the time with me to explain things.

Shirley Wells is getting along alright. She sends a big howdy to all her friends back at Marlowe, especially Oma Hatton.

Richie, Wanda and their son Derrick spent a few days at Pigeon Forge, Tenn., along with Barb and Rick Jones and their little granddaughter Destiny. I tried to call to tell them they forgot me!

Congratulations to Dwayne and Maegan Bowling who are the proud parents of a baby girl, Lelyn Renee. Maegan is the daughter of David and Melissa Boggs, and the granddaughter of Carl and Willamae Boggs.

Carl and Willamae spent a few days camping with several friends at Carr Creek. Willamae hasn’t been feeling up to par; I hope she gets better. I sent her a card and it really got a laugh from them as our handwriting is similar. They thought she had made a mistake and sent herself a card. She asked me who taught me to write. I am proud to give the credit for this to my second-grade teacher Jessie Wright.

I finally got to spend some time corresponding with Gwen Huff Farmer via the Internet. Gwen is having a lot of trouble with her legs; she hardly able to walk. Gwen’s brother Lindell Huff is in the hospital and isn’t doing very well. Please keep him in your prayers.

Belated happy birthday wishes to Gwen’s sister Grace Sept. 3. A surprise birthday party was given by her brother and several friends. Gwen said there was food enough to feed an army, including two kettles of beans, one of greasy beans, meatloaf, chicken, and someone even made a huge birthday cake. It makes me hungry just thinking of greasy beans.

Belated birthday wishes to my granddaughter Jodi Gray who is 21 years old. Jodi is in her third year of college; she is going to be a teacher. I am so proud of Jodi.

Don’t forget to watch “Survivor” on TV Sept. 17, as Marissa Calihan will be on it. Marissa is the daughter of Clay Calihan of Hamilton, and the granddaughter of Jewell Calihan and the late Claymon Calihan, who are originally from Paices Branch “Paradise Valley” which is near Roxana.

Marissa Calihan makes her home in Cincinnati, Oh. She has received quite a bit of publicity in the newspapers I understand. I know that her grandmother Jewell is bursting with pride and so are her parents. Jewel said if any way possible she is planning on coming to Letcher County Day.

I haven’t kept my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold this week. I miss that little dickens though I needed some rest.

Barefoot Bill and Bill Kelly are back in Franklin, Ohio after a few weeks in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Betty’s sister Linda had surgery while they were down in the mountains. Meanwhile here in Ohio, one of Betty’s sisters was in the hospital,. That is like saying, which way do I go?

Betty is very close to all her family. Betty said her cousin Elaine had surgery on her eyes.

Doyle and Betty Ison are still enjoying having their son Randy home from Iraq. Randy will be retiring from the service sometime in the future.

Johnny and Ann Calihan and their family are all right. Hello to all of their families.

I really enjoyed a conversation with Alberta Bailey. It seems some of her relation lived in West Harrison, Ind., which is close to me.

Hello to my brother Jerry and Mattie Hall and to my sister Loretta Church and brother Wallace Lee Hall and his wife Georgia, who are in Letcher Manor Nursing Home.

I will leave you with this joke. “Oh God,” sighed the wife one morning, “I’m convinced my mind is almost completely gone!” Her husband looked up from the newspaper and commented, “I’m not surprised. You’ve been giving me a piece of it every day for 20 years.”

Until next time: Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4 @aol.com, 513-367-4682.

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