Whitesburg KY
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Vietnam Moving Wall makes visit to Ohio

Southern Ohio

Daphne Korner and I went to see the Moving Wall Thursday morning before we started on our journey to the mountains I call home. The volunteer showed me how to rub across Stevie Ray Gibson’s name. This was a very touching thing to see and be a part of.

Daphne Korner and I went to see the Moving Wall Thursday morning before we started on our journey to the mountains I call home. The volunteer showed me how to rub across Stevie Ray Gibson’s name. This was a very touching thing to see and be a part of.

Hello everyone.

Are you finally enjoying summer weather? It seems as if it has finally arrived in the Ohio Valley area.

I won’t complain about the warm weather as I stay so cold from October until June so it seems. I am so thankful I don’t have central air. When I walk through my son Keith Ballard’s bedroom, even though he has a small air conditioning unit in the window, I really don’t know how he can stand it.

Saturday, I had a couple of errands. I had to take care as I was returning home. It seemed once again feet took over my thinking.

For a couple of weeks I had been wanting to go to Christmas Tree Shop and That in northern Kentucky. Without planning I found myself on the road again.

The only thing, when I crossed the bridge to Kentucky, my heart stated a longing to just keep driving, as I could hear the mountains calling me. The radio was playing and all of a sudden a Ralph Stanley song of “Little Birdie” made memories of my grandma Rosa Hall sitting in the yard.

To be honest, I had to wrestle with myself, as I only had the clothes on my body. Of course, I had a credit card and I could have purchased an outfit, but no medicine with the blood sugar dropping. I try to keep crackers and peanut butter with me at all times, plus I always keep glucose tablets.

Finally, I managed to regain enough common sense to control my urge of traveling, plus I had no reservations anyplace to stay. Of course I could always show up at someone’s house and say, “Here I am, ready or not.”

I realize I am in the winter of my journey called life and I want to spend as much time in the mountains as I can.

On my way back to my house, I was traveling in the slow lane. All of a sudden a huge dump truck sounded an air horn as it passed me. Well, my first thought was, “Why are you honking at me, as I wasn’t close to it?”

Then it dawned on me, as I watched the truck fade out of sight, and my phone started ringing. It was Keith calling to say he had just passed me.

It seems there are a couple of things that I somehow forgot to add to my column.

Early in the week I noticed something unusual happening on the road in front of my house. There were several police motorcycles passing with their lights on, then more traffic, and all of a sudden a truck hauling something with a sign called the Moving Wall. Behind it were probably a hundred or more motorcycle riders, and then it dawned on me what was happening right before my eyes. It was the Vietnam Moving wall.

As I stood on the porch, waving at the riders, tears were streaming down my face as I finally started to comprehend the full meaning of what was unfolding in front of my eyes.

I noticed a crowd that had gathered in the parking lot at the VFW Post next to me, so afterwards I called to ask where the Wall was going to be on display. It was to be shown Thursday through Sunday.

Now there was a problem as Daphne Korner and I had plans early Thursday morning to head for the mountains, then I was informed the Wall would be open at eight.

By the time Daphne came to the house, we had to transfer her things from her truck to my car. We were running a little late. As we really had no set time to be anywhere, we decided to go see the Wall. I am so thankful we did, as this was one of the most touching things you will ever experience, at least it was for me. This is a smaller version of the Wall that is in Washington ,D.C.

The volunteer helped us to find Stevie Ray Gibson’s name. Then she asked if I would like to copy Stevie Ray’s name onto paper. Of course I replied “Yes”.

Once again tears started clouding my vision, as I used a pencil to rub through Stevie Ray’s name, seeing it appear on the paper. Daphne made an extra copy, which later came in handy as I found someone to share it with.

For some time I have been Facebook friends with Zoni Hampton. Her stepdad Edward Gibson was Stevie Ray’s older brother. I hadn’t seen Ed since I was about 13 years old. I didn’t find out until after Ed passed away that he lived not far from Campbell’s Branch Community Center.

When Daphne and I went to Campbell’s Branch Community Center ,Zoni and her husband came to meet me. It was a pleasure to finally meet her in person. I am looking forward to seeing Zoni again when I return to the mountains.

In April, my daughter Anna Nottingham along with her son Kyle and I made the adventure to Washington, D.C. Anna took me to the Vietnam War Wall. When we got there it was closed due to construction. We didn’t think to ask when it would be open. As I found out after we returned home, it was opened the next day.

I’ve been teased by a few about the frequent trips that I’ve been making to the mountains I call home in my heart. For one thing, it is warm weather, even though I would prefer Carcassonne Community Center to be open. I am looking forward to August when it is supposed to be open again.

A couple of times I have had reasons that weren’t too much of a pleasure to head back to the mountains, although it was a pleasure for different reasons, getting to see family that I’ve not seen in some time. It is always good to see my niece Sue Hall and Billy Collier who treats like family. l realize that I am living in the winter of this journey called life, as I don’t have many years left that I might be able to get in my car and drive, so I have decided to go when I have the extra money and enjoy life to the fullest.

I so appreciate all the invitations of each and every one inviting me to stay at their beautiful homes. As I’ve often said, with my health issues I feel more comfortable being in a motel room or the campus. I never know when my stomach will decide to act up. I wouldn’t wish my health problems on anyone. Oh yes I would, the doctor who damaged my nerves in my stomach. I hope sometime in his life something happens that he suffers just a little of what I have known.

When I read of the hundreds of others that have gastroparesis, what they have gone through with different surgeries trying to find something to help them, I decided no surgery. Yes, I go through the agony of not being able to eat and keeping food down and watching others eat. At least I am still able to get in my car and drive, and keep a bag in case I do get sick. Since low blood sugar, I have to keep glucose tablets just in case. Like I said, I still am able to gad about. The broken ankle from the accident put me out of commission. I can’t do things like I want to, it has slowed me down, yet I am not completely unable to enjoy life. I am not ready to give up, as I am still able to drive.

Daphne is trying to keep me from driving at night. I am not giving up driving at night until I personally feel I can’t. If it comes to that, when I am in the mountains and alone, I will be calling Mike and Marcia Caudill asking if they will pick me up and bring me back so I can go to Carcassonne square dance, even though I can’t dance. Somehow I will find a way to Campbell’s Branch Community Center. First I am going to try by myself, as I have new glasses. I am not ready to throw in the towel yet.

It is good to have someone to travel with me to the mountain. I have made many trips by myself. Actually, I enjoy traveling by myself, as I either have the radio on or the CD player going.

I learned a long time ago I am not afraid of being alone, as it had been many years that I didn’t know what being alone meant. I had to face the reality when my daughter Anna was 15, the only freshman in high school who traveled to Paris, France with the junior and senior classes.

All at once I realized I was alone for nine days while my husband was working. Then when Anna was 16, she got a job at J.C. Penney outlet. A few weeks later, I went to work there too simply because I didn’t know what to do with myself since I was alone. I tried volunteering to read to people who were in the hospital or homebound, then decided why not do something and be paid, so I went to work.

During the separation of my divorce I found I actually liked being alone. Oh yes. I dearly love being alone!

Friday night Vickie and I went on our first adventure in quite some time. Ma Crow & Co. were performing at Pyramid Hill, a venue that is well known for its beautiful Christmas light display. This event was very beautiful and it was great as always to be in the company of this band, Ma Crow, Margie Drees, Vicki Abbott, and Glenn Herald joined the group. They really did a great job entertaining the crowd.

There was an auction after the music to support Visionaries & Voices, which helps young people with disabilities. Food and drinks were served to everyone without charge. I must say it looked good.

Vickie and I took a drive to Brookville Lake, Brookville, Ind., on the spur of a moment. This was a very relaxing hour or so as we watched the boats as they were going in and out to the lake. What amazed me was the lack of lifejackets.

Hello Mike and Marcia Caudill. When Daphne and I went to the bluegrass festival, on our way out there was the hugest bonfire enclosed in a round cage container. I am going to send you a picture of it. Of course I thought of you two.

Hello Buddy and Bernice Grubb. I hope you are doing all right. Hello Mike Grubb. Gee, you are sure going to be tired from all the hugs you have to make up.

Belated happy birthday June 30 to Tommy Tindell. I sure hope you got your card in time for your birthday.

Les and Pat Wagner, I hope to see you sometime at Haddix Hall if I can keep my dates straight to see Tony Hale.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are still hanging in, although Ann’s feet and legs aren’t healing as fast as I wish they would. Now Ann has a skin tear on her arm.

Well I have run out of time.

Until next time.

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