Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek

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