Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol 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

An incredible group of hired hands

When you give a farmer his money’s worth and maybe even more for a day’s labor, you will always be in demand. When I wasn’t working for my Dad, I was working for the farmers in our neighborhood to earn some extra pocket money and also to help those farmers out. Dad always said that a person never knew when someone might need their help. He of course was right and there were times I was helped out. From the time I was about 14 until my early 30’s I worked as a hired hand in hay, tobacco, and a lot of other chores on a farm that couldn’t be managed single-handed.

From 1963 on for the next few years, the farmers in our neighborhood were blessed and I’m not overstating this at all. Besides myself, there were the Marshall Brothers (Herb and Charlie) and my cousin Walt who were the best hired hands a farmer could ask for. We worked hard and well together and delivered not only a large quantity of production, but we did with high quality delivery. Farmers often looked for the sons of other farmers since they had already learned how to work and probably had learned a lot from the experience.

Herb and Charlie Marshall moved from the city to the country and their home set smack dab between a lot of farmers who immediately recognized their raw talent and taught them well how to work on a farm. My cousin Walt lived in the city in the winter and on their farm in the summer. Since the only boys his age to play with were working and he was learning from his grandfather, who was a very good farmer, he learned quickly and caught on fast.

So when Walter Reichel or Alfred Weber or Ed Maus stopped and ask if we were available to work and we were, they knew they had their crew to get the crops in the barns. Reichel custom baled all over the country side and he supplied the crew to farmers to take their hay from the field to the barn and stack it in the mow. In Mr. Reichel’s case he figured that at the rate we were paid and for him not to lose money, we had to move 100 bales from the field and stack them in the barn every hour. It didn’t matter the distance between the field and the barn and the hay had to be stacked with each layer of hay criss-crossed and with the stings on the sides and what he referred to as “pressed side up.” We felt he had challenged us and not only did we meet the 100 bales per hour but most times surpassed it. We were proud of this and he was tickled to have made a few dollars extra.

The other large hay farmer was Alfred Weber who owned a large dairy farm and baled thousands of bales per year. This was steady work for a few weeks at a time and we enjoyed it even more because Mr. Weber had eight very pretty daughters that worked in the fields with us. They were much nicer to look at than Herb, Charlie or Walt to say the least. Sometimes we helped Ed and Chris Maus and others. They always seemed to help my Dad first for which I was glad since I knew we had top notch help and we would get whatever we had to do completed as quickly as possible. This allowed more free time for us to take all those large bundles of money that we had earned to Felicity in the evenings, if we weren’t completely tired out.

We worked on just about every farm in the township and in just about every condition and situation a person could imagine and a few that probably couldn’t be imagined. I don’t know about the other guys but I took pride in being the first person asked to help. Taking pride in the job was what separated us from a lot of good workers. Please understand that before and after our years of being available, there have been many good fellows to get the job done, but I will stand by what I have said about when we were the hired hands of choice. We were way better than good.

The four of us spent a lot of time together, not just in the fields and barns, but we spent many days playing as kids together. We got to know each other so well that we could anticipate each other’s actions. We got a lot of good farmer’s wives meals along the way, but we also got the treat of bologna and cheese on white bread with some chips and a warm bottle of Pepsi. Some days we didn’t finish until after 11 p.m. and started right up again the next morning. We could tell when a season was about to end as the knees in our jeans were wearing out and our work gloves had more holes in them than there was material left. About the only thing left in decent condition was the hat we chose to wear that summer, still in one piece but very sweat stained. ( Yuck!)

Yes, Herb, Charlie Walt and I were the work force of choice if we were available. (We were in demand you know.) Hard, sweaty, dirty and somewhat dangerous at times, I know we were proud of our achievements then and we still are today. Oh, and by the way we raised the bar to where we earned the very top dollar in wages. We got $1 per hour! I think somebody got their money’s worth.

Rick Houser was raised on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He can be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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2016 People's Defender