Whitesburg KY

Locust trees are blooming in Ohio

How are you this fine beautiful day? All I can say is go from heat in the morning to air during the day and at least heavy cover at night. I will take it anytime over the below-zero temperatures.

I really hated to see the beautiful blooms of the redbud trees fade away as their colors are so beautiful with the shades of green.

The locust trees are in bloom and it looks as if the hills are covered with snow. At first I couldn’t figure out what it was as the beauty was unfolding so early in the morning.

I really hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day. As I grow older this seems to be a difficult day for me. For years now I haven’t been able to look at cards.

Thanks to my daughter Angie Wiederhold and sidekick Bennie for the beautiful roses and cards; to my son Keith Ballard for money; and my daughter Anna Nottingham for the invitation for a cookout, which I had to decline as I was too far away.

This past weekend was Appalachian Festival at Old Coney which is held on the outskirts of Cincinnati. I have attended this event for many years on Mother’s Day, a gift to myself. Three years ago Ron Simmons, who is president of the organization, asked me if I would be interested to volunteer, and I love it.

I was there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We had beautiful weather for all three days. I have been there when you almost froze, when it rained hard, and now I can say this was a weekend that was so wonderful.

Southern Ohio

Appalachian Festival has music, which is the reason I attend. It has many other things like many crafts, along with demonstrations.

I didn’t go in some parts this year as they have what is called Living History,

Tony Hale & Black Water Bluegrass Band did two excellent shows. If I start writing about how I feel about this band you will get tired of reading.

Tony Hale Wayne Haddix, Bubba Griffin, Brad Jessmer and Evan Lanier are great musicians. The only thing that could have made it any better would have been to have Les and Pat Wagner sitting there to enjoy it with me.

Becky Hasty, you made my day so special. Thanks, Polly, for bringing Becky and thanks for sharing your wonderful family with me.

I don’t mean to be all gushy when I sit in an audience to listen to musicians, but over the years I have watched several young ones grow into adults. I met Evan Lanier when he was about nine years old. Evan is 17 now, at least I think so.

Evan is one of the neatest young lads you would ever want to meet, and a most talented musician. Evan can walk onto the stage with the most known bands and can pick with the best of them.

What I really admire most is Evan’s personality; he is not above speaking, and doesn’t walk around like a peacock flaunting his feathers.

Nightflyer is another group that is a highly energetic group. I have known several of these guys for 20 or more years.

There are so many bands I would miss so I am not going to even start, but I think Wayne Haddix, who picks with Blackwater, and Evan Lanier, who has his band called Evan Lanier & Bluegrass Express,were in a contest to see who could pick the most.

For someone not to play music, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to bluegrass music and almost said sitting, heck no, I haven’t sat, except this past year. Due to health reasons I haven’t been able to dance for almost a year.

I had the pleasure of listening to Susan Pepper, who is keeping old time ballads alive; Dale Farmer, who has Jericho Old Time music; along with another band that accompanied Susan on the guitar. It was so relaxing as I sat in the audience with Warren and Judy Waldron of the Rabbit Hash String Band, plus a couple more groups.

Sunday was a very special day for me also. Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers played, and I haven’t seen this group in almost a year. I sort of changed hats so to speak as I sat at the Lady Slippers CD table and sold CD’s.

I have known Ma Crow, Trina Emig, Margie Drees, over 20 years also.

Vicki Abbott is the newest member, and it feels as if I have known her forever as she fits the group so well. Then there’s another very important person, no he doesn’t play music, Vicki’s husband Rob Abbott.

As I had some free time I sat in a group and listened to a group of people talking, one woman was telling of her childhood memories, of wearing white gloves and traveling to Cincinnati going shopping, this woman is exactly my age.

I sat there and thought back at that age how I didn’t know what a pair of gloves was much less going shopping. I bit my lips as a streak of mischief almost bubbled through. I had white gloves too, called a pair of socks if you were lucky to find a pair to put over your little hands as you walked to school.

Most of time you just pulled your little hands up inside a handmedown oversized coat and tried to pull your hands up inside. The only time I did this was to hold a crystal clear icicle on the way home from school.

To this day I verily seldom button or zip my coat. You may see me clutching it in front, as old habits ate hard to break.

As we sat together, Southern food was also brought up, and the subject of biscuits and gravy. I asked had anyone ever had chocolate gravy.

A few had eaten this and liked it, though someone said that sounded nasty. Again the mischievousness wanted to take over. How anyone can eat raw fish and bloody steaks, then think chocolate gravy sounds nasty?

I should have asked had they ever sopped a piece of cornbread into a bowl of soup beans, or enjoyed a glass of milk with cornbread crumbled in.

If you ever get bored, I will tell you how to amuse yourself: go to a public event and people watch. I promise you one thing, you won’t be bored for long.

I have been told that my eyes talk, because they sparkle. Oh no, they don’t talk or I would be in a lot of trouble.

Doyle and Betty Ison, I hope you are feeling better. Johnny and Ann Calihan, I will try to see you before too long.

I thought about going back to Ralph Stanley’s festival, but my plans are still up in the air, as I think that is a bit too much for me at this present time.

May 21, 22, and 23, Amvets Post at Hillsboro will be having its annual bluegrass festival with Tony Hale & Blackwater, Evan Lanier & Bluegrass Express, and Ma Crow, all scheduled for this event along with several others.

My sympathy goes to the family of Richard Caudill and Marcia Caudill since they lost a brother-in-law, Jesse Hall.

For someone to be cared for this much after divorce, Jesse Hall must have been one fine person.

Someone was asking questions about my private life. I want to clear one thing up, first off May 27 I will be reach the young age of 70, too old to be young, too young too be old.

For the past almost eight years I have totally enjoyed my life with no boss, and, ladies, don’t say when you are married you don’t have a boss. If you are married you do have restrictions even in the most solid marriages.

When you are by yourself you can do as you please. I will say one thing, I have never known of so many people interested in my private life.

Being alone is wonderful to me. I am so thankful I have been blessed to be able to drive. I don’t have much money, but it is mine what little I have.

I don’t have to depend on a man to pay my bills, I’ve not been a world traveler, and my thrills are bluegrass festivals.

I have no desire to go over the world. I don’t know what fancy foods taste like, expensive wine or fancy drinks.

When I can find someone who will get up before dawn to watch a sunrise with me, listen to the birds as they wake up the world with their harmony, not to be a grouch so early, and be ready to go in the blink of an eye, and sit without speaking when I need quiet, then I might be interested.

See, I have restrictions. I love my life and I am not about to change. I don’t have much longer in this journey called life and I intend to enjoy it.

Hello to my niece Sue and Mart Hall.

Until next time, roseballard3@aol.com, telephone 513-367-4682.

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