Whitesburg KY

Memorial Day was once called Decoration Day

Southern Ohio

Hello again everyone! How is everything in your little corner of the world? Memorial Day always confuses me. As lots of you who know me well, it really doesn’t take a lot to get me confused!

How many of you from the mountains still call it Decoration Day, and you still want to go May 30 to decorate the graves of your loved ones? I don’t understand why the date was changed from May 30 to another date, unless someone figured out how to get make it a longer weekend to party!

I can still remember Grandma Rosa Hall somehow managing to get some red and green crepe paper and open up wire clothes hangers and cut the shape of petals out of the red paper. She took sewing thread if she couldn’t find some thin wire and wrapped the petals around the wire and then took the end of the scissors and made a curl to form the petals. The leaves were made out of the green paper.

I expect anytime to see Christmas at a different date!

Granny and Mommy would walk from Roxana to Nora Frazier’s where our baby sister, Anna Lou Hall, is buried, along with our grandpa, Alec Hall, and aunt, Opal Hall Young. Opal was married so many times, I think she still carried the name of Young as she was married to Riley Young.

In 1960 Mommy had another baby who was born dead, so we have a brother and sister buried in that little country cemetery called Fraziers Cemetery on lower Kingscreek.

I remember going there as a very young child and seeing a young child’s picture on the tombstone of Tommy Farr Mitchell, who died before I was born. That has always stayed in my mind. That small plot of graves was a mess the last time I was there a year ago.

Aunt Tena Brown, Victoria Whitaker and my uncle, Lee Hall, are buried on the hill of Hassel Stamper’s Cemetery. Our parents, Clayton and Ora Hall, are resting close to Mommy’s Grandma and Grandpa Will and Nancy Coots on Big Branch. We tried to get there several years ago. Clayton had to back the van off the mountainside as a tree had fallen across the road along with a mud slide. Had he not been a good driver someone would have found my brother, Jerry, and Mattie Hall along with Clayton and me somewhere over that mountain!

Bill Profitt was planning a visit to see his family in the mountains of eastern Kentucky during Memorial weekend. I really thought about standing beside the road and hitching a ride, though maybe I better not. Bill and his sister, Mavis Kiser, are very nice!

Johnny and Ann Calihan are keeping me in lettuce and onions. I really appreciate this very much. The Calihan family are all doing all right!

I went to church with my, friend Linda Hollan, and then Vickie Power and I went to the Flatland Bluegrass Barn to listen to some mighty fine music. The band consisted of Marvin Davis and his wife, Rosie Davis, and her sister, Judy. You would not find any better harmony coming straight out of Nashville, Tenn. Marvin Davis is a great songwriter, he wrote “Bootleg John” and several more.

Don and Sue Treadway own Flatland Bluegrass Barn. It is just a short distance from College Corner, Ind., outside of Bath, Ind. They are open each Sunday from 2-5 p.m. except for holidays.

While there, I had the pleasure of talking to Jewel Calihan, the wife of the late Claymon Calihan. They used to live on Paices Branch many years ago. Jewel is really frail looking as she has lots of health issues; it was really good to see her.

Vickie and I also went to listen to the music at Whitewater Senior Center.

I had a very pleasant phone call from a distant cousin of ours, Boyd Coots from the Cumberland area. He was telling me that he is involved with making a wildlife DVD of the animals that habitat around the Kingdom Come Park area. I asked him if he would send me a copy. We have never met each other, he saw some time back that I had mentioned his grandparents, Will and Nancy Coots from Big Branch, which are my greatgrandparents. He got in touch with me and I sent him pictures of Pa and Ma Coots.

Everyone on Big Branch loved Will and Nance Coots. My little sweetheart, the late Clarence Huff, told me he thought Nance Coots had been reincarnated when I went to visit him as I asked him could I stay with him. Clarence and I had never met, so when my sister-inlaw, Wanda Hall, took me to meet him, I pretended I was homeless and asked if I could stay with him. Actually, I told him that I had heard he was a very kind man. He told me that his daughter lived there, and after more pretending I was homeless I asked Clarence if he couldn’t make his daughter leave. When he said, “Well, I don’t know about that,” I thought it was best to tell him who I was! I asked if he read The Mountain Eagle and he asked, “Are you her?”

That is when he told me he might have known that I would pull something like that! Clarence made Wanda, Mattie and me walk into his mobile home and showed us a bundle of cards he had received from people who read my column. Clarence’s sister, Gwen Huff Farmer, and I had become friends through my column quite some time before this happened.

Gwen has been busy once again in her garden. The rain has kept her at bay so she is limited to what she has been able to get planted.

I haven’t heard from Clarence and Arlyn Halcomb though I bet that Clarence has a garden out by this time.

Shirley Wells is trying to stay dry as storms are passing through her area very frequently.

Hello to Willa Mae Boggs; it was really good to talk to you.

My brother, Richie Hall, was surprised to see his picture in the paper. Wanda enjoyed having her daughter, Crystal Caudill, with them for a short visit.

Linda Hollan and I went to the flea market at Brookville, Ind. If you need produce and you don’t have a garden or friends that will share with you, this flea market is the place to go if you are in this area!

Congratulations to Tiffany Whitaker who graduated from high school. Tiffany is the granddaughter of Genita Calihan of Paradise Valley (Paices Branch).

Hello to Barefoot Bill and Betty Kelly.

Well, folks 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; (513) 367-4682.

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