June R Williams Lions and Cowboys and no Bengals, thankfully Senior Profile: Tyler Horsley North Adams sweeps Manchester Cheer Championships Indians face tough test in first pre-season scrimmage Senior Profile: Abby Faulkner Seas reflects on second state tournament experience NA’s Harper signs to continue hoops career at Rio Grande Hendrickson named Assistant Coach of the Year in Division III girls soccer Take the hint, it’s Thanksgiving time again Small Business Saturday in Adams County Art Council’s newest production will have you ‘laughing through your tears’ North Adams students working to help the homeless Grateful Richard A Graham #SawyerStrong Billy L Smalley Wenstrup announces re-election campaign Delta Dental provides two local schools with new drinking fountains Ernie McFarland honored by Ohio Bankers League Veterans Day parade, ceremony held in West Union Adams County schools celebrate Veterans Day Being the change November: As Mr. Seas it Protecting Ohio seniors from rising healthcare costs It’s November-have some soup and pie SHAC Boys Preview is Nov. 24 at Peebles June Hall Alice B Himes Claudia U Mitchell TRAFFIC ALERT: SR 41 restrictions set for Saturday Jewell Foster Senior Profile: Nicholas Fish SHAC Girls Preview set for Nov. 17 Senior Profile: Lakyn Hupp Again, Lady Devils ousted in district finals ‘Lighting the Serpent’ event is being discontinued Voters favor incumbents at the ballot Arts Council dedicates Buzzardroost Rock mural Heroes in disguise Fighting for future generations in OH2 A few puffs of smoke, and a happy ending Lois Wilson Helen M Hesler Jerry L Dickson Ohio’s Traditional Deer-Gun Hunting Season begins Nov. 27 WWII veteran honored in banner raising ceremony Veteran of three wars honored for volunteer work Charlotte Evans Jason A Barr Why we celebrate Manchester man killed in single-car accident Adams County Election Results – 2017 Hubert Knauff To keep or not to keep Time again for the changing of the seasons November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month Local business is seven decades old and counting Local student gets Nashville call Senior Profile: Gabe Grooms Lady Indians fall in districts Quest For The Cup complete for Dragons Meeting a true sports hero WU’s McCarty named District Player of the Year With regional run, Pennywitt completes memorable career West Union eighth grade volleyball finishes as SHAC runner-up Senior Profile: Tray Brand Greyhounds drop home finale, finish at 4-6 Lady Devils fall in district semis Devils go down in district finals Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet Senior Profile: Charlee Louden Lady Indians ousted in sectional final Lady Devils down Minford 4-1 in district semis North Adams volleyball claims fourth consecutive sectional crown Senior Profile: Brooklyn Howlett Afterschool fun begins at NAES Wearing it pink in October Kenneth L Austin Jay E Minnich Reuben E Hershberger Bobby L Williams 18 years just isn’t long enough Emotional, historic, and victorious Taking action against addiction Utilities commission approves DP&L electric security plan What matters and what doesn’t Oh dear, is that a deer? Junior Gaffin Charlotte J Thatcher Matthew D Miller Megan R Phillips Ralph M Swearingen Linda C Ackley Robert Ralston Shelly Seaman Increased access to treatment, Improving economic opportunity keys to combating Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Seas siblings are again SHAC Cross-Country Champions Lady Hounds cruise to sectional victory Senior Profile: Alyssa Hoskins

Kept the home fires burning

The Good ‘Ole Days Rick Houser

Being raised on a farm was and still is a time I will always hold dear to me. Not only was it just farming and on what at that time was a big scale but with my dad there was a lesson to learn and a reward for success. Dad had decided long before I got into the picture that Peg and then Ben would raise crops of tobacco, share in the labor and bank the profit so there would be money to continue education after graduation from high school. Also in Dad’s plan was, along with the profits, the responsibility to file a tax return and pay into Social Security. It worked for Peg and Ben and it worked for Dad.

As I have said before I was the youngest and I had been watching and thinking about their deal and what I thought was all that fun they were having raising tobacco and livestock. So one day when I was seven years old I approached Dad and asked if I could have a tobacco patch to raise also. He didn’t say yes right away but let me plead my case and as I would pass a point he would bring up another. He did all this until I understood that since I was pretty young there would be some labor costs deducted from the sale of the tobacco. He reasoned if a person couldn’t deliver as much labor as all the others in this deal there would be some expense if I was still interested. I agreed to all the terms as fast as I could before he changed his mind.

After that first year I got the taste of being a part of the operation of farming and I saw my first money in December. I was hooked on farming. As I got older and I proved my worth to my Dad, Mom and Peg and Ben I worked harder and did all that I could for their approval as a needed part of the operation. With getting older and stronger and wiser as to the when, why, and how of things the more responsibility I was allowed to have. Also as the years passed Peg and Ben moved away from home and established their adult lives. This left the farming more and more for Dad and me. I loved the challenge and showed dad just how much I really could do. He would observe and approve as time moved on.

In the summer of my 14th year I had been offered and I took the responsibility for almost the entire farming project as Dad had decided to work away from the farm. I loved the role as manager and operator of the entire spread. But with youth as more responsibility is given the more it is felt that advice and support become less needed. At least it did until one summer morning in late July.

Every year Mom and Dad would attend a family reunion very far into Kentucky. This would be a three to four day trip. When you are young it is still ok to travel with parents, but when you are in your teens it is not as much fun. So when I was given an option to stay home and work or go with them, I chose the former without hesitation. When the morning arrived that they were leaving and they were packing the car, I was one last time asked if I wanted to go. I said no thanks and smiled and said, “I will just stay home and keep the home fires burning,” thinking my humor once again was awesome. They left at about 6 a.m. and I went to work brush hogging a field for my cousin Tom just up the road. The cool of the morning was nice and as I went across the field I was thinking just how great it was to be the final answer for the next few days. How could things get any better?

That all ended when I happened to look over to where our farm was and I saw a large plume of smoke. I headed that way and my cousin Lydia stopped me at a gate and said your barn is on fire! I raced to the barn only to find it was already in full flames. For a few moments my mind went blank. I couldn’t decide just what to do first. As I got closer to the fire and could see all was gone. All that confidence I had developed went up in smoke also. Fortunately, my cousin Walt called the fire departments who upon arrival saved another barn and a house that were near. Later we learned that up close to 2000 bales of hay a couple of our rente’rs little boys had left cap pistols and a piece of magnifying glass, all of which became ashes. It was the lowest, saddest and most helpless feeling I have ever experienced.

In just a small period of time I went from super farmer and the answer man to wanting my Dad to appear right then and make the decisions that parents do so naturally. One last observation was that I have never seen a barn raising but that day I had never seen so many people attend a barn burning. I think anyone who saw the smoke or were on a party line telephone showed up. What a crowd! But that crowd helped to console and calm me and get me over this disaster to property and ego. This was a lesson in growing up and learning. Nobody is invincible. Also, never say that you will keep the home fires burning. You just might.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved