Whitesburg KY
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Nance Coots was said to have healing powers

Southern Ohio


Howdy folks! I do believe the temperature feels a might chilly this morning in the Harrison area. I really never know how to dress; jeans are too hot, shorts too chilly.

Vickie Power and I took a drive to Hebron, to a small store called The Galorie. Vickie is a troublemaker as I have been very good about eating chocolate candy. Yes, I bought and ate a small box of something called Snow Flaky Truffles. I can’t believe I ate all 12 small pieces in one evening!

Vickie and I went to the Harvest Time Restaurant at Everton, Ind., which is located about 10 miles from Brookville, Ind. I think I danced the chocolate truffles off. A couple of women sat at the table in front of us, one of the women turned around and asked us if we danced.

Vickie doesn’t dance and that was all I needed to get me up on my feet. I had to laugh when Vickie and I went to the music show in Hamilton, and two people asked where I was because I wasn’t at Flatland Bluegrass barn at Bath, Ind., as they missed seeing me dance!

Willa Mae Boggs, while I was dancing I thought of you encouraging Vickie and me to get out and go as someday it won’t be possible to do this.

I received the nicest emails from Bob Akemon, who is originally from the Big Branch area and knew my great-grandparents, Will and Nance Coots. Bob sent me a little thing called Memories. Bob said people believed that Ma Coots had some kind of special healing power that healed young children.

What Bob is referring to was called thrash, now it is called “thrush mouth, which is a fungus or bacteria that babies get in their mouth. It is very painful and years ago could be transmitted to a mother’s breast as the baby was nursing. I know because my own mother related to me many times the story of taking me when I was six months old and letting Ann Calihan blow in my mouth to cure me.

I tease Ann and tell her that she breathed the breath of mischievous in me.

Mom says it did cure my mouth! Ann also recalls blowing into the mouth of many babies when she was young for this purpose! No, I am not making this up!

Bob Akemon also recalls the little town of Roxana having three stores. Amburgey’s was owned when I was born in 1945 by Isaac and Gladys Hogg. Gladys Hogg made the lining to my Grandpa Alex Hall’s coffin. Grandpa Hall died the night I was born. Gladys Hogg told me this story herself!

Bob brought up a subject that I have often thought about how so many people settled in the Harrison, and other places close to Harrison. Bob was curious if I knew some of the people when I came here. It actually it took some time before I discovered that Polly Ison Maucher lived in New Trenton, Ind., and was from back on Kingscreek.

July 4, Polly Ison Maucher will be having a gathering for friends and family at the New Trenton Fire Department. Her brothers, Frick and Frack Doug and Michael Ison, will be doing the cooking. Johnny Calihan might have been elected to be the taste tester!

Last year I was invited to this party and had something else I had to do. I hope this year I can attend, though July 4 is a really busy time. If I go I am going to make sure I sit close to Polly’s favorite son, Donald Maucher.

Shirley Wells of Clarksville, Tenn., and her grandson, Tyler, enjoyed a very good day fishing together. Shirley and Tyler set aside a certain day for this event.

Storms have been hitting our area rather hard this spring. Gwen Huff Farmer has been having her share of storms through the Illinois area too. Gwen says she hopes her seeds aren’t washed away, as she had to replant several times.

Willa Mae Boggs is improving a little from her bout with pneumonia. I really enjoy talking to her.

I received a very nice email from someone who lives at Linefork. She said while they were riding their four-wheelers on Big Branch, they stopped at the cemetery and noticed the names of Will and Nancy Coots, along with our parents Clayton and Ora Hall. The writer said they noticed that the graves were in good condition, however there are several that aren’t.

Our brother, Richie Hall, always makes sure that the weeds are cut at the our parents’ and grandparents’ graves, along with our small family site at Nora Frizzer Cemetery.

The writer also said later they found out that Ma and Pa Coots were their neighbor’s grandparents. I wish they had enclosed a name and the names of their neighbor. They also said they have relatives in the Middletown area. I wish they had enclosed their name too.

Writing my column in The Mountain Eagle has turned up several relatives that I didn’t know existed.

I really enjoy being in contact with Boyd Coots, and I have to get busy and send him a picture of Ma and Pa Coots’s house that was sent to me by Gladys Hogg of Frostproof, Fla.

I need to get in touch with Merlene and Doyle Day as there’s some information I want to know. Merlene and Doyle can help me find out some information about my grandma, Rosa Hall.

Thanks to everyone for saying they enjoyed the article about Kingdom Come State Park. I hope more people decide to visit this park. It is so beautiful to look over the mountainside.

I really have enjoyed hearing from Dean Cornett. He brought back so many memories of childhood days of that little place called Roxana.

Dean asked if I remembered the three section houses that close to the railroad tracks. Yes, I remember them very well. Dean asked if I recalled hearing the ghost stories about one of the houses, of people seeing a little white dog at night. Dean said he didn’t know if there had been a murder or something in one of the houses.

Bee and Alice Whitaker lived in one when I was young. I have spent many of a day around Alice Whitaker, and as I recall there were five brothers from Roxana that worked for the railroad, Pearl, George, Jeff, Watson, and Bee Whitaker. Pearl Whitaker was married to Martha who later married Hiram Mitchell. George was married to Minnie who was a sister to Hiram Mitchell. Jeff married Hessie Ison who was a sister to Wes Ison, my teacher. Watson Whitaker was married Alma, the sweet lady that I have called my extra mountain mama. Bee Whitaker married Alice Brown; her brother, Frank, was married to dad’s sister at one time.

Well, history lesson is over, so I guess I better get this on its way as my computer went down last night.

Hello to my brother, Jerry Hall, and Mattie, and to my sister, Loretta Church, and brother, Wallace Lee Hall, and his wife, Georgia, in Letcher Manor Nursing Home.

My sister-in-law, Wanda Hall, and her sister had a yard sale. I hope they did well.

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


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