Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 16, 2013

In honor and memory

Boyd County woman finds decorating house with late husband’s interests therapeutic

SUMMIT — Ramona Scaggs has found a way to soothe her loss.

Her husband of 53 years, Bill Scaggs, died in 2011 after a 15-year battle with cancer that took a toll on her, too.

“We dealt with it through our sense of humor,” she said of her ability to cope with dressing bandages on nine external cancerous lesions on his upper arm. “I learned to cauderize his wounds,” the former Kindermusik teacher said, noting she dressed the wounds and cut bandages to fit each spot.

While she coped with reality, she also used escapism.

“I managed to put myself in another world and do a lot of pretending and fantasizing,” she said.

Scaggs was well known in many arenas: The Boyd County native served in the U.S. Marines in the 1950s. He  was  supervisor of communications and government relations at the Armco Steel Co.’s Ashland Works, retiring after 28 years with the company. He was a member of the National Rifle Association, having been named to the NRA Legion of Honor by Charlton Heston. Scaggs also was a supporter of many causes, including Salvation Army, American Heart Association, Boyd County Public Library, Junior Achievement, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Cerebral Palsy School, Boyd-Greenup Chamber of Commerce, FIVCO Economic Development Board and the Boy Scouts.

Scaggs was so devoted to supporting the Boyd County school system that the school system’s newletter published an extensive tribute to him at the urging of retired superintendent Howard K. Osborne and retired director of personnel Mickey Rice.

He was involved with various wildlife and sportsmen organizations and was named Sportsman of the Year by the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, of which he was a lifelong member.

In the wake of Mr. Scaggs’ death, Mrs. Scaggs found herself sinking into a deep depression.

“I had always been a ball of fire but now, I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to lay in bed,” she said. “I had a breakdown. I loved him and I didn’t want him to die.”

Eventually, she said she knew she had to start her life again, but she was at a loss about what to do, until she discovered the comfort that decorating rooms could give her.

She doesn’t follow just any theme; she decorates rooms of her house in themes and memorabilia that reminds her of her husband.

The family room includes photographs of the children and other family members, but the overall theme is patriotic with an emphasis on the U.S. Marines.

Much of the furniture is red, white and/or blue. Blades on the ceiling fan have a flag design and dog tags are the pulls. The flag presented to Scaggs when she lost her husband is in a display case and his dress hat and gloves rest of a red table alongside a Marine Bible.

She said she bought various pieces in different local stores, but much of the collection comes from online shopping, as her own health problems limit her ability to travel and shop. Some items in her collection have been gifts.

Scaggs’ decoration therapy continues in the basement, where her late husband made his “man cave.”

There, decorations run toward his hobbies, which included hunting and fishing. There is a camo bedspread, a built-in bookshelf of his books and hunting- and fishing-related items accenting every corner.

Still, his military services shows itself, too, in three uniforms that hang on the front of the closet door.

The project, which has taken her two years, has paid off by giving her much needed comfort.

“When I walk through that ruoom and see all that, I feel more at ease, at peace.” she said. “Down in his mancave, I love to go down there and sit and look around. Also, staying busy hasn’t hurt anything.”

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit

    A judge has refused to dismiss a former Boyd district and circuit judge’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that affects his ability to run for re-election this fall.
    In an order entered on Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate denied a renewed motion to dismiss by current Boyd Circuit Judge George W. Davis III, an intervening respondent in the suit filed in January by Marc I. Rosen.

    April 23, 2014

  • Ashland football players join special-needs students for prom

    The purple chiffon gown and the sparkling tiara are back in the closet four days after the big dance, but Karina McBride still hasn’t stopped talking about Saturday night — the decorations, boys bringing her cups of punch, her first kiss (on the cheek, her mother hastens to interject), and dancing the night away at her first prom.
    “She’s been flying high since that night,” said Michele Woods, who is Karina’s mother and who brought together friends and volunteers to organize a prom for special needs students.

    April 23, 2014

  • Concrete pouring at Putnam

    Workers are pouring concrete foundations at Putnam Stadium and once those are dry and cured will be ready to install seats at the historic arena.
    The workers are putting in 12-hour shifts to keep on schedule to complete the stadium’s reconstruction in time for this fall’s football opener, said site supervisor Craig Chinn of Trace Creek Construction.
    The most visible work is happening on the home-team side of the stadium, where workers Tuesday were setting forms for the cylindrical concrete piers that will support the seats. Once those are poured, cured and inspected they will add the seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • Unique races for Carter magistrates

    Carter County magistrate ballots are full of candidates eager to represent constituents in each of the five districts that make up the county’s fiscal court.
    Of the five seats available, three magistrates are seeking re-election: Clarence “Sonny” Fankell, D-Grayson, District 2; Clifford “Sodbuster” Roe, D-Olive Hill, District 4; and Brandon Burton, R-Olive Hill, District 5.
    The incumbents will each have to battle as many as three opponents in their district primaries next month before they can focus on reclaiming their magistrate titles in the November general election.
    This year’s magistrate race will host a total of 22 candidates, with 11 from Grayson, nine from Olive Hill and two from Denton.

    April 23, 2014

  • Martin County marks 50 years since LBJ visit

    Today marks 5o years since former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Inez resident Tom Fletcher and promised to end poverty in America on April 24, 1964. On Friday, Inez will be commemorating the occasion with a special event.

    April 23, 2014

  • Trail Town trial run to be in Olive Hill this Sunday

    Olive Hill will participate in a trial run this Saturday in the city’s push to become a certified Kentucky Trail Town.

    April 23, 2014

  • Some area farmers may be eligible for LIP program

    The Grayson  Farm Service Agency, (Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence) is having registration for the Livestock Indemnity Program to eligible producers who suffered losses beginning Oct. 1, 2011, and subsequent years.

    April 23, 2014

  • News in brief, 04/24/14

    The King’s Daughters Pregancy and Infant Loss Support Group invites families who have experienced the loss of an infant during pregnancy or following birth to participate in a butterfly release and prayer ceremony at 2 p.m. May 10 at the Ashland Central Park fountain.

    April 23, 2014

  • Garner hosting National Day of Prayer activities

    The Garner Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting day long events at the Kyova Mall to commemorate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 1.

    April 23, 2014

  • Flatwoods mayoral debate set for Tuesday

    A public debate among the candidates seeking to become the next mayor of Flatwoods will take place next week.

    April 22, 2014