Happy New Year! Have you gotten used to writing 2010 yet? I really don’t think I have made a mistake yet, but I will sooner or later!
I was looking through some things on Facebook. Usually I don’t respond to anything except two people I know personally, but a woman’s picture was on a friend’s list. This time I am glad I did. I contacted the woman and asked where she was from. She lives in Somerset, and used to live in Cumberland and of all places Roxana in the ‘60s.
Of course hearing someone is from Roxana makes my ears perk up like the Easter bunny. My inquisitive mind wants to know (actually I have been called plain old nosy for asking questions).
I was in for a surprise as this woman, Mavis Johnson, is the daughter of the late Varsh Huff who came to Roxana area to do logging back in the ‘60s. It pleases me to be in contact with Mavis just because we lived in the same area. Mavis asked if I wrote for The Mountain Eagle.
It still goes a little further. I hadn’t been in touch with the Ison family from Taylor, Mich., in so many years, since I was a kid at Roxana, and that was made possible through my column in The Eagle. Mavis remembers Betty Carol Mullins from years ago also.
Mavis is a little older than me, Betty Carol is a little younger. Betty was like my little sister. Even though I never knew Mavis, I feel a closeness to her for some reason!
I met a woman here in Harrisonl As she had a peculiar way of saying some words (no off ense), I asked where she was from originally. She answered right here in Harrison. I asked where her parents were from, and she replied Whitesburg. I dug a little deeper and asked, ‘Right in Whitesburg?’ She said, no, some little place with a general store where they sold clothes, groceries and so forth!
That didn’t mean anything as that describes dozens of places. I told her I was born and raised at Roxana, and she laughed and said that was what she was trying to think of! Her name is Carolyn Boggs Reynolds and her parents were George and Rosie Boggs, and her grandparents were Chester and Katie Boggs.
I told her I remembered Jasper and Hallie Boggs, and they had a son named Darrell Boggs and a daughter named Betty Ann. It seems I remember an older son that lived away from Roxana. She said the names she knew, but since she was raised out here, she didn’t know them. Carolyn and her sister used to go back to Roxana to visit her grandparents.
Carolyn wasn’t raised back home, but still her manner of speaking was as much as if she was from back in those hills.
I still have more to share with you!
I came home to find a very nice phone call from a man who lives in Marion, who used to live in Floyd County. He knows about the mines, but his family moved to Marion years ago. He is 80 years old, and gets the Kentucky Explorer. He found some with a couple of articles that I had in it, so he is sending them to me.
Things are still not finished. I was reading the Lexington Herald when something caught my eye, it was ‘From These Hills,’ WYMT. I had to see what it was, and I really enjoyed watching and listening to this program. It was filmed in Hindman and mentioned several places, also a version of Hot Browns, several craft shops at the Artisan Center in Hindman, Williamsburg, and man named Colonel Hugh X. Lewis from the Lynch, Cumberland area. Colonel Hugh is a well known performer, though I never heard of him, and he has played in movies also.
One of these days this curious person is going to get in trouble. I just typed in Hugh X. Lewis and this man is quite famous, and I really enjoyed reading his autobiography.
I finally did it! In 1990 I had a book published called ‘The Beauty of A Rose.’ I decided to have a few copies reproduced, so as of this writing that is being done! It won’t be the same as my first one, but it will be the same things written, just diff erent cover. So many people have told me they wished they had a copy. There is a very limited supply that I am having done, so if anyone is interested in one please let me know.
In the near future I plan on getting some things together for a new book! I have enough written that I could publish 10 books. I am smart enough to write, and not smart enough to know how to go about getting something published besides self publishing.
Vickie and I took a drive to Treasure Isle Flea Market, and the drive was absolutely breathtaking as every tree branch, stick or weed was frozen and glistening. I have seen this happen a few times before. It was like driving through a winter wonderland, or a beautiful Christmas card!
The television newscaster said that fog had frozen, and the road was slick in spots, so Vickie and I delayed our time, and this time the time was just right to enjoy the amazing scenery.
Vickie and I went to Western Hills, recently, as Vickie wanted to do some shopping at Bath and Body Works, and we stopped once again at LaRosa’s for spaghetti. My grandchildren, Jodi and Jamie Gray were neither one working when we were there, though they work there.
With Flatland Bluegrass music barn closed Vickie and I don’t get out too much anymore, plus everything else in my life. No, the cold weather does not stop us unless it is ice, then we stay home!
I apologize to the family of Dale and Jean Calihan for changing their name to ‘Ison.’ There is a Jean Ison, who is Polly Maucher’s sister. I called Ann Calihan to see if she had received The Eagle and saw my mistake. She loves me enough to overlook it.
Emma Lou Engle, you shouldn’t have been chasing Red with a skillet and you wouldn’t have fallen in the first place. I do hope you and Red are getting better. You hit the nail on the head calling me ‘Miss Mischief!’ Please be careful and I hope Red gets over the shingles. I have heard those things are painful, especially in the eyes.
I believe a dark cloud has loomed over Emma and Red Engle and has gone down old Kentucky way to visit Carl and Willamae Boggs. Carl and Willamae were among the thousands who were affected by the snowstorm that paralyzed the mountains of eastern Kentucky a few weeks ago. Then their water lines froze, so they have no water. Willamae has health issues, and so does Carl.
I hope how quick spring gets here, and maybe things will improve for everyone!
One morning last week as I started to get in the shower, I had a good excuse not to as my water was frozen in the bathtub. I plugged an electric heater up, and within a few hours I was back in business.
My son Keith Ballard lives close enough that I could have gone to his apartment. Keith is improving each day and as usual, is pushing himself too much. He is not back to 100 percent and won’t listen to me. Thanks to everyone for prayers and concerns for Keith.
Bill Profitt, you be careful on the roads in your travels. Hello to Bill’s sister, Mavis.
Jessie Frazier, don’t be ice skating too much. I don’t want to hear of you all banged up.
My brother, Richie Hall, fell and broke his ankle, but the stubborn butt won’t go back to the doctor to have it checked. Richie is a very bad diabetic, and sometimes his sugar reaches such a high mark that it won’t register on his meter. Wanda is feeling a little better, but the weather is about to get the best of everyone.
I picked up my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold for the evening, and while I had him with me we visited two of my dear friends, Chris and Juanita Lanham of Ross. Chris and Juanita are in their 80s, and both are very alert but they just can’t drive anymore. I always enjoy going to their house.
Gwen Huff Farmer had knee replacement surgery, and she is doing really well. Her son John Farmer has been keeping everyone updated on her condition.
Shirley sends Oma Hatton a big hello. Shirley is doing all right, though she doesn’t get out too much when it is really cold.
I am tired, so until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, 513-367-4682.