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 101 and another sectional championship Lady Indians claim sectional title North Adams tops Peebles for sectional soccer crown Senior Profile: Shay Boldman 13.5 seconds, heartbreak for West Union PHS JV Volleyball completes unbeaten season On the course that Nicklaus helped design On the ballot: Meigs Township Trustees West Union Christian Church will again be collection center for Operation Christmas Child Peebles voters will choose council members in upcoming election Seven candidates seek seats on ACOVSD school board A time for transformation What will future generations say? Finding all those treasures Janet K Campbell Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business

Don’t forget your lines

I entered school at Moscow but consolidation in the early 1960’s got me into the Felicity school where I eventually graduated. I say this because my sister and my brother both graduated in Moscow. As the youngest it is common to look up to and try to follow in their footsteps. I was not the exception by any means. It was difficult for me as both excelled in lots of ways and they achieved high by my standards.

They both were in their junior and senior class plays. Ben had the lead part both years and Peg had important roles too. They did plays in a school half the size in students as Felicity so the competition for roles would be twice as much for me.

When Grace Allen, the English teacher and director of the class plays, posted that there would be tryouts after school the following Friday I decided that I wanted to be in the play and I might as well try out for the lead part. I went to Mrs. Allen and asked her if I could get the lines that the lead part would have. She said all the parts were available to anyone to have if we wanted.

The play was titled “Grandad Goes Wild”. It was a three act comedy about a family with a troublesome grandfather as best I can recall. This play was not one that ever hit Broadway or probably nowhere else other than Felicity, but was funny if those acting carried out their parts as the writer had desired. This is a huge part of a play being successful and entirely out of the writer’s hands.

I studied those lines every day and at night before I went to bed. I thought how my grandpa Benton, who was in his 80’s, walked and talked and tried to recall some of his mannerisms. When the tryouts came the room was full with kids who wanted a part and five after that lead role. I somehow got to go last in the group and they were all pretty good and didn’t miss their lines. Uncertainty gripped me as I was called to come forward and audition.

As I walked to the front I told myself that this was the time to show Mrs. Allen just how good I would be for this part and prove to my siblings I could do them one better. I looked at the script and as I spoke I spoke steady and with volume. As I said the lines I moved a few steps as my grandpa would have done. When I was finished, I went back to my seat knowing I had given it my best. The parts weren’t assigned officially until after everyone had auditioned. Mrs. Allen began to read the names and said that everyone had done so well it was hard to decide (my heart sank) but the role of Grandad went to Rick. I know I must have grinned from ear to ea,r but tried to control myself and congratulate all the rest.

For four weeks on weeknight evenings for about an hour and a half to two hours we practiced. For the most part everyone involved took presenting a successful play seriously. Of course we had fun as we got to be away from home on weeknights without parental guidance. Of course with Mrs. Allen in charge there was little worry of any of us getting out of control, but we were out on a weeknight. As rehearsals went on I continued to enhance the part of Grandad to make it more believable that a 16-year old was an octogenarian. I went so far as to borrow one of Grandpa’s suits and a cane. I let my hair grow from a flat top (Mrs. Allen said Grandpas didn’t where flat tops) to where it could be combed over and they could powder my hair to look white. It seemed the entire cast, no matter the size of part, tried more to make their roles believable.

Finally, the day of the presentation came. The plays were presented on a Friday afternoon to the student body as kind of a dress rehearsal. We all went to the stage dressed in our costumes and talked to each other trying our best to sound calm and confident so the rest would. I’m certain it didn’t work as I had butterflies in my stomach. I had never had this before and really didn’t think they were real but believe me they are. Mrs. Allen said the words, “Take your places and good luck.”

Now my part had me on stage for all but three minutes of the one and a half hours. The curtains opened and there was a gym full of students and teachers looking at us. I had the first line I think and with butterflies close to nausea and a mouth as dry as the desert I delivered a somewhat weak line. I said to myself, “you have come too far to screw it up now, too much to prove.” With the next line and all the rest I was on target and as the play progressed my confidence let me even ad lib as there is a little “ham” in my personality. The entire cast was awesome and when the play ended and the curtains closed we could hear what we had worked so very long and hard for. The audience was clapping and cheering and when they pulled back the curtains we saw many were standing. The only word for the effort was success. That night we did the play for the community in front of a truly packed gym and I say this as honestly as I can, we were even better the second time.

When the curtain drew closed that evening, Mrs. Allen addressed us all and told us we were maybe the best group she had ever had the pleasure to work with. This from a lady who only said what she felt was the truth. I was also happy as my sister and brother were in the audience and got to see me do this. But a big thought entered my mind that brought me back to reality. Wait! What about the senior play next year? We will have to do better, won’t we?

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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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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