Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors

End of summer or the beginning of fall?

The other evening I was listening to the weather report and the weatherman mentioned that we are in the dog days of summer. Then he mentioned we were having a blue moon and in September we would have a Harvest Moon. I thought for a minute or two and realized the weatherman forgot a very important time that fell right between dog days and Harvest Moon. He had totally forgotten the beginning of school! How could he have made that big of an error? There isn’t and probably never has been a child that would have forgotten that time of year and that is certain.

When I was a kid and it got towards mid-August my Mom would dig out her tape measure and one child at a time corner us and begin measuring the size of a waist, the length of an arm, the inseam of a trouser leg, and the distance around the neck. As she measured with the tape in her left hand she would write frantically on a paper that was the order form for the Montgomery Ward or Sears catalogs. In those days the catalog was a mother’s best friend since we lived out in the country and shopping malls had yet to be built or even heard of in our neck of the woods. So Mom measured and wrote and tried to be as accurate as possible to avoid having to return items, also by mail.

Now just about the time I had forgotten about being measured and that first thought of back to school again had faded, the mail man,who happened to be my Uncle Charles, would pull up in front of the house and blow the horn and lift a big brown wrapped package for one of us to retrieve from him so he could continue his day of delivering. The brown paper was secured firmly around the contents with a twine type string It was well understood that this was to be delivered to Mom, contents, paper and string intact.

Once mom got the package she unwrapped it carefully making certain the paper nor the was string damaged. One item at a time mom removed and inspected them and placed them in either Peg’s, Ben’s or my pile for closer inspection. The mail arrived at approximately 10:30 a.m. (we were creatures of habit in those days) and after the evening meal came the time to see what we got and if it fit.

I don’t know about Peg and Ben but when it came my turn there was never a question of whether I liked the design or patterns. That wasn’t my call. It was only if it fit or not and when you are a growing boy if it fit was also Mom’s decision. Most items had to last through an entire school year so in the beginning pant legs were rolled a few times and in the spring were probably too short. Mom also ordered a package or two of knee patches (she said I was rough on clothes for some reason). I was a little boy for crying out loud.

Once the wardrobe was in place we each needed some school supplies. In my case a pack of 100 sheets of ruled paper, a ruler, a 16 pack of Crayola crayons and a couple of pencils seemed to fit my needs. I somehow once got a protractor and a pencil compass. These must have been bribe items as starting school wasn’t my favorite thing. My sister was the salutatorian of her class and my brother was valedictorian of his class. As for me, I was the most socializing member of our class.

When the day to start school arrived we all put on our finest and I do mean our best. We boarded the school bus and rode it for what seemed an eternity. One of the first things to be done in the class was that the teacher collected the lunch money. Lunch was a quarter a meal. Mom would put $1.25 in the corner of my handkerchief on Monday and I would pay for the entire week. Sometimes Mom didn’t have a dollar bill so she would load the hanky with quarters, nickels and dimes, and double knot it so as not to lose any money. This was all good but sometimes if you had to grab for the handkerchief in a hurry you could and would knock yourself almost unconscious. That only happened a couple of times thankfully.

I decided I didn’t want to buy my lunch about halfway through the school year. I’ m not certain as to why but I think it was two things. The wonderful world of Disney began that fall and “The Adventures of Davey Crockett” aired on Thursday nights and I ended up with a Davey Crockett lunch box. Also, I didn’t get headaches from the lunch box like I did the handkerchief. I should mention I was the youngest of the family and a pretty good reason why I got the lunch box. Sometimes it paid to be the baby.

It is very safe to say that each child has a different story about the beginning of the new school year but I will bet that the majority of them are similar. Although I wasn’t the scholar student I did make decent grades. Very honestly if there wasn’t school to attend and homework to do, fall, winter, and spring would have been unbearably long and we all would have gone insane. All kidding aside, though, a life without the school and the children that attended would have been a poor way to spend life and was a great way to learn things and make so many friends that one will ever forget.

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 houser734@yahoo.com.

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Rick Houser

The Good Old Days

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2016 News Democrat