Yesterday, July 17, I had both a physical therapy appointment in Greenfield and a car repair appointment in WCH. With a two hour separation, I decided to take advantage of the blue skies and drive the hills around South Salem and take the back roads to Court House.
The trip began with driving to Salem via Lower Twin Rd and doing the covered bridge. In town, I turned onto Mt. Olive Rd and then Salem Rd over to SR 41. Most of that was as I recall from recent years, a few new homes along with a few in greater disrepair. Before SR 41 I turned left onto Upper Twin and at the top of the hill, I turned left onto Mt. Olive and stopped for a few minutes to take in what is one of the most spectacular views in our area, the valley below that stretches well beyond Good Hope in the far distance. I always wanted to build a home looking North at that location.
Mt. Olive brought me back into Salem and I turned right onto Lower Twin Rd and proceeded to Morgan Rd. It was at the corner of these two roads where I saw my first Ohio deer in 1970 while driving my school bus route. It was in the middle of the road and when it saw my yellow brick it leaped a fence and disappeared into the closest woods.
Morgan Rd. has changed a lot. When I drove a bus on it, it was all dirt and at times dangerous. I succeed in putting my bus into a ditch on two successive days and at the end of the year was presented a trophy, courtesy of Norman Gingerich, and Dave Watts, of a bus being pulled by a wrecker. Several of the homes I picked up kids at have since been torn down.
At SR 28 I turned left to Westfall Rd. and then left onto Parrot, which was a part of Joe Current’s route. I wound my way over those hills and at SR 138 I turned left to Lyndon Rd. where I turned right and made my way to Good Hope.
Years ago some wise sage advised me to never pass up a chance to take a whiz and I had passed up too many. I found myself pulling into the cemetery outside Good Hope in search of a tree. The canopy of old maple trees made the detour well worth it.
An hour at Doug Marine’s and I was back on the road taking the most direct road back home but firm in the renewed knowledge that we live in a beautiful part of the world if you just take the time to go look at it.
I don’t know what organization or individuals put this together but today for that second time in recent weeks a group of area rodders came together to tour the main streets of Greenfield in their various favorite drives.
I drove to town with Cooper the dog and together we found a place on North Washington Street to watch the parade and shoot a not too good video to share with those who couldn’t make it.
Thanks to all who played a part in making this diversion a reality.
I recently found myself in the area that was once the location of the McClain Mansion and decided to snap a few photos of what remains still exists. When I was a kid in the late ’40s and ’50s all that remained was the iron fencing along Washington Street, the entrance steps, the exposed basement, and some sidewalks. Off of 4th Street, there was the wooden home of the McClain’s chauffer and an attached multi-car garage.
I had coffee with a fellow Greenfielder recently and he mentioned a person who ran a mailorder business selling hunting dog equipment and remarked how this guy was ahead of his time. The company was Boatman’s and for several decades it sold, among many other things, a powerful flashlight, Dynalite, specifically aimed at coon hunters.
For an earlier blog, I was researching voting and voter information for Highland County and came across these graphs. It’s clear that the majority of registered voters in Highland County, OH are not members of either of the major political parties and neither party will decide the coming 2020 election. It is the independent voters who are the largest group and whichever party wins them over will win the brass ring.
The reality is, however, that in Highland County the independent vote is mostly conservative and will go for conservative candidates; as in Republicans. If Democrats hope to ever win big in counties like Highland they have to make great inroads into winning over the independent voter.
One other fact to consider. In most of our election history the independents, Democrats, and Republicans have been outnumbered by one other group, those who choose to not vote at all. America is a democracy and a basic principle of democracy is majority rules. Well, if the majority never votes we, in reality, have rule by the minority.
Check out these graphs:
Greenfield apparently has but two precincts and both vote at the same location. Like the rest of the county, the independents outnumber the party members but the Rs outnumber the Ds.
Several days ago I posted some voting deadlines on Facebook and others added to it. One of the links provided was to a site at which one could verify if they were currently registered to vote. I checked my family’s status and discovered that four of us, contrary to belief, appeared to not be registered.
This morning I called the Highland County Board of Elections and discovered that in spite of what the verification link said, we’re okay.
If you’ve been around Greenfield for very long you’re sure to have heard that Greenfield is known as “Little Chicago”, a small town with a questionable reputation. All the years I grew up here I’d occasionally hear that claim. However, I must not have taken it seriously because I never felt insecure or scared while running the streets and allies as a young boy, which I did lots of.
As an adult, I’ve come to realize that there is nothing unique about Greenfield and its people. Like every other community, we have our problems and our problems are pretty much related, to the population size, educational level, and economic opportunity and income. Large cities with bad schools, high levels of ignorance, low incomes, and poor chances for advancement have the same difficulties as small rural communities. The difference is mainly the number of people. The more people the more problems. Even places that have none of these problems have problems.
I don’t know if I ever shared this but several years ago I got interested in making primitive stringed instruments from mostly found objects like cigar boxes and tin cans.
When Blake’s Coffee Shop was demolished I scavenged through the debris looking for pieces I could incorporate into primitive stringed instruments. I ended up making three instruments from what I found, a one-string diddley bow, three-string lap steel, and six-string lap steel. I kept the six-stringed lap steel but gave the others away. One may have gone to the Greenfield Historical Society.
There is a new cell phone tower being built near the corner of 5th and Pine Streets. The rumor has it that it will be an AT&T tower and some are suggesting it may be a 5G tower. 5G, if you don’t know is the newest cell phone technology and promises to revolutionize Internet speeds.
Amongst those who asked questions on a Facebook post were those who wondered about the safety of 5G. I was in communications electronics in the Navy and a ham radio operator for decades. I can speak with some knowledge about frequency spectrum and one truth is that the higher you go in frequency the closer you get to microwaves. And, you all know what happens in the microwave spectrum.
I’m really not sure but I think these photos are from the first McClain All-Class Reunion that was held during the summer of 1999. The Clyburns permitted the temporary conversion of their restaurant into a make-shift Penny’s and it quickly became a major gathering place during the weekend. The Penn family loaned the
Jerry Falconer had told me of the plans to begin demolishing the old building that for decades sat on the corner of routes 753 and 138. Over the years the building was home to many things but for most people, it is remembered as being the original home of Charlie Beechler’s Market.
I went to town yesterday to video some of the project and parked in the lot at Smitty’s Auto Sales. The video is about an hour long and I realize that is too much for most people. However, I was going to watch as much as time permitted so it mattered not that my camera was running.
So, watch some or watch all but, I’m betting most of you will have some emotional moment while watching it. Lots of Greenfield’s memories are tied to that building.
A friend recently posted an audio recording of country music performer, and Greenfield native, Brad Martin performing the hit record, Before I Knew Better, he cut back in the early 2000s. I dug a little deeper and found a video of Brad being introduced to a Grand Ole Opry crowd by Little Jimmy Dickens.
Recently someone posted a YouTube video on Facebook of a 1909 Patterson automobile being taken for a test drive. The video was posted by the Saratoga (NY) Automobile Museum and many wondered if it was a long-sought survivor of the C.R. Patterson Company of Greenfield, OH.
C.R. Patterson was the first, and only, African American manufacturer of automobiles in America and there are no known survivors of their motorized vehicles. The Greenfield Historical Association does own a couple of examples of the horsedrawn wagons the company made before going into the automobile, and later bus, business.
I didn’t get near the photos and video I wanted but here’s what I did get. Mostly its video of the Doxie Derby, which I’m sure had the largest number of entrants in its history. To my wife and it has become a main attraction of the annual gathering. Thanks to Charlie Roman and his crew for making it happen.