Whitesburg KY

Storm hits bluegrass festival

Southern Ohio

Hello again everyone!

Can you believe July is here already? This year is flying by as quickly as a snowcone melts in this hot weather!

Reflecting on many Fourth of Julys as a child, I was thinking about how Daddy would always make sure that we had a watermelon and a gallon of vanilla ice cream. I have often wondered how that got to be a tradition for Daddy to do. I can’t remember having watermelon through the year, and not very much ice cream either.

As I read and listen to other people who were raised in the time I was, I wonder if they know how lucky they were to have the extra things such as soda pop to drink as this wasn’t in our diets.

I remember how every evening as Daddy came home from work he brought each of us children a bar of candy or a huge lollipop. How many remember those round suckers with stripes?

Who can remember Necco wafers? I hated the licorice ones, but I remember one that had a chocolate taste and that was my favorite!

Friday and Saturday, I went to Huber Heights, which is on the outskirts of Dayton. Friday evening, there was more excitement than anticipated as a small tornado passed through the area. A funnel cloud was seen hovering right over the area where I was!

I saw how dark everything was and as the wind started whipping and the tops of some trees were swaying, then started twisting. I was trying to fold my chair and grab my book. Another person’s chair was in front of me and out of nowhere came a huge, cloth bag and it wrapped around my foot and leg.

As I bent to get it loose, a gust of wind sent me almost sprawling on the ground. I grabbed hold of the chair to keep me from going on my face and chest. I finally grabbed hold of the bag and made it to shelter, where everyone was busy taking care of their own things, trying to keep them from blowing away.

I was on my way to help the soundman, Art Peters, with his tent when I saw several men go to his assistance.

Art and Joan were kind enough to make it possible for my friend Norma Ashcraft to go to Spigma in Nashville, Tenn. last February.

Charlie Hale, who is a friend of everyone, was emcee for the bluegrass festival and was helping Art with the tent and covering the sound system. Charlie received a minor injury to his face and nose as the tent came crashing down.

We were so very lucky that no one was seriously injured or worse. There are so many who are without power and will be for days to come.

Saturday, the crowd was small for a bluegrass festival and was held inside as rain was predicted again.

I want to touch on a subject for those of you who are Larry Sparks fans. I have seen this awesome singer many times. As a matter of fact, my ex-husband drove the bus for Larry several years ago, so I got sort of acquainted with him.

I have never been in an audience and seen Larry Sparks do such a wonderful show as Friday evening. He was absolutely magnificent though he had to perform on a small sound system due to all the unforeseen circumstances.

Larry played request after request for the audience.

Larry had Evan Lanier, who is an upcoming, talented young musician, play a number with him. All the bands were very good.

Vince Combs and the Shade Tree Bluegrass Band did a good show. Vince had a guy from an area close to Whitesburg. I forgot I had met his sweet wife a few years back.

Doc Boggs from Linefork picked with several bands. I don’t know Doc very well, but he is really a good musician and songwriter, and is in demand to perform with different bands.

I have to admit I am sort of partial to a certain bands. Larry Efaw & Bluegrass Mountaineers have been a favorite of mine for many years. This band consists of Larry, his son Stanley, plus Larry’s young grandson Chris, Landon from Georgia. Larry and his family are from Akron, and Danny Davis from Grayson.

Evan Lanier played mandolin for this group also, then much to everyone’s delight Larry called Brad Jessmer to the stage for a couple of tunes on the banjo. Brad picked with Larry back in the beginning of his musical career, and Brad is a great banjo player also.

Brad got his first taste of dancing to bluegrass music with a group of greatgrandmothers, along with a couple of more husbands who were sitting on the sideline tapping their feet.

Let’s just say someone held out their hand and asked me to dance, but if that didn’t work I took them by the arm. I forgot to mention their wives were already dancing with me. Did I say it was a fun night?

Sunday was Old Time Fiddlers, and I must say it was great music also. The crowd is finally coming back, though still small.

My dancing partner Alphine Stacy came for the first time. Once again I had a fun-filled couple of hours.

Things got hectic and I was late getting to Old Time Fiddlers, but this is the first for me to ever be late. I really appreciated everyone getting things started, but the only thing was I had the key to the locked cabinet with the coffee pot, etc.

Sunday evening, I went to our local Kroger’s and ran into Ann Calihan. We chatted for a few minutes, but it looked like it was going to storm so we didn’t have time for deep conversation. Ann is having trouble with her health and isn’t feeling her best. I forgot to ask about Johnny as I was about to run out of energy, and they don’t have that on the shelves in Kroger’s.

I have talked to Betty Ison, and both she and Doyle are trying to stay out of the heat. Betty is still having quite a bit of pain, and is going to try a new treatment as a doctor has finally gotten to the problem.

I haven’t been home long enough to talk to anyone.

I am really glad Jennifer Collins is improving.

Gwen Huff Farmer has more green beans than she can handle this early in the year, and she is freezing beans and lots of other goodies from her garden.

I did talk to Shirley Wells. Well, not really talked, I just let Shirley listen to Larry Sparks via the cell phone. Shirley wasn’t able to come to the festival so I decided to let part of the festival go to her.

Hello to all my family and all their friends in the mountains.

Jerry and Mattie Hall, I am sorry I didn’t call you back.

That is all, folks, as I have to 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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