Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Places of the past and present

Places of the past and the present. Those places you see every day. Those where you stop by to visit a friend or maybe just drive through on the way to somewhere else. Many were the places around Neff Road. Some were from the past and no longer exist. Some had nicknames that a younger generation might not recognize.

Swamp Poodle, Red River, Landis. Little villages that disappeared as time went on. Stores closed and the new railroad in Bradford took many away to another town. We usually went to downtown Bradford once a year for the Pumpkin Show. When I was small, we sometimes visited the church in Red River. We passed through Potsdam and went to high school in Pitsburg. Dad got his hair cut in Gettysburg. Mom and I hung out at the furniture store. My first sofa came from Pitsburg.

We visited family in many towns: the Hollingers in Greenville, the Langstons in Troy, Mom's cousin Almeda in Phillipsburg, the Johnsons in Bradford. Our friends the Weikerts lived in Greenville and the Brethren Home was often a stop whenever we were in town. The Elikers, another dear family, were in New Madison. When I was in high school, I had a good friend, Susie Miller, Gordon. I learned about North Star when my sisters went to college, a trip across the state line into Indiana.

We went to Celina to the lake. We went to Hagerstown, Indiana, for the buffet and to Richmond to shop. Laura, West Milton, Pleasant Hill. All little towns we drove through when we went away and then came back again.

For those of us who have moved away, these are towns with memories attached. Even those that slipped away and those like Rip Town, which is really Painter Creek, and Red Rive.r where I walked to the little store on the corner. still live in the memories of us who have all too quickly become the older generation.

Why am I taking this road trip from town to town? It dawned on me that I had not really taken time to get to know those towns surrounding the farm where I spent eighteen years of my life. I never walked the streets of West Milton to see what is there. On my last visit, I actually walked around Covington. A first for me. I never sat in a cafe and talked to the local people. I never took time to pay attention. I was born in Piqua but have never taken time to look around the town. I passed through those places as I speedily as I did my youth. I think perhaps if I moved back now, I would take time and allow my roots to grow a bit deeper.

Places in the past and the present.

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