Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony Adams County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak

Always kept busy

I have said before I was raised on a farm and in the 50’s and 60’s. My dad owned around 200 acres of rolling land of which all was well fenced around the perimeter and fenced on all interior fields. At that time most farmers rotated their crops and along with crops raised a good number of livestock. My dad took pride in his farm and worked hard at keeping his place as well kept and presentable as he could. I heard him say often that if a person can’t maintain and keep their place in good working condition, that person shouldn’t keep it. It would be best to sell it. At that time he was far from alone in that theory as all the farmers I knew did the samethings that my dad did. This gave an entirely different look to the farms in that time. A look that was one that passersby couldn’t overlook or not appreciate when viewed.

The look didn’t come easy by any means and it took a lot of extra hours to create the look and maintain it. My dad, as most farmers of that time did, had what was called a hired hand and we had a good man who lived on our farm and worked for us. In return he received a home, a garden, a beef and a hog for meat and a weekly salary. His name was Wilbur but he went by Web. He was honest and dependable but did like to grumble as he did his labors. Web was a man that was almost an extended part of our family. We all liked and cared for him and his wife.

Between the burning of tobacco beds, the planting in the spring, setting tobacco, and the baling of hay, and before it was time to begin the cutting of tobacco and the fall harvest, there was a lull of a few weeks where little needed to be done. At least that was what my brother Ben, Web, and myself thought. We were wrong.

Dad seemed to find jobs for us. Jobs that had never crossed our minds as being needed but my dad seemed to think of them one after another. From cleaning the hog houses and the chicken houses to hauling all the junk to the “holler” and my least favorite, which was cutting all the weeds and grubs in places the mowing machine couldn’t reach. We had a lot of road frontage and dad wanted it to be kept in a presentable order. (He was a trustee for many years and I think some of this came from keeping all the township roads clean. We cleared roadsides approximately a half mile on each direction from the house. The invention of the weed eater had not come yet, so we had two tools to work with, a scythe and a grass whip, neither of which ran on automatic. Between all these chores we were kept busy right up until it was time to begin the preparations for housing the tobacco. I have always called this our busy time.

Dad was never a man to preach about things to people but I do have to feel he believed that the idle hands were the devil’s workshop and he was going to do his best to keep his sons and Web out of that workshop. On top of the work being very undesirable, it was August and hot, very hot as I recall now,but we stayed busy and out of trouble and the place would look good. I guess all reasons for this busy time were met.

I do remember one time when it went wrong. There was a stretch of roadside of about 300 yards between our house and the next farm drive. Up the bank and over the fence was a prize piece of land where dad had set about 2.5 acres of tobacco as he knew it would grow very well there. One hot August afternoon Web and I were clearing off the bank and fence line in front of that field when a lifelong neighbor named Joe Bolender, who was in his late seventies and was a man who loved to tease and get a person’s goat, was driving by and stopped. He got out of his car and assessed the scene. His blue eyes twinkled and then danced a little and then he spoke. “Web, Ralph must have a really great tobacco patch to have you and that boy out here cutting grubs on such a hot day.” With that he got back in his vehicle and departed. Also with that Web threw down the scythe looked at me and said “the devil if I’m doing this” and went home. I was dumbfounded as there I stood all alone wondering what should I do. As I looked around I decided there was no one to lead me, so I went to the house. Dad told Joe later on to please not do that. Joe just grinned.

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Rick Houser

The Good Old Days

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.

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