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 Harper, Hupp, Defense lead Lady Devils to fourth consecutive sectional championship West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January

Take a picture, it’ll last longer

I have written many times about our farm which was appropriately named Pine Acre Farm. This was the farm where I was born , raised and grew up. This was a farm that from all accounts had in the depression not been cared for and almost all the good top soil had eroded away. I guess that was why Dad bought it for a very low price. He then spent half his life building this farm back to not just a farm with top soil, but a farm that grew profitable crops every year. It was a farm with good buildings and a home in good condition and fences that Dad kept looking good. Dad and Mom and their three kids all knew just how much time, money, and labor had gone into making it more than just a farm. It was a farm that people pointed to and said “it would be nice to have a place like Ralph has.”

It wasn’t the place to display in the beginning but work and planning helped turn it into a good farm. One evening in the fall of 1962 a knock came on our door. Mom answered because Dad was away at a trustee meeting. There was a man at the door with a large looking photo album and a black carrying case. He introduced himself and handed Mom a business card as he explained he was a representative from the State Aerial Farm Statistics, Mapping Division out of Toledo.

In the previous months a plane had flown over and taken photos of our farm and he wanted to show them to us. This definitely grabbed our attention and curiosity. Mom invited him in and we all sat with him as he showed us pictures of our farm and explained what he was about to offer. He had a 5”x8” black and white picture of our farm that was pin point clear. That picture cost a dollar. However, we could own a 15’’x19’ full color portrait, hand painted and framed in a wooden frame with the wood of our choosing for only $60.

This was 1962 and $60 was a larger sum than it is today. Mom listened and studied that picture. I don’t know about now but at that time traveling salesmen didn’t carry a high pedigree at all. My Mom was a very frugal and a hard person to get a dollar out of, especially a stranger who she had not seen until maybe 15 minutes before he knocked on our door. To this day I still don’t really know why but my Mom said “I will take it.” He wrote up the order and they picked out pine wood for the frame (as it was Pine Acre Farm) and Mom wrote him the check.

All seemed well and Mom was happy with the deal until Dad came home. When she told Dad about our company and the transaction. Dad became very upset and for the first time and maybe the only time I witnessed my parents in an argument. Dad’s reason was that our visitor was a peddler from clear over in Toledo and he was positive we would never see a farm portrait or the $60. Mom argued back that she had checked his credentials and she just knew he was honest. This conversation continued for days and then weeks but always when we were out of hearing range because arguing in front of us was very bad.

About six weeks passed by and one evening a knock came at the door and there stood the salesman. Dad said he would go to the door. (By the way, Mom accompanied Dad). There stood the salesman with the portrait under his arm. He was invited in and offered a seat and in front of us all unwrapped the infamous photo. Dad wouldn’t admit it at that time but he immediately fell in love with that picture. So did we all. To keep his pride, he pointed out a couple of tiny flaws and the salesman assured Dad it would be corrected and returned in a week. What Mom saw in the picture was our farm looking at the very best it could look. She couldn’t express that to my Dad but she could see it all, even the huge amounts of labor that she and Dad had put into the farm.

Over the years many people have invested in an aerial photo of their farm or residence and display them with the pride in which they were designed to do. The remainder of my Dad’s life he kept that photo in close proximity. If a visitor made a comment about it, Dad would beam from ear to ear and tell of our farm on Fruit Ridge Road. He and Mom took that farm from the verge of forever lost to a majestic farm suitable to be painted in color and framed for viewing.

As a matter of fact when I look up from this keyboard I look right at the photo and I see a time and place that I will always look upon with happiness. Thanks Mom!

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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