Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard Keneth Waters Commissioner Worley seeks re-election Republican challenger vies for Commissioner’s seat Charles Cooper Thelma J White Kayleigh L Crothers AEP Ohio employees support Breast Cancer Awareness Month WUHS holds annual Beta Club and Honor Society inductions When Saturday mornings belonged to the kids of the house Senior Profile: Gloria Purdin Green-White Night, OHSAA Meeting at WUHS on Nov. 9
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Remembering the beauty of the barn

I know I say this an awful lot but just in case anyone missed it I was raised on a farm in the 50’s and 60’s in southern Clermont County and have always been so glad that I was. The reason was that I enjoyed the farm life and all that came with it and from my earliest recollections and even today when I see a farm I almost always and immediately look for the barn. If you stop and take a little longer look, the barn is the biggest structure that a farmer has and by looking at his barn a lot can be derived about the man who owns it and how he approaches his way of farming. Barns can be built in many unique ways and I always have liked seeing one that is just a little different than the norm.

Webster Dictionary defines a barn as “a large farm building used for storing grain, hay, or straw or housing livestock.” Notice that it says a large farm building? Webster goes on to define a farm as “a tract of land, usually with a house, barn, silo etc., on which crops and livestock are raised for livelihood.” With these definitions in place I can now go back to the years in which I was raised and say that was what I saw as we drove the countryside. A house, barn and an assortment of other outbuildings that were in the close proximity of the barn only made a farm look even bigger and more prominent in stature. They appeared as the sentinels over that farm and the rest of the buildings.

Growing up I saw the barn as the place that adventures were created in. Of course a barn with a hay mow was the first place on my list. There were stables for horses or cattle and areas for hogs. Along with the hay mow there were usually grain bins that with the correct imagination, and not getting caught in them, were fun also. If part of the barn was tiered off to hang tobacco, there was a climbing area and the tobacco sticks made great swords, rifles, and other great items. A barn has a world enclosed in it and was the perfect place for a child to play and pretend, at least the one on Fruit Ridge was for me.

So it is no wonder that even today when I see a barn of good size and maybe a unique look to it that I do a little reminiscing and maybe even sigh that it would be great to revisit even if it were only for an hour, but just settle for a smile as I travel on down the road. What I recall was that most every barn in the past was kept in a condition that was A1. I know my dad saw to it that every three years all our building roofs were painted. He said that if rust begins on a roof it is impossible to keep that roof from rusting altogether.

He never painted the sides of the barn or his corn cribs, but did paint the outbuildings white. He saw that if siding was detreating that new siding was installed. Dad wasn’t a man for flash but he wanted his buildings to look good, but most of all, his investment protected. At that time these buildings all had a purpose. What didn’t seem out of the ordinary then was that all the landowners I saw did the very same thing.

Lately though I’ve noticed a change in the scenery. I see more and more barns falling into decline. More roofs are rusty and barn sides that were painted white or red have faded to a point where too much plain wood showsm causing the barn to look probably in poorer condition than it really is. I don’t claim to be an expert in the reason that this is happening, but it is. I’m certain there are many factors as to why but again I don’t have a conclusive answer. I do know that the way many farms look today are not the way they looked in the past.

I enjoyed going to our barn and playing in the hay or the grain, building things with the tobacco sticks or just watching the livestock as they looked back at me. It was a great time and a great place to be. I just hated to see that part of my life change. It must have been special because I can’t think of any negative thoughts, (not even the rotten egg fight my brother Ben and I got into and just how bad we smelled) about the barn.

With all that said and letting my nostalgia run a little wild, I return to the here and now. If the need and purpose for a barn or other buildings is gone, wouldn’t it make more sense to remove the structure? It would have to come off the tax bill and save the person money, and not let a structure that served its owner well just slowly fade away. That was just a thought and again not an educated answer. Being fond of old barns and memories might make for bad opinions but man they sure do make for warm memories of part of a good life.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves 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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2016 People's Defender