Whitesburg KY
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
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Little chatterbox repeats what he hears

Southern Ohio


Hello again, everyone! Grab a cup of coffee and let’s sit down for a chat while I tell you this is a beautiful time of the year. The only thing that would make it perfect is for me to be in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. The next person that is heading that way, if I stood on the highway would you pick me up?

My little 15-month-old grandson, Bennie Wiederhold, is walking! He has been holding my finger and making me get my exercise walking with him. It is so sweet watching him walking all over the house. We are still having trouble getting him to eat. He holds his food in his mouth for such a long time before he swallows it. My daughter, Angie Wiederhold, is going to have to sew something on Bennie’s crib bed as he has started eating the paint.

Bennie and I stopped to visit a couple of friends, Chris and Juanita Lanham, who don’t get out too much since they are both in their 80s. They always enjoy seeing him. When he started to walk through their house they really enjoyed seeing that. As we were leaving I said, “Bye, Chris.” Bennie repeated, “Bye, Chris.” I have finally stopped saying bad words because this chatterbox will repeat them.

My brother, Richie Hall, gets a big kick out hearing him in the background saying things. I am making a videotape of Bennie to give to his mom for Mother’s Day.

Richie is having trouble with his legs again. My sister-in-law, Wanda, is like a rock coming off the steep mountainside; she just keeps rolling along. Richie and Wanda have been having some mighty fine eating with lettuce and onions from a friend’s garden, plus they have enjoyed dry land fish (mushrooms). They are also known as morels. Whatever they are called they are delicious. Wanda squishes them up and makes patties like you would salmon patties.

I went to the Whitewater Senior Center for a while to listen to the music. Polly Ann Ison Maucher was there along with her friend Pearlie Craft, Bob Bryant and Carl Crase. Once again a little group of misplaced hillbillies were together.

I always take Carl Crase my recycled Mountain Eagle. Carl was such a little tyke when his parents left eastern Kentucky, that he really doesn’t remember very much. All you have to do is talk to him for a few minutes and you know he has the love of the mountains embedded in his soul from his parents. His grandparents were Riley and Sally Crase from the Roxana area. I have heard Mommy (Ora Hall) and Grandma Rosa Hall talk of them.

I told Carl of going to Tolson Creek Church with Minnie Whitaker when I was a little girl. Martha Whitaker had cut her long hair and there evidently was a discussion about throwing Martha out of church. I thought they were going to physically throw her out. I remember to this day feeling sorry for her, yet curious as to when they were going to do to this. I wonder what some of the old-time preachers would think of the drugs that are destroying the people now! I do remember hearing there were a few old preachers that liked a nip of the spirit before and after they delivered their sermon.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are doing well. When I was talking to Ann I wasn’t feeling very well, emotionally or physically. I had just said something about feeling bad. I am sure some of you readers can relate to the feeling when the world is on your shoulders. In our conversation we discussed the love of music and how people have loved to dance in the mountains.

Her granddaughter has a friend and he really loves bluegrass music to be such a young man. He tried to get his grandmother to listen to a Phillip Akemon CD. His grandmother wasn’t impressed at all. Somehow I got to laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. I told Ann first I was so burdened down I felt like crying, then here I am laughing so hard I was crying. Ann is such a special friend.

I feel so fortunate to have friends like Ann Calihan, Betty Ison, plus too many more to start mentioning names.

While Doyle and Betty Ison were visiting in the Whitesburg area with her sister, Bessie Shepherd, a couple of weeks ago, Betty, Doyle and Bessie went to Hemphill to listen to the bluegrass music. Betty said she really enjoyed it.

It won’t be long before I will be making plans for Letcher County Day in Harrison, Ohio. This will be held in September.

I hope Bill and Mary Halcomb have a good turnout for their fish fry May 10. This has been a good time when I have gone. The fish is always delicious, along with everything else. Meeting and being with the people is very enjoyable. Bill and Mary are very nice. Of course Clarence and Aryln Halcomb are always a treat to be around.

Clarence has planted another peach tree. This man sure lives life to the fullest. He doesn’t let a little impaired vision stop him from anything. He and Arlyn had to give up driving. That was very hard for them to do, having to depend on someone. They are lucky they have children living close enough to be there for them.

The Appalachian Festival is at Old Coney. Some friends of mine are performing there.

I really enjoyed hearing from Alberta Stamper from Hot Spot ( Premium). Alberta remembers me when I was a young girl. Mommy and Dad moved from Roxana to Hot Spot when I was 14. I was away from home at that time; sometimes I would go back to stay with them for a while then I was off and gone again.

I faintly remember Alberta. I do remember her brother, Ed Halcomb. He and Dad had been out drinking and I drove Ed home. I was so tiny I barely could see above the steering wheel. Yes, I could drive at the age of 14.

Alberta’s brother lives in Bedford, Ind. He enjoys my column, so hello down your way.

With the price of gasoline I may pull the trick that another young girl and I did many years ago. We were riding with someone in his car and we didn’t have money for gas so one of us got an idea (could have been me. The girl and I pretended it was our car and we had run out of gas. Two or three people stopped and siphoned gas out of their car and gave us some. We would go a little farther because we were afraid the same person would come back and get wise to what we were doing. The boy would lie over in the car so he couldn’t be seen! Yes, I have done a few things in my lifetime too!

Many times I walked the road from Roxana to Whitesburg to see Grandma Rosa Hall and from Roxana to Woodrock near Blackey to see my grandmother, Betty Barton, never thinking of the danger, getting into cars with people I didn’t know. I walked across Mill Branch Mountain from Roxana and came out on the road by the meat packing plant. I think it was called Waldrup’s. I can remember being a little scared when I would reach the top of Mill Branch Mountain, as there was a flat place and sometimes there would be a car there. No one ever bothered me, but I did have a sense of fear, however that didn’t stop me, as I would go back again.

In today’s time it is not safe to let a child play in its own yard, much less walk several miles. How I long sometimes to go back to much simpler times.

Belated happy birthday to my two Jones boys, Levine and Bruce. I hope they had good ones.

Hello to my special little guy Devon Cornett and to his mom and dad, Monie and Colon.

Hello to Barb and Rick Jones and Destiny, who keeps Barb in line.

Gwen Farmer had company as her grandson, Wayne Farmer, and his family came to help her get her garden planted. Gwen was so tired she couldn’t hardly move.

Shirley Wells and I finally connected online. It seems with Bennie taking up so much of my time I don’t have much left over. I am getting too old for baby-sitting – I am just kidding. This child has been a blessing for me the past year as he keeps me on the straight and narrow.

Thought you would get a kick out of the following: “Anybody home?” the tourist asked. “Yep,” came a kid’s voice through the door. “Is your father there?” asked the tourist. “Pa? Nope, he left afore Ma came in,” said the kid. “Well, is your mother there?” persisted the tourist. “Ma? Nope, she left just afore I got here,” said the kid. “But,” protested the Yankee, “are you never together as a family?” “Sure, but not here,” said the kid through the door. “This is the outhouse!”

Well that clock is giving me the old evil eye again. I am out of here before it catches me!

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


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