It is always good to hear from readers and I appreciate the feedback I have gotten over the past weeks.
Graduation is always an important time. Speeches are made and advice given to the graduates. We certainly wish our graduates the best.
Graduation started me thinking about my old neighborhood where I grew up. For a rural area we certainly had our share of kids in the immediate area. In some rural areas your nearest neighbor might be a mile or more away.
Our small area produced a county prosecutor, a US Marine, a college professor, a Naval officer, a hospital CEO, a newspaper publisher, plus many others in all professions and walks of life.
Every now and then my brother will post an old photo on Facebook and I will look at it and wonder who those young people were and what have they become. In your youth you spend a lot of time with your friends. Our pastimes were hunting and sports. We did a lot of those things together. When you spend time with someone you really get to know them, and then comes the reality of real life and they are gone.
Everyone gets a job or they go off to school. It doesn’t mean you won’t see them again, it just means – unless you work at it you won’t be as close as you were to them. There’s just a few I haven’t seen since I left the farm.
Our time hunting the Ohio River bottoms will mostly be forgotten, but spending all that time together brought us together like family. You might have a spat with one of your friends only to forget about it and move on a week later. That’s kind of what brothers and sisters do.
There were times where five or six of us would go out hunting at one time. That was quite a sight. We cornered a few rabbits that way. They were slightly out numbered.
I can remember sitting on the future county prosecutor’s wall outside his house with our shotguns laying beside us. He was pacing in front of us as we were all conversing when one of the guns went off suddenly… a scary moment. No one was hurt, but we were much more careful with our guns after that happened.
We lived many miles from our school so consequently we didn’t play high school sports. It was just too far to make that drive every day. Back then, many families only had one car and certainly did not travel to town as much as people do today.
I can remember the high school basketball coach, who was traveling on US 52 to the University of Cincinnati to get his master’s or administrator’s credentials, asking, “do you guys play basketball all the time? I see you outside every time I drive by.”
Of course … we did.
We had some great football games in the side yard too. The tobacco barn was our goal line.
We invented the West Coast offense way before there was ever such a thing. We were not supposed to play tackle football, but we did when no one was looking.
So when three of us hit one guy at the same time (high, middle and low) provoking a call to the life squad, that concerned us very much as we were instructed “no tackle football.” The “tackle-ee” managed to escape serious injury that day by the grace of God and we suddenly had a re-newed interest in the game of touch football.
Such was life on the farm. What do you remember about your neighborhood?
Steve Triplett is the editor of this newspaper. He may be reached at 937-378-6161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.