Whitesburg KY
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Looking forward to Blackey Day

Southern Ohio

Hello again!

Have you taken the time to see how beautiful the locust trees as they are in full bloom? The hillsides look like they are sprinkled with snow.

In my brother Richie and Wanda Hall’s yard is a tree that has purple blooms and it was so beautiful when I was there.

There’s hardly a day goes by that I don’t want to reach for the phone to call Richie and wait for the phone to ring and hear his voice though it has been eight months since he died. I also find it very hard to accept the fact that my sister Loretta is really gone forever.

My, how the time is flying by so fast, it is hard to believe it is almost the end of May. As I was reading The Mountain Eagle and saw so many reunions it made me think that summer isn’t even officially here and before we know it, it will be fall again and time for our little gettogether for Letcher County Day and of course Blackey Day will be here too.

Blackey Day has become contagious for me, as I can’t believe all these years I didn’t make it a point of interest to go. After attending one year, I could hardly wait to go back last year, and I am looking forward to attending again this year.

I think it is great that local bands are booked for this festival such as 7 South and Will Caudill and Route 7, along with lots of others.

A special thanks for the note from Violet Watts that was passed to me while I was at Campbell’s Branch a month or so ago.

Everyone at Blackey Days is always so friendly and makes you feel welcome. That is why I love Jon Caudill and Libby Day Smith so much as they have always made me feel like family, and I am sorry I haven’t ever taken the time to get to know the rest of their band.

Now Jon just may have to hire me into his company Jon Caudill Construction when I come back there as the price of gas just keeps raising higher and higher.

Sunday was Roots River Folk Festival at Madison, Ind., which I had never been to. Ma Crow & the Lady Slippers were on the schedule.

I woke up early to find a very rainy morning and decided I wasn’t going anywhere since I felt bad. I even went back to bed and to sleep. When I awoke I couldn’t believe it was actually 12 p.m. and the sun was shining so beautifully.

I often said my feet have mind of their own. I was dressed and on my way at 12:45 and I made it to Madison, Ind., in time for the Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers show.

This festival was sort of disappointing to me and I really don’t think I will go back. For one thing you aren’t allowed to take umbrellas, although it was raining, because it will block peoples’ view, yet people are allowed to stand in front of the stage and you can’t see the bands, plus you are not allowed to take a drink in. I had to dispose of my iced tea.

I really had to laugh as I sat in the crowd listening to John McCutcheon perform. A soft, drizzling rain was falling, but no one seemed to mind. Yes, I sat there too. A lady gave me a clear plastic bag and I put it around my shoulders.

There was a mixture of people from older to younger people, even young people with babies, and the cutest thing was seeing a few children running in the clear rain water in the streets. Honestly, I wanted to kick off my shoes and go play with them.

I have only been to one folk festival and that was at Whispering Beard.

I will say one thing, the setting of this festival is so beautiful along the river. I am thinking of taking a picnic lunch and driving back to Madison to spend the day before summer ends.

The only other place that I will say compares to this is at New Albany, Ind. when Gary Brewer held his festival there.

I love where Happy Valley festival is held as the hills sort of envelope you, and the same for Hyden.

Happy Valley Bluegrass Festival, which is held close to Oldenburg, Ind. will be June 7 and 8 and will feature RR2 Bluegrass Band with Gary Eldridge, Bruce Murray, Greg Griffin, Bob Bentle and oops, I forget the bass player’s name. RR2 will perform on Saturday.

Sometimes I think of finding a place that overlooks the Ohio river as I love a few places close to Aurora, Ind., but then I think of having to move so I guess I will just stay where I am located.

Gwen Huff Farmer finally got her garden plowed and a few things planted. Gwen is having company in a few days as a couple of her children are coming for a visit. Gwen is always so pleased to have her family home with her.

My son Keith Ballard spent the afternoon mowing my yard then trimming. It always looks so neat when he is finished.

Afterward Keith replaced the motor that controls the window in my car as it decided to quit working for me. Keith had to do the same thing for my van not very long ago. I am really lucky to have a son who is a good mechanic and who loves his mom enough to help in any way he can to make things a little easier for me.

Wednesday morning my daughter Kay Gray, her daughter Jennifer and I met at Bob Evans for a belated Mother’s Day breakfast. I was teasing the waitress about three generations being together. We each had blueberry crepes, which were very good.

They made me want to go back to Gatlinburg to the Pancake Pantry. Nothing comes close to that place.

I’ve let another week go by and haven’t been in touch with the Calihan family. I hope Johnny and Ann and everyone are doing alright.

It seems I have good intentions but the time slips by on me. I sort of wanted to go to Ralph Stanley’s Hills of Home Bluegrass Festival in Virginia, but decided to stay home.

I haven’t seen my extended family Les and Pat Wagner nor Larry and Becky Hasty for a few weeks. I’m positive Les planted a few extra tomato plants in his garden.

Hello to my two young readers James and John Ison who enjoys The Mountain Eagle.

Special Delivery Bluegrass band with Tony Hale will be performing at Amvets Festival at Hillsboro, on May 24. Oma Hatton, enjoy your visit with your boys and don’t let Billy dunk you in the lake if you visit him.

Emma Engle, I sure hope this finds you perking like a new percolator before long.

Doyle and Betty Ison, get that swing set ready as I am going to head your way and sit on my favorite deck.

My friend Matt Glazer and I are going to share a cup of coffee very soon as his wisteria vines will be in full bloom. This is such a beautiful sight to see and the aroma is breathtaking. I will gladly take Matt a cup of coffee just to spend a little time enjoying this view.

Well, it is time for me to get this on the way. Until next time. Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030 email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, telephone: 513-367-4682.



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