Whitesburg KY
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Square dance is draw to Letcher County



Hello everyone! I would like to say happy spring. I think I am going to hold off on that for a few more weeks, as we have been fluctuating between winter and spring, so it seems, for a while.

Again, I will say I am thankful we haven’t gotten the severe flooding and horrendous amount of snow that other states have received

As I start my morning, I have found something that doesn’t make me so jittery that I could thread a sewing machine backwards.

A couple of years ago, Vicki Power and I ventured to Waynesville, which is known as an antique town. While we were browsing in the shops, a vendor was serving a hot beverage called chai tea. Now I had never heard of it, much less tasted it.

It was very delicious, as it was a cold day. For some reason the flavor has stayed with me. While grocery shopping somehow, chai tea came into my view. I purchased a box not knowing if it was the same.

I use half water and half milk along with the bag of the tea, just a dab of sugar. Oh it feels so good to have something hot to enjoy.

While sipping on the tea, my thoughts go back to thoughts of Grandma Rosa Hall, Dad and Mom drinking coffee. I still have to laugh at Grandma and Mommy taking the percolator parts out of the coffee pot and tossing them away.

They knew exactly the amount of coffee to put in the bottom of the coffee pot, then filled it with water. Even as a child I loved the smell of coffee brewing.

When the coffee was finished boiling, Mom would pour a cup, then using a saucer, she poured a small amount then take a sup, she didn’t call it a sip! Dad would drink coffee black, and as years went by Mom would add a little of her canned milk.

I spent most of my childhood at Grandma’s. When I was a very young age, Grandma would put a small amount of coffee in her white teacup for me, then pour canned milk and a little sugar. If Grandma had a biscuit I would dunk the biscuit in the coffee, then eat the crumbs with a spoon.

That was my first introduction to coffee. Mom would have never even thought of giving one of us children coffee.

Reflecting back things sure have changed over the years of doing things so simple as making coffee in a small pot to all the fancy ways at present time.

I can still see the small bag of J.F.G. coffee, then later Grandma started using Eight O’clock when she moved to Whitesburg, as she could get that fresh ground at the A&P.

If my memory serves me right, I bought Mom her first electric percolator.

There’s a funny story about that percolator. As Mom discovered instant coffee, she would still heat the water in the percolator to make the coffee.

March 4 was a hard day for me as it was difficult to believe that Mommy would have been 100 years old, had she lived.

March 13 would be my dad’s birthday. He would have been 94 years old.

Readers, if you hear of a columnist being sent to an insane asylum, don’t say you weren’t warned. I’ve been playing with the idea to attend the Carcassonne square dance for several weeks. Actually I’ve looked forward to the first dance in March since the last dance in November 2018.

As the time approached, everything seemed to go wrong. Weather report wasn’t good as this and several areas were under a weather advisory. Then it seemed to miss this area.

My son Keith Ballard knew I wanted to go, so he kept me informed as he used his smart phone. Then my daughter Angie Wiederhold had a doctor’s appointment, so we had to change our cleaning day until Friday.

Of course snow was predicted for Friday morning, and we actually got a little over an inch of snow, nothing on the roads. I worked four hours and came home still undecided about traveling.

I hadn’t packed a bag, so I grabbed what I needed at 2 p.m. I left my house, at 6 p.m. and I arrived at Parkway Inn Motel. I drove straight through without stopping.

As I was getting dressed, my niece Sue Hall was knocking on the door. Sue had seen me walking into the motel. Mart, Sue and the girls stayed a bit, then I went to Campbell’s Branch Community Center.

Was I in for a surprise, as there was such a huge crowd, there was standing room only. The only place you could sit was in the kitchen. I stood for a while and finally found a small section to sit down.

Two groups were students from Drew University from New Jersey and Appalachian State from North Carolina. They were studying Appalachia. They had been in Lexington and came to the eastern part of Kentucky.

The group really enjoyed their visit to Campbell’s Branch as several joined to dance. I wish it was possible for the groups to visit Carcassonne square dance.

Mike and Marcia Caudill try to attend Campbell’s Branch frequently, so I called to ask if they would meet me there. Marcia and I actually danced a whole tune all the way through. To my surprise I danced three times.

It is always great seeing everyone, although this time I didn’t try to get through the crowd to talk.

Carl Boggs made a way to come to say hello. I still miss Willa Mae Boggs.

Saturday afternoon, I met Sue Hall then spent a few hours with her and the family. Mart was working on their car, and he took enough time to put windshield washer fluid in for me.

Mart hooked something up so that I could get bluegrass music. It worked until I shut the car off and it went bye-bye.

Saturday evening, Sue, Brooke, Hannah, Kaya, Izzy and I went to Carcassonne Square Dance. After a hectic time, we finally got there.

Will Bowling is a very good caller. Once again I had the pleasure of dancing with him, as Will and his wife will split up so others will have a partner.

Will Bowling was given an award or grant. I don’t know the details, as I was to tired to really remember, and I didn’t take notes. So I am afraid to write anything else.

Sunrise Ridge was scheduled, but there was a change of plans. Bluegrass Friends, with Fred Campbell, Bordus and Ballard Adkins and a guitar picker that I didn’t catch his name, did a fantastic job.

Bordus plays an electric bass when playing at Campbell’s Branch. Bordus switched to the upright bass while performing at Carcassonne Square Dance, much to my delight.

Yes I am a diehard that loves to hear an upright bass when it comes to old time or bluegrass music. I really love old-time banjo picking also.

On my way back I stopped to get gas at Isom then went inside for a second to see if Cuma Jean was working. As I talked to Cuma Jean for a few minutes, Cuma told someone that I traveled so many miles to hear music.

The customer very bluntly said she couldn’t stand bluegrass music. She had a Wildcats tee shirt on. I almost replied I couldn’t stand basketball. I smiled and replied that I liked bluegrass music enough for both of us.

She was rather rude as I didn’t ask her opinion, and sure didn’t need her attitude as I evidently have one of my own.

While getting ready to leave Parkway Inn, I talked to a very nice person, Gaynell Duncan, who lives in Elizabethtown. Gay is from the Neon area.

I talked to a couple who were from Dayton. They were visiting relatives and doing research on members. They have relatives that are Adamses from Premium.

This was a hectic weekend for me, as I was super tired before I arrived in the mountains Friday evening. For some reason I couldn’t rest Friday night, sleeping very little.

Somehow I lost my cell phone, really just misplacing it. I don’t have service when I get to the mountains to make a call, but I can text and receive texts.

Since this was such a fast time in deciding to go or not, no one knew except Keith that I was leaving. He didn’t know until the last minute as I was packing to leave.

Randy Ison and Bessie Shepherd had tried to call me.

My heartfelt sympathy, beyond words, to the family of Doyle Ison, formerly of Kingdom Come, who made his home in Aurora, Ind., for many years, and took his final journey at 4 a.m., Saturday morning.

Doyle and family lost such a wonderful person, Betty Ison, last May. It hasn’t been a year and now Randy and Mike have lost their dad.

If everyone had a son like Randy Ison this world would be such a wonderful place. I have been friends with Doyle and Betty over 15 years. Since Betty’s death I’ve sort of neglected going to see Doyle in the nursing home. Thank God I went to see him last week.

I met Doyle’s brother Bill Ison, who is 93 years old, who was visiting Doyle. Bill is still driving.

Please keep the Ison family in your prayers. Doyle’s funeral was Tuesday, March 12. Bessie Shepherd had a long day ahead of her.

I apologize to Debby Polly and Bernice Grubbs, as I was going to try to get in touch with them when and if I was back in the mountains.

Saturday morning, I felt so bad, I stayed in the motel until it was past time for me to go to meet Sue, then it was time to head back to get ready to leave again. I wanted to go Sunday to visit Phyllis Caudill and Steve Stamper, but that didn’t happen either.

Thanks, Mart and Sue, for everything you did for me.

Hello to Les and Pat Wagner and everyone connected to the Wagner family.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are doing very well. Ann’s finger is still bothering her a great deal.

Their daughter Sue Wagner is still at her home in South Carolina. Sue’s sugar dropped so low that her daughter Lauren had to call 911. Sue is still in the hospital. Sue’s husband Tom has located in northern Kentucky to train for his new post with Duke Energy as they will be moving back to the area. Sue is not really able to get the house ready for sale by herself.

It will soon be grass cutting time, so everyone who is local and needs lawn work done of any kind, please contact Jack’s’ Lawn Care Service, 606-335-7179 or 606-633-9925. Jack is the banjo picker for Sunrise Ridge Band.

Well, it is past time to get this column on its way.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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