Whitesburg KY
Partly sunny
Partly sunny

Lilacs are budding in Ohio

Hello again everyone!

It is another rainy day in the Ohio Valley area, but why should I complain when it could be snow?

Would you believe that I have a lilac bush next to my house that is starting to bud? Wait a minute, it is about three months too early or more for this to be happening. My brother Richie Hall said someone in the mountains has daffodils that are up.

Richie is doing very well since the surgery on his hip, which I keep referring to as his leg. I guess I don’t or can’t remember body parts, but that comes from age. He must be getting older because no way am I going to admit to that.

I may not be able to outrun Richie, but I can still outwalk him. When he reads this I may be looking for a place to stay in the mountains. Do I hear any serious offers of bed, breakfast and lodging for a weekend guest?

My sister-in-law Wanda spoils me as she serves me breakfast, lunch or supper, whatever time we eat, as if I am something special.

My brother Robert Hall is in Pikeville Rehab at Pikeville. I guess he is improving as I haven’t talked to him since he was transferred there.

A friend and I went to the University Hospital in Lexington as my cousin Lorene Deal’s husband Donald is a patient there. Don is facing serious surgery sometime this week so please keep this family in your prayers.

Lorene and I hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years. Her niece Christine Wu was there and Chrissy was just a young girl in high school the last time I saw her. Lorene and Don still live in Partridge and Chrissy and her husband live in Lexington.

I had to tease Chrissy as she is married to a Chinese guy. I asked her how in the heck did a mountain girl get married to a Chinese man, and I am not meaning to be negative about it.

Chrissy did say it was a rough time when they were first married, but they are doing something right since they have been married for 17 years. I did give some advice as I told her if she wanted to make it longer she’d better not introduce him to her crazier than usual cousin.

This was a very enjoyable trip for me. I am surprised the nurses didn’t throw us all out.

I am not trying to be disrespectful to anyone, however I would probably giggle at a funeral if I got tickled, and believe me, this trip was enough to make me laugh so hard I bit my finger to keep from laughing.

Being with Lorene, it seemed as if the years disappeared and we were little again staying at Grandma Rosa Hall’s. We slept on shuck tick mattress with a coat rolled up for a pillow that was put under Grandma’s long, white kitchen table to keep from being stepped on. We were just happy to be together as their parents, my aunt Bertie and her husband Johnny Lewis, lived in Cumberland.

Lorene is six months younger than me, and her sister Gracie is exactly one year older than me.

Gracie and her husband live in New Tazewell, Tenn., close to a lake. I haven’t seen Gracie and her family in over 20 years either.

For the past few months I have been in touch with them, thanks to Chrissy looking for information for her family tree that was in Kentucky Explorer magazine. Southern Ohio

Which reminds me, all you relatives of Gary Eldridge back in the hills of home and elsewhere, Gary did a show on local radio about the 1937 flood that almost destroyed surrounding areas and left a path of destruction through several counties and states including Letcher County. Evidently it played havoc in Lawrenceburg and Aurora, Ind., along with Cincinnati and even Harrison.

I am not that well acquainted with Gary, except he is the nephew of Robert Bryant, who is originally from Johnson Fork at Hot Spot. I do know Gary has a band called Rural Route #2, which has performed at the bluegrass festival in Versailles, Ind. for several years.

He is a great musician and singer, works as an EMT at Rising Sun, and is in charge of a museum at Rising Sun. He also works with a friend of mine, Sue Courtney, whom I have mentioned several times. I love to go to Sue’s and we sit on her deck and river watch.

Gary is into genealogy and travels back in the mountains of eastern Kentucky from time to time in quest of his research. I am aware he is a cousin to Betty Kelly, Juanita Hensley and Wanda Lene Watts Whitehead.

I have a trip of a lifetime that I may take, but I don’t really know for sure. I have been invited to go to Nashville, Tenn., to something called SPIGMA, where bluegrass bands and artists are honored.

All expenses will be paid except my food. My friend Norma Ashcraft has invited me to go along with a couple we know, Art and Joanne Peters. I haven’t decided yet.

Norma was born around the Crases Branch area, and her grandmother was Millie Hughes and her children were Lula, Beulah, Clyde, Joe and Shelby.

Shelby Hughes was her father. Norma also lived in Carbon Glow and went to school her first year there. Norma also recalls Blaine France’s Store.

When you get right down to it, you will discover it’s a small world after all.

Richard Cornett seemed surprised that he and I are friends with the same person, my dancing partner Becky Tipton at the Coon Hunters Club. I met Becky several years ago, but we really didn’t become best friends until almost three years ago.

Richard is originally from the Graveyard Hollow, as it used to be called, and the Blackey area. He is a brother to Jim Cornett, who writes occasionally for The Mountain Eagle.

Another misplaced hillbilly, Bob Akemon from Big Branch, who has lived in Elkhart, Ind. for more years than I can count, sent me a message to pass on to Johnny Calihan saying a friend from years ago, Russell Frazier, had died.

Bob’s brother Quentin Akemon bought my greatgrandparents Will and Nance Coots’s homeplace I have never met Bob and his wife, which I would love to do, as Bob knew my mom and her family.

I explained to Bob that I look more like Mom every single day that I live, except I am a little heavier than Mom ever was.

I don’t have Mom’s timidness, as I have a lot of both of my grandmothers, Betty Adams Barton and Rosa Hall, in me. As lots of you know, God gave me more guts than brains.

I refuse to be a doormat for anyone, and I don’t turn the other cheek. If I do, it may be to see how far I am going to try to lay you out. I have never intentionally hurt any one, but still I am not taking any beatings from anyone, be it man or woman.

I ventured to the Coon Hunter’s Club, and my dancing partner Becky Tipton was there, and we had a really good time.

I talked to Johnny and Ann Calihan both this week, and Johnny sounds better than I have heard him in a long time. Ann is having some discomfort in her leg, so she is not perking too well. I guess I am going to have to take her dancing with me to get her limbered up.

To be honest, after dancing Friday night, I got a cramp in my right leg that I didn’t think would ever go away so guess I sort of overdid it. That or my blood pressure pills decided to give me a pain in my legs once again.

I haven’t talked to Gwen Huff Farmer or Shirley Wells this week.

It seems there’s never enough time, yet I am not getting anything accomplished.

I did receive a note from Arlyn Halcomb, and Clarence and Arlyn are doing pretty well. They really enjoyed a visit from Joe and Bill Halcomb, Julius Cornett, and Bill Ison, who brought fish to their home for a fish fry. Bill Ison is Ann Calihan’s brother.

Happy birthday to my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold, Jan. 30. My daughter Angie, Bennie and Mamaw were going to McDonald’s to celebrate.

Bobby Hogg called me from Florida to tell me how warm it is there. Bobby bought a brand new car and discovered the air conditioning didn’t work when he got to Florida as it had a small hole in the hose. I am sure glad we don’t live close as I might have been tempted to say I did it!

It was really good talking to Bobby as his dad, Blackburn Hogg, and my dad, Clayton Hall, were lifelong friends.

Hello to my sister Loretta Church in Letcher Manor and to the gang.

Doyle and Betty Ison say hello to all the family in the mountains, and they are doing pretty well.

Folks, the time has come for me to get this on the way as the old clock is giving me the evil eye.

Until next time: Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, telephone: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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