200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient MHS honors veterans during pregame Kirker Covered Bridge gets a ‘Brown Goose’ facelift Adams County Heritage Days are Sept. 30-Oct. 1 Lady Devils prevail 1-0 over Peebles on Kickin’ Cancer Night Senior Profile: Patrick Baldwin Michael W Milby James R Grooms Sr. Fall Festival crowns Little Miss and Mister UPDATE: Pike County multiple murder Investigation; redacted autopsy reports released West Union Elementary names August Students of the Month SHAC streak continues for North Adams volleyball West Union volleyball picks up a pair of W’s Animal Shelter booth sees record crowds at Old Timer’s Day Festival Dragons top Manchester in Defender Bowl battle, 28-22 Senior Profile: Kendall Gallowitz Lady Dragons grab early lead in SHAC Tourney, final round is coming Friday Another Old Timer’s Days in the books and successful Run Gio Foundation to hold Oct. 1 benefit in Adams County Betty L Kelley Tom Cross, ACTVB Director, to receive ODNR Cardinal Award Seaman Fall Festival begins Wednesday, runs through Saturday Dragons still lead after two rounds of SHAC Golf, McCarty tops individual leader board Lady Dragons get SHAC win, downing Fayetteville 3-1 Overcoming obstacles, Pennywitt etches his name in MHS record books Dragons take first day lead in SHAC Golf Tourney New drug treatment offers more hope for recovering addicts Ronnie G Nace Lucille Wright Lois M Bixler Time to change those soccer rules Senior Profile: Hannah Grimes ‘Cruising up and down the main drag all night long’ Community effort erects town clock S Bridge to be replaced on Graces Run Road Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Lady Dragons break ACCC course record Dragons roll in county gridiron battle Down to last play, Hounds fall in heartbreaker I never won, but those lawn games were special times Donnie Austin Shari R Hiltibran Bentonville hosts 40th Annual Harvest Festival West Union soccer teams sweep Williamsburg, St. Patrick “Rockin” the mats again Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Sylvester Mefford Local teens selected to State 4-H Teen Leadership Council Connect with Serpent Mound over Old Timer’s Days Guthrie to speak about pests and diseases in beekeeping Old Timers Days Festival Cornhole Tournament is this week Defender Bowl coming Thursday Bentonville Harvest Festival holds Toddler Pageants 40th Anniversary Bentonville Harvest Festival hosts Baby Show 9/11 Reminds Us That We Are All Americans Lady Dragons are 2016 County Cup winners Bob Birchfield Senior Profile: Ryan Henderson Dragons take JV golf match Another rough night for Greyhounds, Notre Dame rolls to big win Remembering 9/11-15 years later Hughes honored at GABP Concussions and Youth Sports Roberta Newman to retire after more than 46 years at First State Bank Reaching out to the Baton Rouge flood victims Bentonville Harvest Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary Fire it up! Annual Jr. Fair BBQ cooks up another savory fare Lady Indians take down Whiteoak in four sets Senior Profile: Zack Best Greyhounds produce three winners at the 2016 Dragon Run Lady Hounds win in five sets at West Union Teresa Houdeshell Rosa Grooms Roy C Shiveley Mathew R Potts Staggs and Louiso to visit nation’s capital MLSD board members disagree on the merits of drug-testing students Law enforcement will target impaired drivers Labor Day weekend Figgins goal gives Devils a 1-0 win over West Union Lady Devils soccer rolls past West Union 9-1 Senior Profile: Madison Jenkins Boys golf season in full swing in county Winchester Homecoming Festival beats the heat and the storm I learned a lot from Rusty Verona McRoberts Lester Boldman Elsworth Cook Jr Harold L Applegate Governor Kasich honors Defender’s 150th anniversary ACRMC offers Language Interpretation Greyhounds stumble in opener, Green rushing attack leads to big win Notre Dame drops North Adams in straight sets SENIOR PROFILE: Gavin Baldwin Lady Dragons win Friday match at ACCC Juanita Lee Annual Junior Fair Beef BBQ is Thursday night Earl Jackson

Our own personal swimming hole

web1_RickHouser.jpgBy Rick Houser –

I have written before about my friends Herb and Charlie Marshall and how we kept ourselves entertained and busy as we were growing up on Fruit Ridge back in the 60’s. It really never mattered what time of day or season of the year it was, or whether we were working or just playing, we almost always found a way to make it better. They had very creative minds and inventive ways to cause whatever we were into to come off as real as it could possibly be, and whatever we were into it was always special.

I got to thinking about one summer after a very wet and rainy spring that was keeping the water table higher than usual and we had more spare time from work and more time to wander up and down the roads. One day it began to rain on us and we took shelter under a small bridge underpass. As the rain became steady and we realized we were going to be there for a while, we also realized that it really wasn’t all that bad a place to be. It was high enough for us to stand up in and roomy enough for us to move around in and most of the rain water stayed to one side of the culvert, leaving a good two thirds of it remaining dry. Also, at the end where the water dropped out there was a pretty big sized water hole that was maybe three to four feet deep and maybe twelve feet in circumference.

To me this just looked like a pool of water (I never have been creative). But to Herb and Charlie and their imaginations they saw a swimming hole. Not only that, but we were standing in a cave. At first I just saw a culvert and a pool of rain water but with their convincing I began to see the roomy, cozy cave and our own personal swimming hole at our convenience and only one step from our cave. Yes, the scene was coming to life in my mind and once the mind sees something the rest of a person is sold on the idea.

When the rain stopped, Herb and Charlie kicked off their shoes and yelled “cannonball” and jumped into that pool of water. Maybe the sound of the water splashing brought me back to reality but a fear shot straight through me. I said out loud “hey guys, I can’t swim!” Both asked me “what did that matter” as the water was maybe only four feet deep at its deepest and I didn’t have to know how to swim. That didn’t convince me.

I was scared and I guess they could see that but they just kept talking to me and reassuring me that they would never let me get in a dangerous spot. Slowly I put my feet into the edge and waded a little. As I walked in I moved in a little deeper and they would ask if I was having any trouble or ask how was I doing but never rushed me. After what seemed a long time to me, I was standing in the deep spot of the pool. Mission accomplished! I had conquered my fear of that water hole.

For days we would load up our bikes and take food and beverages so that we could enjoy the great outdoors a bit longer. We packed hot dogs, buns. and some mustard along with chips and vienna sausages and maybe some snacks or some old cake or pie, and with the small sticks we gathered and the box of matches that we snuck out to build a fire, we cooked out just like any other camper of that day. Actually we were just three boys trying to cook over a smoking sputter of a fire under an old concreate bridge that had a pool of muddy water. But to us we had created a campsite/swimming pool reserved only for the three of us. The imagination is truly one of the greatest gifts the good Lord ever gave man and with Herb and Charlie, I learned how to let that gift work for me.

This of course is just one of the creations to occupy time that came into our lives. There really isn’t a way I can recall them all, but this was just a sample of how we took really nothing and turned it into not only something but something we considered special. I learned through these two that if you don’t have something, it didn’t really mean you couldn’t have something. Just put your mind to work and when you look at something, don’t look for what isn’t there, but look for what you can see is there and more than likely it is there. Thanks guys!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 People's Defender