Reflections: Entertainment for youth in past years


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I was watching a PBS program one evening this week and it was a review of the life of Mr. Fred Rogers, “Welcome to my neighborhood.”

This led me to contrast the entertainment my children derived from television as they grew up to that of my own generation.

When I was growing up, I’ve related before the entertainment my three sisters and I experienced from the radio- three 15 minute programs each week day right at supper hour. We called it supper on the farm. There was Superman, then Captain Midnight followed by a popular western Tom Mix. We followed their adventures in all seriousness, even sending for the Captain Midnight decoder.

Moving forward about 10 years when television became a great “baby sitter.” The gentle, soft spoken Mr. Rogers was the perfect “teacher” of youngsters by example and his words. He led his program from 1951 to 2001. There were many others who entertained my children through the magic of television.

Remember Captain Kangaroo and Mr.Green Jeans? He was on the air from 1955 to 1992. I took a peek at his show periodically. Locally, there was Flippo the Clown and Lucy’s Toy Shop. I know there were more and they all did great jobs entertaining our children. Later, as they grew up, they became fans of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

I am nostalgic remembering the gentleness and guidance these entertainers conveyed. I am so glad my children had the advantage of being, not only entertained but taught by them.

Today television offers a wide range of children’s programming but one of best sources of both fun and learning can still be found at the local library. No matter our age, the library has something for each of us.

80 years ago, July, 1938: A grant from the Public Works Administration (PWA) of nearly $16,000 was accepted by the Cardington Board of Education for the construction of a two story addition to the school building and a separate shop building. Total estimated cost was over $35,500. This building is today’s board office.

70 years ago, July, 1948: With the current heat wave it may be of interest to know that a story in the July 1, 1948 Morrow County Union Register describes the Whetstone Dam which originated in 1822. Its first structure was a brush dike thrown across the stream by Isaac Bunker to furnish power for a grist mill. The current concrete dam is at the site of that brush dike. Later, a wooden dam was built and faced with stone.

After the old dam was washed out, Jesse Mills, father of the late J. G. Mills, with the assistance of the village built a stone dam in 1883 with a four foot wall. When the dam was repaired in 1934, workmen found old wooden timbers believed to have been part of the first wooden dam.

The dam is near the site of Morrow County’s first industry, the Bunker Foundry, one of Bunker’s early business enterprises. Before a bridge was built across the creek, travelers forded the stream just below the dam. Last water power from the dam was used in 1900 to operate a grist mill for Mills Bros at the rear of the Curl Mortuary.

Also in July, 1948, Lloyd Davis of Cardington and Red Cover of Johnsville purchased the Buick Pontiac dealership in Mt Gilead from Mrs. L. L. Blayney.

Davis sold his automobile repair garage in Cardington to Jacob Click.

50 years ago, July, 1968: Mayor of Cardington for six months, James D. Lucas resigned and returned to his former job of village marshal. Council president Melvin Maceyko automatically became mayor, per state law.

Jack Wilhelm was named as councilman and Ivan Truax was named the new council president.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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