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Remember, people vote, cattle don’t

Thursday, September 9, 2010

During a sudsy session in a college pub nearly 40 years ago, a friend wryly observed that every person lacks one word in what he labeled their “personal vocabulary.” Looking my way, Charlie explained. “For example, Alan, your missing word is ‘height.’” Everyone laughed. Clever. “My missing word,” continued the extroverted friend, “is ‘modesty.’” We […]

How to tell your trash from treasure:

A primer on valuing antiques and collectibles

Thursday, September 9, 2010

For the occasional antiquer, the treasure-hunter in waiting or for those who have inherited family memorabilia and furnishings, determining the value of antiques, art and collectibles can be an evasive art. Books on the topic are either very specific to a particular category (or maker), or very general. Older family relatives often point to price […]

1913 farmer’s advice still relevant

Thursday, September 9, 2010

“In going over my farm records, I note a large increase in the cost of labor, fertilizers, crate material, horses, wagons and travel expense.” — Delbert Utter, 1912 Among the books in my small but growing library stands a tiny publication titled Making Special Crops Pay by Delbert Utter. Its publication date is 1913, and […]

Back to school: Supplies and demands

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I support schools, staff, and students every day. I am also very much a “suck it up buttercup and do what the teacher says” type of person. Nonetheless, sometimes I have to wonder, if only for a moment, if many of our public schools are TRYING to shoot themselves in the foot or if that […]

Riding shotgun should have been starting shotgun

Monday, September 6, 2010

Start a tractor by firing a shotgun shell? You’ve got to be kidding! However, the post-World War II Field Marshall tractor used just such a method of starting. Marshall, Sons & Co., Ltd., ran the Brittania Iron Works at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, in northeastern England. The firm was founded in 1848 and soon began building threshing […]

Let me call you sweetheart

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Recently, our local newspaper featured a letter to the editor from a reader irate not about the war, economy, unbearably hot weather, unsafe eggs or the plight of the dolphins. No, this reader was driven to distraction by the fact that some retail clerks, waitpersons and sales people refer to her as “sweetheart.” Apparently, using […]

Past is new again in reprinted book

Thursday, September 2, 2010

“For although he was insatiably a farmer and his father and grandfathers and great-grandfathers had been Owen County farmers, he did not live on his farm. When Walter married Clara in 1903, they began housekeeping in the town and never moved to the farm. That was before rural electricity, furnaces, power mowers, good roads, or […]

The Russell & Company put Massillon on the map

Thursday, September 2, 2010

For many years I’ve planned to spend some time at the Massillon Museum and the Massillon Public Library to try to do a story on The Russell & Company. Well, I’ve procrastinated long enough that I don’t have to do that now, as Tom Downing has recently published A History of The Russell & Company […]

Is summer really coming to an end?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just at twilight, the doe and her fawn tiptoe up the back fence line, their ears alert to any move I might make as I watch from the back barn door. I’d left Winnie in the house and was glad I had, or she would have ruined the pastoral picture. This must have been a […]

Fall webworms aren’t really cause for alarm

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Roger Patterson of southwestern Pennsylvania, writes, “Late this summer I have noticed what appear to be tent caterpillar tents in my lilac bushes. I’m fairly certain these are not the tent caterpillars we normally get in the spring. “These late summer munchers are white and hairy. Their tents are similar, and they seem to kill […]


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