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.
Lots of you watched the Ken Burns film, Country Music, and remarked on what you thought was omitted. My number one pick was the omission of anything to do with Johnny Paycheck.
At the recent Oktoberfest, I was talking with Gary Adams, who played guitar for Paycheck, and he agreed. Gary, arguably, felt there was too much given over to Johnny Cash. But, given that someone as inconsequential as Kinky Friedman at least got his name mentioned, why wasn’t Paycheck mentioned? Also, in the scheme of outlaws and Texas songwriters, why didn’t Billy Joe Shaver get a mention.
I don’t know how long it’s been since any of you have been down these roads but here’s your chance to see what things look like today.
I was headed to the Amish surplus food store on Duff Road and like so often, I opted for the more scenic and less traveled backroads.
This trip began at the west edge of Greenfield and proceeded to Centerfield Road, Bridges Road, SR 771, Small Road, and finally, Duff Road.
By the way, if you’re looking for a great way to stretch your food budget you may want to visit the Dent & Bent on Duff Road. They have an ever-changing inventory of foods that are nearing their “best used by” dates. They’re open daily except for Thursday and Sunday.
I’ve always been envious of towns that have their own food trucks and finally Greenfield has its own taco truck. Ed and Heidi Arrington, of Greenfield, have apparently been selling Hawaiian style tacos in Washington Court House and Chillicothe and have decided they’re ready to take on the hometown crowd.
They set up today on Forth Street next to Small Town Fitness and plan to do so every Monday between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. The menu is mostly tacos and quesadillas filled with your choice of beef, pork, or chicken. I’ll include a menu in the photo gallery below.
It’s becoming more obvious that I’m enjoying mounting my cellphone to my minivan’s window and videoing my trips around the Greenfield, Ohio’s countryside. Just as obvious is that a sizable number of CGS’s visitors enjoy watching these postings. Most come to CGS from Facebook and will leave favorable remembrances in the groups they belong to.
By the way, this trip to Weaver’s produced a small basket of freestone Virginia peaches, a small bag of “candy” onions, several sweet banana peppers, one small zucchini, and some of the season’s last sweet corn. The sweet corn this year has been for the pits and this was no different.
I don’t know from where I obtained this short film clip but it was probably emailed to me. Obviously, from the WWII era, it would have been a typical scene repeated many times each day, all over the nation. But, the big question is, did she really say what I think she said?
Sometime back in the ’70s or ’80s Dale Wilson and his son Kenny were building pickup trucks based on real-life semi-tractor trucks. I can’t recall now if they were full size of miniatures.
Anyway, in 2015 my grandson and I were in Clarksdale, MS at a blues festival and just happened across this full-sized monster that had been made into a pickup truck. Called the Blues Man it was driving around in a city appropriate for its name.
Hopefully, it will jog some memories and some of you may have some photos of Dale and Kenny’s creations to share with the group.