Lady Indians go down in straight sets to Valley in sectional play Manchester hosts the inaugural Southern Ohio Cheer Challenge NAHS girls claim soccer sectional title Seas siblings are SHAC Cross-Country champions Lady Devils will collect fourth consecutive SHAC gold ball trophy Lady Hounds ousted in sectional tourney opener Peebles Lions Club holding Thanksgiving fund raiser FFA Fruit sales have begun, run until Nov. 18 Historical marker is repaired PES will present ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Eagle Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center Open House showcases new unit PES teacher honored by ACOVSD Board Friends of North Adams Library dedicate new brick Veterans Memorial Senior Profile: Landon Wright Geneva E Vogler Susan L Kremin Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award Renowned Ohio artist visits WUHS Don and Venita Bowles named 2016 Outstanding Fair Supporters PES students part of new Lego League Ferno donates $2,500 to OVCTC From the cistern to the city water

Bankrupt, but still a good time

web1_RickHouser.jpgBy Rick Houser

It seems that I talk a lot about all the hard work we did on the farm and in our other ventures, but during a rainy season or on a long winter’s day when it was too cold to work, we looked for other ways to entertain ourselves. There was television but it was limited to three stations and in the day had very limited entertainment. I have mentioned we played a lot of cards but even that can grow boring (at least for a while). So an alternative was needed.

Please remember this was in the 1950’s and 60’s so the alternatives were not many, but at our house and with us all still living at home we had checkers and the one and only Monopoly. I didn’t mind playing Checkers because I did well unless it was my Dad and I don’t recall ever beating him. I would try to see a jump or two ahead but Dad could see more than a few steps in advance. This always led me down the road to defeat. However, I do remember him playing my Great Uncle Roy and Uncle Roy beat Dad soundly. That was when I learned he wasn’t invincible, only invincible to me. An odd thing I remember was that we didn’t have any real checkers. I guess they had been lost over time and I’m sure we could have bought another set of checkers at the five and ten, but instead we used buttons. Mom had a jar full of buttons and she sorted out a dozen big white buttons and a dozen big black buttons. They worked just fine except when crowning a person as some buttons weren’t flat and the top button kept falling off.

Now as for Monopoly ( just the word sends me into depression) we all five could play and a game with five could use up a couple hours of time if not more. The high point of a game to me was to choose a token. I always wanted that little dog. Most times I got him but sometimes just to be ornery, my brother Ben would take him. We then rolled the dice to see who went first but seldom did I ever get to go first. The first five or six times around the board I felt like I was on fire and this game was sure to be my first win. As I was buying up properties and collecting my 200 dollars passing “Go”, I could just feel fortunes going my way. What I didn’t pay attention to was the way Dad, my sister ,and Ben were choosing just which properties they wanted or passed on. Heck, I wanted them all! The name of the game was Monopoly wasn’t it?

Frankly, after the first six times around the board the game was just beginning. I would land on a lot that said go back to “Go” and don’t collect 200 dollars. What? There was a jewelry tax square and all of a sudden the other player’s properties began collecting rent off me as it seemed I landed on their properties more and more often. At first it wasn’t bothering me too much as I was holding a lot of cash and soon they would be landing on my properties. Let me stop right here and explain that along with planning and plotting, fate comes into play. In my case I ran into a lot of fate over the games I played with my family that I was beginning to not like so much.

As the game rolled on I would run out of cash and begin to mortgage properties to stay in the game. I was still somewhat good with this as I knew my luck would change and it did. Everyone landed on my properties then and rent couldn’t be collected. This was the breaking point for me. It was when Peg and Ben would begin to point out that I wasn’t as good as I had thought I was. By this time Mom was usually out of the game as she couldn’t concentrate since she was constantly jumping up to get us things to eat or drink and I don’t think she really wanted to play but did because her family was all around the table as a family and she wasn’t about to miss that time of joy she looked so forward to, even if it meant losing. Dad didn’t join in the taunting or teasing. He just sat there, listened, and at some point cooled the tempers that were brewing. Most always it was my temper. Inevitably I would have to concede and move to the side and watch Peg, Ben and Dad battle for the Monopoly championship.

This part of the game could sometimes take over an hour or so and another pan of popcorn from Mom came along with another pitcher of iced tea. But in the end and almost always, the winner was Dad. I don’t know if it was his ability to anticipate ahead, or just the experience of life or that word I used before-fate. Whatever it was, it worked for him. If he had a plan or secret he never shared it.

All I know is these two types of entertainment helped us chase away many hours of a useless day and we had fun. However getting skunked at checkers and always going bankrupt at Monopoly can work on a fellow’s confidence a little. Today I can win at checkers over my grandsons, but the word Monopoly causes my stomach to hurt. Maybe it’s time to play some Euchre.

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

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