Childhood summers, playmates remembered

Reflections - By Evelyn Long - for the Morrow County Sentinel


By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel

Thanks to all who extended birthday wishes to me. I am deeply appreciative.

Pondering my age – like so many of us in our later years, I look back to the days of my youth and make the comparisons between that era and today. Of course, both eras have many positives.

Growing up on the farm in the 1940’s and early 1950’s we were fortunate to have kids our age in the neighborhood and the summer months were full of fun – between, of course, our farm chores. Our “gang” (not meant in that term today – we called ourselves “the gang” because there were so many of us) played baseball in our front yard, tennis on the Lorimer court, had picnics in our woods, gathered at Lorimers to watch “Martin and Lewis:” because they had the only TV set at that time. Our neighbors Guy and Grace Renz gave us permission to fix up the old frame house, then deserted, that had once been their home. We made it very homey with paper curtains and flowers at the window and even a mail box out front (ignored by the mailman!) – it was so homey looking, the school bus stopped there in the fall thinking someone lived there. We had our meetings at that site and planned a Circus held at our farm. We had a nice attendance of adults who actually paid admission to watch such feats as Jim Lorimer walking the tightrope – (a rope stretched across the hay wagon) bobbing for apples and our little dog, Bingo, did his trick, begging for popcorn.

We rode our bikes from house to house – one between my sisters and I.

Several of us had horses and riding was another fun time. During the winter we took our sleds down the hill back of our house and watched Joyce and Jim skate on our old pond.

That “gang” always conjures up a warm spot – Jim and Joyce, Denny Denton, Jack Williamson, David Davis, Larry Baughman, my sisters, Joanne, Marlene, Norita and our tag a-longs, Karen Denton, Doug Click, and Linda and Dusty Snyder. What fun we had! What memories we made!

100 years ago, July 1915: The last boot jack in Mount Gilead was to disappear. At one time nearly all men wore boots instead of shoes and hotels and private dwellings were not completely furnished unless they had a boot jack to remove boots that had no shoe strings or buttoners. The boot jack had become a relic.

90 years ago, July, 1925: New sidewalks were to be laid at the school house and the wagons would load and unload on the west side of the new building thus relieving a bad traffic congestion in front of the school house.

“Dale Mattix, who recently was shot in the hand, met with another malady when he was kicked on the forehead by a colt leaving a gash an inch long.”

70 years ago, July, 1945: Theodore Gantz was named Cardington High School principal. His wife, Mary, was hired as a first grade teacher. Also hired was Fae Burr, English and public speaking teacher

60 years ago, July, 1955: Cynthia Russell, 6, suffered a cracked bone in her right ankle when she slipped and fell while playing at the Don Ebert home.

The 725 Cardington telephone exchange customers were switched from magnetic to common battery. The old switchboard had been in use for 25 years. Pictured were operators Janet Scott, Mrs. Harold Wilson and Mrs. Birdie Miller.

30 years ago, July, 1985 : The 1840 vintage log house purchased by the Morrow County Historical Society was pictured being transported to the Morrow County fairgrounds where it was rebuilt, It was the first step in creating an historical center on land allowed to the organization by the Morrow County Fair Board for that purpose.