Whitesburg KY

Musician Marvin Davis also has a green thumb

Southern Ohio

Hello everyone! Thanks for the phone calls and cards concerning my fall injuring my back. I am finally on the mend. The pain in my back isn’t gone but it has dulled some. I suppose that is why the word accident is in the vocabulary, things happen so unexpectedly.

I guess I am going to have to give up chasing 81-yearold men as they seem to be able to move faster than me!

My porch swing had started to fall apart, and at my brother Richie Hall’s suggestion, Keith bought a sheet of plywood and put new back and bottom in my swing for me. I don’t think there’s anything this son of mine can’t do when he wants to. The swing is not as soft as when it was new, but I can still sit in it.

I enjoy listening to the birds early of the morning. Sometimes I have breakfast there, and on cool mornings I wrap up in a cover. I can pretend I am a Southern girl sitting on the veranda!

I took a drive to the outskirts of Everton, Ind., and had the utmost pleasure of walking through the most beautiful flower garden I have ever seen in my entire life. It was a rainy, dreary afternoon but it could have been snowing and I wouldn’t have cared at all.

I was transported back in time to the days of childhood as I walked in the flowerbeds and spent time at Hessie Whitaker’s and Minnie Whitaker’s yard at Roxana.

I have mentioned Marvin Davis in my column several times, a well known multitalented musician, a songwriter, and a wonderful singer. Marvin has another talent, he specializes in growing a favorite flower of mine, the iris. You would have to be there to see all the diff erent varieties that Marvin has been able to produce.

The vibrant colors of white and yellow mixed, the deep purples combined with different hues that looked like velvet, a rare orange iris, and a blue one that is the color of the sky. One in particular seemed to jump out at me and say “pick me.” It was a delicate shade of blue. There were so many colors and diff erent varieties, none were the same.

I was afraid Marvin would call 911 and say come and get this woman out of my iris garden!

I wanted to touch each bloom, and I stood for a few minutes drinking in the beauty that was surrounding me. The petals of the iris are so ruffled. It looks like he has taken a piece of thread and gathered the edge, making them look so ruffled. There are veins in the blooms just a tad darker than the color.

Come next year, if God is willing, I will have some of Marvin’s irises growing in my yard. I have already told him I want clippings of several. Actually, I am leaving it up to him to pick for me as there are just too many varieties for me to choose from.

Not only does Marvin have the beautiful irises, you will also find a huge assortment of Hosta plants, that have leaves that are big enough to break off and use as a fan on a hot summer day, and in so many diff erent colors. I am very glad I am not into this particular plant. After all there’s just so much I can afford.

I have heard the expression of having a green thumb, and Marvin Davis must have not only a green thumb, I think all Marvin’s fingers are green. Wait a minute, I didn’t mention his assortment of day lilies!

We sat on the porch and had a cup of coffee, and I told Marvin that over the years I think I have tried to transplant half of eastern Kentucky in my yard. I had brought a tree from eastern Kentucky as a twig and planted it. I think the name is tulip poplar. It turns out he has the same flowering tree in his yard, and also a birch tree. Small birds that look like canaries hide deep within the branches and leaves of the trees.

This was such a peaceful two hours and I am so glad I had the opportunity to go. I will keep this memory tucked away to draw on when I have a bad day. I hope you have enjoyed your journey through Marvin Davis’s iris garden with me.

I forgot to mention that Marvin’s parents are from Kentucky. He is no stranger to mountain ways and sayings though he and his brothers were raised in Indiana.

I usually tell my daughters to get me a subscription for a magazine for my birthday, but this year I am telling them I want iris clippings! Actually I may ask them to let Santa Claus come early, like right now!.

I have a few irises blooming in my yard and I am so proud of them. Sometimes when I go to help my friend who is housebound, I break off a stalk and take to her because she can’t get out to see beauty.

I have one color I haven’t been able to break off and share as it has only three spikes; it is a deep brown that is almost black.

Happy birthday to my kid brother, Richie Hall, on May 26. His birthday is kind of hard to forget as he was a birthday present to me for my 11th birthday on May 27.

Happy anniversary to my oldest granddaughter, Jennifer, and her husband Tommy Proctor on May 27

Now to some unpleasant things. Once again my sympathy goes out to the Huff family. Gwen Huff Farmer’s nephew, Cecil O’Neil Ison, died in DuPont Ind. This was Gwen’s oldest sister Mae and Cecil Ison’s son. Cecil and Mae moved to DuPont to work at the proving grounds during World War II.

Cecil Ison was Kelly Ison’s son, who was from the Linefork area.

Gwen did get to go to the funeral, and she said it was wonderful seeing her family once again.

Now to more sad news. My brother Wallace Lee Hall’s wife, Georgia Dixon Hall, died at Whitesburg Hospital. I know Wallace Lee will miss her, as they were in the Letcher Manor together. Wallace Lee and Georgia were married several years.

I didn’t try to make the trip as I am still a little afraid to drive that far. However, my heart and thoughts were with Wallace Lee. I will be heading to the mountains before too long.

My heart goes out to the family of Eveda Ison of Harrison, who died. Eveda fell several months ago and never fully recovered. She will be missed by her family and friends.

Sadie Ison Hayes of Taylor, Mich., is not feeling her best, and she is back in the hospital. I hope she has a speedy recovery. Thanks, Betty Carol, for the phone number.

Sadie’s sister, Evelyn, has been spending some time visiting her son, Tommy, and his wife, Marlene in the mountains. I haven’t seen Sadie or Evelyn since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Writing for The Mountain
sure has put me back in touch with people from my childhood.

I haven’t seen Betty Carol Mullins since I was about nine or 10 years old, nor have I seen Shirley Wells since I was about 15. Betty Carol and Shirley are cousins.

Johnny and Ann Calihan, Bill and Jean Ison, Hayward and Vivian Day, along with another sister, Lavone, and her husband, all traveled to West Virginia to visit Lafe and Evadean Marcum. The only one missing was their brother, Hubert, from North Carolina, who was unable to go because of a back injury.

I wish I could have been there as this group sat in the motel lobby discussing growing up in the mountains. I can imagine the laughter filling the room as they talked of their mother and grandmother making lye soap, washing on the board, and canning green beans.

I can hear Ann Calihan’s laughter and see her brother Bill Ison’s face getting red

Leave it to a group of hillbillies getting together. I know because Ann and I have done this before.

Ann’s cousin, Mildred Rogers of Jackson, sent me a beautiful card with the inscription, ‘Those feet were made for dancing!’

Vickie Power and I went to the Coon Hunters Club on the outskirts of Hamilton. As I listened to the music watching a couple of my friends dance, I must say I was envious. I was uncomfortable sitting so Vickie took charge and said we are going home!

Hello to my brother Jerry and Mattie Hall.

My dear friend, Willamae Boggs, hasn’t been feeling well for the past few days. It seems that when the weather changes Willamae gets congested.

Carl Boggs has been going to Pikeville to have his vision checked. Maybe I better hurry and head to the mountains before Carl’s vision is perfected, and he won’t notice the wrinkles.

Thanks, Bill Profitt, for your phone call. It is always nice to hear from you.

Jessie Frazier, I bet you are enjoying peas from your garden about now, along with lettuce and onions cut up with hot bacon grease, and a piece of cornbread!

Bruce Jones, did you have to put up a security light to keep that brother of mine, Richie, out of your garden?

Hattie Calihan Taylor, thanks for your beautiful letter about my book, ‘The Beauty Of A Rose.’ I will get one out to your daughter. Having someone tell you how much they enjoy what you do whether it is writing, playing music or whatever, is very good to hear. I still have a few copies left of my book, and I am thinking seriously about getting another together.

My daughter, Kay Gray, has an appointment next week to see about going to college. Kay is interested in medical billing and something else. I am very pleased for her. She is a very brilliant woman and is still young enough to learn.

I haven’t seen my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold, nor my granddaughters, the Nottingham girls, Sarah, Jessica and Katelyn.

Hello to Clarence and Arlyn Halcomb of Hamilton. I bet your garden is pretty by now!

I better get this on its way and let you get some rest. Thanks for the visit! So, until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, 513-367-4682.

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