Whitesburg KY

Visit to Letcher County finally happens

Southern Ohio

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hey you guys, your turn next month.

I’m still trying to recuperate from my trip to the mountains I call home, which will always be home in my heart.

My computer quit working on me Thursday night as I was trying to write my column early. Anything that could go wrong seemed to happen to me, from dropping a large Mc- Donald’s sweet tea in the kitchen floor just as I was getting ready to walk out the door to start on my journey.

I thought I had more gas in my car than I really had. I didn’t want to take the time to go fill up, which would have saved me so much worry. When I did stop for gas is when I realized I didn’t have my bank card with me. I did find out what happened.

My last purchase was at Walgreens Pharmacy. I picked up a prescription, and the pharmacist placed my card in an envelope and stapled it to the bag. I always place things in a bag that has information on it, mail, etc., then my son Keith Ballard throws it in the burning barrel. Well, I have heard the saying of women burning their bras. I burned my bank card.

I called the bank to have a freeze put on the card. After I came home Tuesday afternoon, I stopped by the bank to get a new card.

I found out one way to save money. I didn’t want to use my credit card for trivial things, although I had cash with me, so I decided to buy what was important to me.

Before I left home, I was upset that I couldn’t finish my column for The Mountain Eagle. Keith asked if I wanted to use his cell phone to type and send it. That was almost enough to make me laugh, had I not been aggravated.

Keith suggested really came in handy, as he asked if there was a library in Whitesburg. He also got the name, number and location. Which was great, except another problem, Pam’s email address was in my computer. So, I decided to stop by the Eagle to see Pam, which is always a highlight of my visit.

Thanks to all for the assistance for me to be able to write my column last week

After arriving at Parkway Inn Motel, I called Marcia Caudill. She was on her way back from visiting Mike’s mother. Marcia invited me to come by for the long-awaited bonfire and marshmallow roast. I declined as I was worn out, and I knew Mike and Marcia had to be tired also.

I called Bernice Grubb to check on Buddy as he had been in the hospital for a few days, and Bernice asked me to ride up for a bit. After a short rest I did go to Buddy and Bernice’s as they aren’t that far from Whitesburg. Upon arrival I was in for a pleasant surprise as their grandson Mike was in the driveway. Mike is so tall I can stand under his arm.

I always enjoy spending time with Buddy and Bernice. I didn’t want to stay too late as I am having difficulty driving after dark.

Saturday was such a dreary day, I decided to stay in the motel. My room was upstairs and I could see the mountains. At the corner of the motel my vision drank in the beauty of a white dogwood, redbud trees and a pink dogwood all clumped together which I never get tired of seeing.

I discovered KETKY on television. I wish I could get this locally as I really do love that channel. Yes, I had driven all the way to eastern Kentucky and I was content to stay inside on such a rainy day. As bad as I hate to admit it, I really wasn’t feeling my best either.

Finally, the rain let up and I decided to go see my niece Sue Hall. Sue had a horrific burn and spent several days at Vanderbilt Burn Center in Nashville, Tenn. She was released a couple of days before I decided to go to the mountains.

I planned to meet Sue’s daughter April Elswick at Martha Jane Potter School, as I wasn’t sure where Sue lives. As I continued driving, the fog begin to get so thick, I decided to call Sue, then return to the motel. When I started to get my cell phone, I discovered I had left my phone at the motel. Needless to say, I had no choice except to meet April.

One good thing came out of this. As I followed April, who said she would drive slowly, I paid close attention to the turns. Now I can find my way and not have to bother someone to meet me halfway. I was never too familiar with the Neon area in my short years of living back home.

It was good to spend some time with Sue. I asked her to let me help her with anything she needed done, but Sue refused.

I would have liked to stay longer, but I was afraid of the dense fog. So again I returned to the motel room to enjoy the view and television. Oh yes, I was a wild and wicked woman.

Sunday morning arrived and it was such a beautiful day, I decided to take a ride. I rode down Smoot Creek to Roxana just thinking about childhood days, how my little feet had ventured in the trees, never thinking about snakes nor any kind of danger.

I decided to drive towards Mill Branch. As I got past Monroe and Ollie Whitaker’s house, a man had just got in his truck. I asked him if he knew if Wallace Whitaker was still living.

The man was George Whitaker, who remembered my dad and my brothers. It was such a pleasure talking to him a few minutes.

I continued on my venture towards Mill Branch. There was a small bunch of wild blue phlox growing on the bank. Now if someone had seen me crawling up the bank to try to get this wild plant, except this time I was thinking about a snake.

I succeeded in pulling up the plant, found a plastic bag in the car, and poured part of a bottle of water in the bag. Yes, it survived and is in my yard.

Afterwards I drove to the mouth of Mill Branch then back to Roxana, and went across the bridge up Kingscreek. I wanted to find Michael Ison’s place and to go up Paces Branch. Not knowing how the roads were since the flood, I didn’t attempt it.

My little Mountain Mama Alma Whitaker’s old homeplace is so neat looking.

I turned around at the Kingscreek Fire Department. When I got back to Roxana, I called Ann Calihan to tell her where I was.

I took the long way to Whitesburg by going through UZ and on to Whitesburg, then up Pine Mountain to the first overlook, then to Golden Apple, as I had to bring some half runner beans back to Ohio.

I finally to made it to Letcher Manor Nursing Home where I had an appointment to see Tommy Tindale. I have been in touch with Les and Tommy Tindale’s sister Pricie Rogan, who calls Illinois home. In fact I met Les and Alma several years ago.

When I arrived at Letcher Manor, I discovered it isn’t a face-to-face meeting, due to the coronavirus. The visit was only 15 minutes, which seemed like a second. Trying to push the talk button was difficult, which brought a lot of laughter from Tommy and me.

After the 15-minute visit I came away with such a good feeling. I thought I would be sad with the memories of my brother Wallace Lee Hall and my sister Loretta Church being there. I can still see Tommy’s eyes light up above the facemask while we were talking.

I hadn’t seen Tommy since we were children as he lived with his grandpa Walter Blair at Woodrock, and I would go visit my grandmother Betty Barton. Les and Tommy knew my uncles Boyd and Charles Barton.

My day didn’t end there as I went to visit Mike and Marcia Caudill. Yes, I finally got to sit by a bonfire, and we had marshmallows. Marcia had just fixed supper oh, the saurkraut and wieners, soup beans and cornbread looked so delicious.

Then Mike and Marcia built a fire. I planned to stay just a little while as I didn’t want to drive off the mountain in the dark. Mike was kind enough to drive in front of me in case I had to pass a car on that narrow, winding road.

There’s something wrong with the headlights on my Honda Fit, as the lights go towards the mountainside instead of the road, I am simply scared when I come off the mountain. Monday morning, I intended to go back to The Mountain Eagle office, and also meet up someone so I could get my niece Sue Hall something I forgot to give her.

I did meet Helen Roberts to pick up butterscotch pies to bring home with me.

By the time I got to the rest area at Slade Mountain, all at once I was so tired I knew I had pushed myself about as far as I could. After a long rest I drove the rest of the way without stopping until I reached my daughter Anna’s house. I arrived home at 4 p.m. I sure didn’t have any trouble sleeping Monday night.

Sunday was our Old Time Fiddlers meeting; we had a good crowd with plenty of good music.

Hello to Buddy and Bernice Grubb and Mike. I hope it won’t be long before I see you again.

Les and Pat Wagner, you crossed my mind several times as I know you are longing to go back.

Please, as I’ve said several times, keep Johnny and Ann Calihan and their family in your prayers.

Hayward Day I am glad you got to visit with Johnny and Ann.

My computer went down again, as something happened. The electricity went off for just a second, knocking the computer off and it wouldn’t come back on. I got tired of the aggravation, so I bought a new one. Now I am trying to figure it out.

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

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