West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January Second Healthy Hero awarded by Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition Coal company files to intervene in power plant closings Senior Profile: Jessica Sowards Senior Profile: Dennis Welch Dorothy E Walls Mabel Chamblin Michael R Jones Marie I Simmons Ray Johnson One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic Indians bounce back with 67-59 win over East OHSAA Baseball Pitch Count Regulation approved for 2017 At the buzzer, Rothwell gives Dragons an overtime win Greyhounds fall to Portsmouth Lady Indians roll past West Union 80-29 From Division II to the Senior Bowl COSI On Wheels visits West Union Elementary News from the Peebles PTO NAJH Basketball hosting ‘Play For The Cure’ Jan. 28

A day so right, quickly goes wrong

It is safe to say that we have all had days where everything that could go right for you did. There just isn’t a feeling as good as that as far as I’m concerned. Those days are the ones that bring to our attention just how an average day or worse is just that. Back when I was going to Felicity High School I had a day like that, well almost. Allow me to explain.

I was in my junior year and at 16 I was enjoying growing up as well as about any boy can. I farmed on a large level for that era in agriculture. I earned enough to own my equipment and my car. I was involved in just about every extracurricular activity the school offered. Yes, life was good.

One week night the school held a dance and I was all excited that they were having it. First of all it was on a week night and this got me out of the house. Second, I had a date! This might come as a surprise but I did, a girl in my class who I had dated a few times before and was a fun person to go to things like dances with. I got to be out on a date on a week night. This was special.

The evening arrived and I put on my best paisley shirt and a pair of blue bell bottom pants and I must tell you all that I looked sharp. I got to my date’s house on time and even talking to the parents went well. I drove my fire engine red Galaxy that had just been washed and waxed and parked it as close to the gym door as I could so everyone could see my car. It looked its best that evening.

We entered the dance and got with friends and the evening was a total blast. There were many slow dances, which was good if you were a guy. Fast dances for guys seldom went well and usually caused a lot of snickering at a guy’s lack of coordination. A slow dance however was not only conquerable, but a guy got to be close to the opposite gender when it was permissible.

When the dance sadly ended, I took my date home and got her there before curfew, said good night, and headed back to Felicity and on my way home since I was not really in a hurry, it was running through my mind what a perfect day and evening I had just experienced.

That is when my day took a turn for the worse. As I drove into a straight stretch on the road, I suddenly saw several eyes looking at me from the road in front of me. This quickly brought me out of my euphoric state and I began trying to avoid hitting those eyes. As I looked at the highway in front of me, I saw an open space in the other lane and pointed the car in that direction. That is when I learned that the eyes belonged to five Black Angus steers weighing in at a little over a 1000 pounds. My next discovery was what I had mistaken for a space was a steer facing away from me. The next thing I felt was the impact of a 1000 pound steer and a car going 45 mph. That type of impact will throw the car into a ditch and then back on the road and into the opposite ditch, and it will also kill a 1000 pound steer.

When the car finally stopped and I removed my death grip from the steering wheel, I saw all the dash board lights that were to warn me if something was wrong. I was in total darkness, near midnight and two miles from town, and scared out of my wits. I decided I should try to get the car to Felicity if it would make it. I made it to Eddie Miller’s Gas Station and when I got out and looked at my car (of which I was hoping only had a dent) I saw that the front was pushed into the radiator, both fenders were crumpled and shoved into both doors that crumpled them, and the hood was bent badly. That was when I learned just how much force a cow can have on a car.

After looking the situation over and watching and hearing the radiator steaming, I did what I had to do the one thing that I dreaded the most. I called my Dad. He didn’t say much on the phone other than I will be right there and I must call the sheriff. The sheriff? How could a day that had gone so right go so terribly wrong in less than 10 minutes?

When Dad and the deputy arrived we all rode out to the house of the farmer who owned the cows and that was when I learned his insurance had to pay for my car repairs. Okay, this wasn’t so bad. A man was called and he took the steer to the slaughter house and the farmer got a freezer full of beef.

The next day the news that I had been in a car accident and killed a cow spread throughout the school like wildfire. On top of being the school’s main topic and so many people asking if I was OK, I later learned that I was getting all the parts on my car replaced and the entire car was getting a new paint job. I guess what I’m getting to is that when you have one of those days where life is grand, don’t just let it fade away. Enjoy it as much as you can as you never know when some big old cow will come along and take it away from you. Mine turned out fine. I got a new paint job.

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