The calendar says Winter begins December 22 and that makes me think of snow and ice. Ice can be treacherous but it can also be the source of beauty – namely as in ice skating- professional or just every day enjoyment.

I could never balance myself on ice skates- my sisters and I admired Joyce Lorimer when we watched her skate on our ice covered pond.

My husband could skate- my mother skated up the little creek in the woods but her skates had a double blade- that may have helped if I had ever tried that. I love to watch skaters compete on TV – they make it look so easy- so graceful with artistic beauty.

I lived in the country so was not aware of skating areas in Cardington village but recently talked to a former resident who said that in the 1940’s teens skated above the dam on East Main Street. He shared that sometimes the teens would get a bucket of the sludge that Hart Oil cleaned from used motor oil and dumped it at the back of Zeb Russell’s business yard on the river bank. “We would light it to have a fire to warm our hands. The downside was that it put out clouds of black smoke and we would go home smelling of oily smoke.” He added that if they were feeling ambitious they might clean the snow from an area for better skating and sometimes a hockey game would break out, using a flattened tin can as a makeshift puck and anything that would work as a hockey stick.”

There was also the Singer Ice Plant located on the west bank of the Whetstone River about three quarters of a mile south of the dam., Ice was chopped from the Whetstone and stored in the wood shed with saw dust to preserve it’s frozen cycle into the warmer weather. It was owned by George and Harley Singer and was active from the mid-1800’s to the mid 1920’s. The last owner was Lennie Russell.

I took acrobatic and tap dance lessons and even took up a modeling course but I could never balance on those skates- I admire and respect those, who after years of practice, perform those twists and turns and make it look easy!

100 years ago, December, 1915: “Guessing how many grains of corn one rooster would eat in an hour interested a large number of people at the Donovan grocery last week. The rooster was placed in the Donovan store window and Saturday afternoon settled the contest by eating 462 grains. Miss Ruth Coomer guessed 460 and was given a set of dishes. Mrs Fletch Dennis also guessed 460 and was given a box of cigars. Floyd Graves was third nearest and won a box of candy.”

90 years ago, December, 1925, “Fire Chief Ralph Sanderson gave the Cardington School pupils a surprise fire drill and the school house was cleared in an orderly manner in five and one-fourth minutes, considered good time for five hundred pupils.”

60 years ago, December, 1955: Don Coomer was lost to the Pirate basketball team for the season with a torn knee cartilage.

Five Morrow County youths reported for induction into the armed services: they were Earl Shaffer and James Beatty, Cardington; Paul Snyder and Kenneth Van Horn, Chestervile and Glenn High, Mt Gilead.

30 years ago, December 1985: Russell Kempton was elected president of the Morrow County Fair Board for 1986

Eric Long and his brother, Mike Long, were named to the top ten of the nation’s junior and prep bowlers. Eric was also honored for rolling a “300” game in the Wednesday Nite Youth Adult League at Morrow Lanes, the youngest bowler to have rolled a 300 game in Morrow County.


By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel