Whitesburg KY
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Time winding down toward spring

Southern Ohio


Grayson Holbrook sorted gifts given to Letcher County foster care children by her grandmother, Shirley Sexton.

Grayson Holbrook sorted gifts given to Letcher County foster care children by her grandmother, Shirley Sexton.

Hello again!

Time is passing so swiftly by that you turn around twice and a week has disappeared. As the song goes, time is winding down!

We have had a blast of cold air hit the Ohio Valley area, and guess who had a furnace start messing up. The temperature wouldn’t go any higher than 60 no matter what I set it on.

The furnace was actually blowing cold air so I plugged an electric heater in the bathroom and one in the kitchen and of course I have the electric fireplace in my living room. It was three days before the furnace guy could get to me as it seemed everyone else was in the same predicament.

As time passes so quickly that means spring is a little closer. We are already almost at the end of January with February saying hello. I still have a few things left of Christmas decorations. Sometimes I am tempted just to leave everything out all year round.

Though Christmas decorations are in the stores in October, it seems I don’t get a tree up until the week before Christmas and life is so hectic for me during that time. I really don’t get to enjoy my personal time in my own home, that I really enjoy after all the whirlwind is over and I can just spend time enjoying the decorations. To have the Christmas tree lights, the villages lit, and my electric fireplace is so relaxing.

Some time ago I tried to find a seventh grade history book that I remember from Mill Branch Grade School. Of all the books that were used to teach students, this particular book has always remained in my memory. It seems I am not the only one! Brenda Dotson is originally from the Hot Spot area. Forgive me, Brenda, as your given name is slipping my nimble brain. She remembers this book from seventh grade history so she posted on Facebook on Kyle Whitaker’s Letcher County Genealogy.

Brenda was smarter than I was, as she found the book ‘Exploring Kentucky.’ I remember of it as being yellow and having a picture Daniel Boone on the side of the front cover. Brenda found a site where this book is still for sale.

Brenda is a couple of years younger than I am. I think everyone is younger than me sometimes. She does remember my siblings. I didn’t live with Mommy and Daddy, Clayton and Ora Hall, when they moved to Hot Spot except for a very short time.

Happy birthday to Brenda Dotson Feb. 16. I am going to play it forward a little bit because we may have not known each other years ago nor even now personally, but Brenda is the sort of person that you feel you are personally connected to.

While birthdays are in my thoughts, happy birthday to Doyle Ison on Feb. 12. Betty is doing exceptionally well recuperating from her knee replacement. Betty is the type of person that doesn’t let anything keep her down for too long.

My sympathy goes out to the family of Les and Pat Wagner in the loss of their aunt from the Whitesburg area . eir

Th brother-in-law Larry Hasty recently had hip surgery and is doing great, but he can’t travel that far so Larry and Becky won’t be able to make it.

Just know everyone you are in my thoughts at this time.

Please remember the benefit for my cousin Beverly Adams Feb. 9 at Campbell’s Branch Community Center at Linefork. Due to some unfortunate circumstances at this date there’s no way possible that I can make it.

Bev has cancer. None of us are above getting this unwelcome visitor to life, whether it is personal or family. Please. if you are with in this area, support this wonderful family. If unable to attend, open your hearts and your wallets and send a dollar or two to help this family in the time of this crisis.

I don’t have a list of the bands nor very much information, but I know 7th South Band is instrumental in getting this together. There will be several bands performing, 7th South with Jon Caudill and Libby Day Smith, Route 7 with Will Caudill, so these two bands along with good food is a sign of a great time.

I am sure that my cousin little Jack Adams will be picking and singing with some group since this special lady is his mom.

You will also find Jeff Adams close to Bev and Jack lending support with all his heart.

My brother Jerry Hall is finally home from the hospital. It was his second stay there in just a couple of weeks.

James Cornett, thanks for your concern for Jerry and Mattie. I hope Jerry is around for quite a few years yet to come.

I met you the first time several years ago at Whitesburg, then I had the pleasure of running into you again at Whitesburg. The most recent was at Blackey Days this past October. You are a very gifted writer.

I had the pleasure of meeting your brother Richard Cornett a few years ago. Richard came to my little get-together known as the Letcher County Picnic, which is held last weekend of September. Richard and I have the same taste in music so occasionally we run into each other.

In case anyone hasn’t already got the picture, you may see me anywhere there’s music. That is why it is hurting me so bad that I can’t take part in this benefit for my own family.

Shirley Godbey and I went to Fairborn to a benefi t given for Jack Williams, the husband of Hazel Williams. There was a really good turnout for Jack as he and Hazel were really loved by everyone who came in contact with them. If you ever met this beautiful lady called Hazel Williams, you couldn’t help to love her.

That is also they way I felt when I met Emma Engle and Oma Hatton.

Shirley Wells, my heartfelt sympathy to you in the loss of your friend. I tried to call you, but you were out.

Gwen Huff Farmer, just hang on a little longer. Spring is on its way.

I received a very delightful phone call from a good old boy from the mountains, and though I really don’t remember Allen Thompson I did go to school with Allen’s brother Larry Thompson in my freshman year at Kingdom Come High School.

My very deepest heart and soul wrenching sympathy goes out to the family of Allen Thompson in the loss of Larry.

Thank you, Allen, for calling me. Allen remembers that I was petite and very shy as a young girl at Kingdom Come School.

I started laughing as we were reminiscing about going to school. I was very shy back then, more reserved and unsure of myself as I didn’t have lots of pretty clothes that other girls had.

I told Allen I sure had changed over the years as my mouth never knows when to be quiet and I don’t think my body knows when to be still either.

As Allen and I took a trip down memory lane, I asked about Bessie Shepherd, who was like me, a little quiet. Oh Allen, I will long remember our conversation though I wish it had been under a much different circumstance.

There are not many days that go by that my heart doesn’t yearn for that one more phone call from my brother Richie Hall.

My son Keith Ballard calls me almost every morning either to check on me or to say he is outside so I can open the door and give him my car keys to start my car on these cold days of winter if he knows I have to be out early of the morning. I try to tell Keith I am not helpless, but he seems to think differently.

When the phone rings very early of the morning, I almost expect to hear Richie’s voice saying, “If I can’t sleep, you aren’t either. So you wake up too.”

Richie is gone but he will never be forgotten by his family and surely not by his oldest sister.

Bruce Jones, now it seems I have forgotten you, but you know I haven’t really. Don’t forget to plant a few extra peas as I may have to make a trip back to the mountains just about the time they are ready to pick.

I am going to be called Great-grandma again very soon, as my grandson C.J. Gray and his wife Shannon, who live in Ocala, Fla., are expecting their first child in a few days.

Hello to Austin and Mildred Rogers of Jackson. I hadn’t heard from Mildred in quite some time. Mildred and Ann Calihan are cousins.

Johnny and Ann are doing alright. At least I hope so as I haven’t been in touch with her for a few days.

Hello to my sister Loretta Church and the gang at Letcher Manor.

I know there’s more I wanted to talk about but time is winding down, so until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, telephone: 513-367-4682.


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