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Remembering my first custard at Holcomb’s

Southern Ohio

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

As I look across the hayfield that is covered with frost my thoughts return to childhood in the mountains, a fireplace in each room if you were lucky.

Mom crawling out of a warm bed to stoke the fires, get dressed and going to the kitchen to build a fire in the wood and coal stove.

Sometimes Mom would have to break ice in the water bucket or set it on the stove to thaw out before she could put water in a pan to wash her face and hands before starting to prepare breakfast, and we are talking about three o’clock in the morning as Daddy worked in the coalmines

There was no lounging around in a housecoat as she hit the floor almost running to start each day.

Have you started planning what you will be having for Thanksgiving dinner? I don’t remember Thanksgiving being any different than any other day of the year, except the year when I was 12 and Daddy bought half a turkey from Wess Ison. Mom had no idea what to do with it.

I went to Bernice Adams and asked her how to fix it, and she gave me a recipe.

Mom always said that was the best dressing she ever ate.

Mom would fix a stack cake and cook a mess of shucky beans, but she would fix these at all times.

Don Wagner sent me a video on computer that was filmed by Charles Kurault in 1965.

I left the mountains in 1961 and cannot believe there was such poverty in the mountains that was portrayed in this documentary. Daddy always had a job.

It was heartbreaking to watch. This is the first time that I’ve seen it.

It was filmed on Pert Creek, then some about Roxana, and it showed Hiram Mitchell’s store. As I watched the film of all the families in Pert Creek, it was difficult to watch as tears were falling so hard and fast.

Then when I watched the small scene in Roxana and it brought back so many memories. I don’t mean to sound bitter and I realize that merchants couldn’t give away their goods, but I would say it is a safe bet that not a single child got as much as a piece of penny candy given to them.

I can remember walking past a woman’s house and there would be apples and pears going to waste laying in the ditch beside the road. If she saw you pick one up, you were told to put that down as she was going to use it.

Haley Hogg had a huge pear tree in a field close to her house, and Blanche and Haley would pick up every pear as soon as one would fall. I climbed up in the tree and almost got caught. It is a good thing Haley didn’t look up.

Blanche was the first person to ever buy me soft custard from Holcomb’s Custard stand at Isom.

I mowed the huge yard, then we went to Isom. That memory is still with me today as I don’t think there’s anyplace that compares to the flavor of the soft custard that is served there.

Now you’ve taken a little trip down memory lane with me, so I guess I’d better get back to reality.

Saturday evening, Vicki Power, Daphne Bradley and I went to Hunter’s Pizzeria to see Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers, and the crowd was sort of small.

The Lady Slippers always does a great job whether it would be 10 people or a 100.

I missed my extended family, Les and Pat Wagner, Larry and Becky Hasty, along with Polly and Kelly.

There was a family wedding, and it is impossible to be in two different places as one time.

Pat and Les spent a few days in the mountains, which they really enjoy when they are there.

If I had been feeling better, I sure might have headed back to the mountains again as Sunrise Ridge has been scheduled to play.

I talked to Betty Ison, and I am so glad that she and Doyle are doing well. As I have said several times, you can’t keep Betty down for long.

I really haven’t talked to very many people this week so there’s not much news.

I did talk to Glenora Eldridge for a little bit, and I am very glad she and her family are doing great. Happy birthday to Glenora’s brother, Jack Bryant.

We had some severe weather predicted in the Ohio Valley and surrounding areas. I am glad it passed over very quickly with strong winds, but no damage.

My daughter Kay Gray is staying a while longer in her house in Destin, Fla. Kay wanted me to drive down for a few days, but there’s something important I have to do to this week or I might have been out of here.

Hello to my brother Jerry, and Mattie Hall. Jerry is doing a little better as he can walk a little with the help of his walker.

I know Jerry and Mattie miss being able to get out and walk together.

It seems I was mistaken when I mentioned the beautiful photography by Nina Cornett. It seems it is her husband Dean who is so great with the camera. Regardless, it is wonderful to see.

Hello to Dean’s Aunt Mary. I hope this finds you feeling a little better

My computer is acting up so I guess I better get this on its way.

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



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