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 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

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