After 40-plus years, Kay’s Branch News author bids a fond farewell to readers

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By Bee Spicer

We had an inch of snow on the Branch this past week. It’s been several years since we’ve had that much snow this early.
I had an appointment with my eye doctor this week. My vision hasn’t changed since the last appointment, and I do not need to have anything changed. That’s very good news because I have glasses in the TV room, kitchen and my purse. It would cost me a fortune to have them all changed.
I had my 88th birthday Monday, Nov. 19. I was born on a Monday. Mother said she had done a load of laundry and was hanging out clothes when she felt the first pains, and I was born by noon.
When daddy came in for lunch, he was told he was a father. Daddy was an O’Banion and mother was a Black-Irish Botkin. I was born with very light skin and tufts of white hair on top of my head. My grandfather Botkin told mother I was an albino. She said she couldn’t wait for me to open my eyes and was greatly relieved that they were blue. I was the first blue-eyed baby born into the Botkin family. Aunt Ruth had two sons that were dark haired and brown eyed. I was the first granddaughter and the first fair-skinned, blue-eyed child in the family. I guess it’s nice to be good at something at such an early age.
But enough about me.
Jessica Wilhoite had a birthday on Saturday. She is working at a bank in Lexington but came home to celebrate with her family.
The Candlelight Tour in Frankfort began its four-night run Nov. 15. It wasn’t the best night of the week for it. I really can’t remember, but I think that was the night of the storm — thunder and lightning, like it was mid-summer — but, snow came on the next night and made it look more like Christmas. Only in Kentucky can one get all the seasons in a three-night stretch. Wanda and Barbara planned to go but decided to skip the event.
Last week was the annual Holiday Trimmings Workshop at the Owen County Extension Office. More than 150 people attended the two sessions. Barbara and Wanda were there, along with Fay True and Phyllis Adkins. That’s one of the few things Fay will get out after dark to attend. She really enjoys it.
Last Friday Wanda and Barbara went to Bird Dogs Cafe to listen to the music of Velvet Soul. Peggy Godby’s son, Paul Collins, is a part of the band, so one of our local boys came home to entertain. They played a lot of oldies music that people could relate to; it was an enjoyable evening.
Nov. 16, the local homemaker’s group had a special outing to Ohio to the La Comedia Dinner Theater. Wanda and Barbara went with the Owenton group to meet a big bus at Florence driven by Tom Olds. There were 50 of them, and they enjoyed a buffet and production of the musical “White Christmas.” They did some shopping on the way home, so it was a full day for the “mostly ladies day out.” There were a few guys along too. She didn’t say what they did while the ladies shopped.
John’s train room is in full swing but far from finished. He’s found out there’s more to a model train layout than just snapping a bunch of track together, hooking up a wire and pressing start. If anyone out there knows anything about how to set up a train layout, he’d love to pick your brain.
This was opening week of deer season on the Branch. Wanda said it was rather unusual. In years past, there were usually several deer hanging on the pole at the hunting shack, but only three were there this weekend. She said our neighbor Spanky hadn’t had much luck either. I think the deer are all hiding in Ann’s woods. She doesn’t allow hunting. Wanda was hoping there would be more deer for the freezer and less of them for cars to hit, but I really haven’t heard of any car-deer encounters on the Branch for a while. I think they have all migrated to the Keebler Wildlife Preserve where they are safe.
My condolences to Kathi True and Larry Downey on the passing of their dad, A.W. Downey, last week. They were neighbors of ours when we lived in Monterey. His funeral was Monday.
To all of my readers out there, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving, a very merry Christmas and New Year. This will be my final column.
I had planned to continue to the end of the year, but I find it is no longer a joy to write a column each week.
 I started this column back in the ‘70s. We bought the farm in 1970 from Jim Atkins when T. Stone was the cashier at the Peoples Bank in Monterey. He came in the bank one morning and told T. he wanted to sell that “old rock farm” he lived on; T. asked what he wanted for it, and he said $12,000. T. came home and asked Stony if he was interested in going in half with him and buying it. Stony agreed. When Jim came back to the bank that week, T. asked him if he was still interested in selling his farm. He was and said he wouldn’t take a penny more than $11,500 for it. T. said, “Sold,” and we bought a 200-acre farm.
We didn’t know that at the time, T. thought the property only went “so far” back till he and Stony went up to see it with Jim. They were walking over it, and he was pointing out the perimeter of the acreage. They discovered they had not only bought the main farm, but 100 acres of woods and the 30-acre field across the road.
Sometimes, you just “fall into it.”