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

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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