Massive storms rumble through Ohio Valley James W Morgan Tiffany R Edwards Marshall W Groves Fairgoers wanna iguana! SSCC moving forward with plans for Adams County campus Mary Wallingford Leslie V Lawrence Jr Fair hosts Cheerleading Competition Peebles FFA installs 2017-18 Officers Adams County Fair Baby Contest Seniors Citizens and Armed Forces Day at the fair Cheers! It’s mocktail time! North Adams Beta Club attends National Convention at Disney ‘You won’t believe the chaos it rains around you’ McCarty’s receive 4-H Alumni award McKayla Raines crowned 2017 Junior Fair Queen Eastern knocks off Peebles 10-5 to capture 14 U baseball tourney Just listen for the answer Time to teach a little History Fair hosts Little Miss and Mister, Toddler shows Jason E Palmer Dorothy Stephenson Shane G Varney The weekend I joined the Army David Stutz Patty Davis Battle results in new chief at the Division of Wildlife Join in with ‘Adams County Rocks’ After 500-mile journey, pigeon ‘drops’ in for a visit Nine-run third inning leads Peebles to upset win in SHYL 12U baseball tournament finals Willie L White David A Presley Connie Greene Carolyn Belczyk retiring from OSU Extension Young’s reign as Fair Queen ends, new journey begins Robert L Boone Esther C Malone Independence Day parade puts patriotism on display Being an addict’s mom: a sad and scary place to be White House newest addition to People’s Defender mailing list Young leaving Manchester to become Ripley Principal Leadoff homer holds up, Manchester takes 10U softball tourney 1-0 over North Adams North Adams tops Manchester in 12U semis Monday Night League concludes with SHAC showdown How we see ourselves In the good ole’ summertime Ronnie L Roush Elizabeth A Gifford Tom White Ivan H Copas Kathleen Lewis Paul Minton Jessica A Edmisten Workhouse helps free up jail space Penguin ‘chills’ with kids in library visit ‘Heroin has taken me to my darkest places’ The beauty of the giant combine West Union gets past North Adams 5-2 in 10U baseball tourney play Eastern Brown hosts annual Girls Soccer Shootout “It’s been a real community effort” Summer ball winds down for local squads Submit your Knothole team photos! Gokey, Morgan, Young to perform at 2017 Festival of the Bells Just looking around the room When in the course of human events When your dreams seem out of reach Ricky A Smith Ricky A Smith Dean McClellan Ruby O Shell Peggy R Atkinson Caroline E Fulton Marcia R Baldwin Juanita N Lewis Mary K Hilterbran Jack D Reed ‘I had no gumption except to get high’ Long-lost siblings meet for the first time after nearly six decades apart Freedom Festival to honor the American Flag ‘Music and Memory’ at Adams County Manor renews lives lost to dementia Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy takes gold at 2017 Ohio Police and Fire Games Toole awarded Winchester Alumni Scholarship Lady Devils host Summer Varsity Shootout In 14U, Peebles finishes regular season with blowout win Der professionelle Basketball-Traum Local pair attend Wabash College Wrestling Camp Shootouts in the summer time Eight dollars and three keys When life gets messy Hot summer days were no sweat Janice McGlothin Jeannine O Evans Gerald Grooms Marvin Setty Richard G Waldron Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price

In the good ole’ summertime

By Rick Houser – 

I’ve noticed that when school is out for the summer and the days are their longest and warmest, parents today have to look for activities to keep their children occupied. Since most folks don’t live on farms or even out in too much of what we would have called the country, more stuff has to be found to help the children enjoy and the parents endure the summer break.
When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s a schedule of events planned out by parents was certainly not necessary. Children growing up then were their own self-appointed activity director, so to speak. The absolute worst statement a kid could make in those days was “I don’t have anything to do”. That plea would get you a long list of chores to do and if there weren’t enough chores to last, your parents would create more for you. To look or act bored (even if you might be) was definitely the wrong move.
Once out of school, most farm kids would help or be around the tobacco-setting activity as it was interesting and all your family was involved. Dad would let me follow the setter and reset plants if one was missed by the folks on the setter. It didn’t take too long for this job to become boring and the search for things to do began for real then.
Around the second week after school was out, our church began summer Vacation Bible School. This was every week day evening for two weeks. It was a fun thing to do because along with all the singing and seeing many of your school mates there were crafts to make and best of all the ladies aide saw to it that we all got cookies and Kool Aid each night. Most of the time the cookies were homemade and made the Bible School worth attending, but no matter how devoted a child wanted to be to church, it was hard to stay focused for two solid weeks, even if all the cookies were homemade our attention was fading.
Once Bible School ended it became even more important that kids be creative. My cousin Walt had a tent and we would use it a lot for our home base and “no girls” were allowed. Also, I would go over to Herb and Charlie Marshalls’ and we would camp out in the club house we had built. The “no girls” allowed rule was enforced there also. (For some reason boys go through that phase but get over it as they get older and wiser.)
Camping took some of the time and our club house and the tent helped keep us busy. As summer rolled along there were cookouts and reunions and some days we just would ride our bikes around the neighborhood, always making sure we packed our army surplus canteens with us to keep us hydrated. Later in the summer, the lightning bugs would appear at dark and we would poke holes in a jar lid and capture as many as we could. A lot of lightning bugs in a jar in the dark was really quite a sight to see and a minor marvel of Mother Nature.
One item that we always used for entertainment was the tobacco stick. It is doubtful that today’s kids even know what that is. They were abundant in my day and a three-foot long piece of wood made to hold stocks of tobacco in the barns could be converted into almost anything the young mind could conjure up. They were great for a rifle or a spear. They were great for a walking stick as we explored the woods nearby or maybe even farther away than we should have been.
Add some baling twine to a stick and it could be tied onto your bike or a tricycle depending on your age. When playing army and war, a tobacco stick made for a great pair of crutches. Kids were just drawn to tobacco sticks.
There was one drawback with using the tobacco sticks. For some unknown reason kids have the worst time remembering to put the sticks back in the piles that our fathers had stored them in so they could find them come tobacco cutting time. It’s safe to say that using the stick always ended up in a bad situation in which the only way a child could survive was to gather them up and put them back in a nice and orderly fashion.
In the rainy time of the summer when the creeks ran higher we would wade in them and do some swimming. Since we didn’t know how to swim very well and we weren’t allowed to go in deep water, we got as close to the deep as we felt was safe, and there got as wet and cooled off as we could. To get into trouble here would show to our parents that maybe we did this because we were bored. That was the place we never wanted to go. “Run silent and run deep”, but mainly don’t draw attention to what you were doing. It is safe to say that then, just as it is today, if you aren’t causing them any trouble then all must be good.
A summer would roll right along until that big old yellow school bus began making its’ appearance on our road, signalling the end of the fun.
We made up our own games and maybe they sound dull to you now, but to us they were fun and we must have enjoyed them all because they carried us from the end of May to the beginning of September. I look back at those days and can thankfully say that rarely was I ever bored.

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 *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved