Small town celebrations can’t be beat

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There was the milkman, the postman, the soda jerk and the hardware clerk. We had the shy guy, the intrepid talker, the lady forever dressed to the nines with every hair in place, no matter it was just a boring Monday in our little town.

We were blessed with the grain elevator owner who respected the farmers his business served. We had a prince of a guy running the lumber company on one end of town and antique dealers tucked away in little old antique houses of their own all up and down the streets in both directions.

We had a little old lady who had become an antique herself while living forever in this small village, her home brimming with antiques that she had put to use all of her life.

Grocery

Over the years, a corner grocery has remained, though the names have changed. It serves as a busy hub and social corner where a fellow can hear a joke or two, the local weather damage report along with the latest birth announcement.

An auto dealership, once thriving, now contains enough cars and an occasional truck to keep a fellow’s interest. An ice cream and soda shop once kept kids coming back, but those days have faded into memory.

There is a pizza house and a park, where people of all ages come for food and fun. There is a pub where some of the best food and conversation can be found for miles and miles around.

Three churches have forever served the people who make up the personality of this place. A brick school, replacing a much smaller brick school, was built in the 1920s and the school it replaced now houses the furniture store.

As in times past all across America, the furniture store is owned by the same family that owns and operates the only funeral home. This is a good, solid family who can be counted on to carry you to the other end of this little town where the cemetery lies, one step toward the journey home.

Volunteers

And through all these years, the volunteer fire department has served this little town. Their hard work and dedication is deserving of more than just passing praise. How would small towns across America survive without these great volunteers?

This past weekend my little hometown of Jeromesville, Ohio, celebrated its annual homecoming. My memory of this event goes way back, and while the homecoming celebrations of my childhood may differ in some ways to the event we celebrated over the weekend, in spirit it remains the same.

It is a wonderful celebration of small town America. It was started in July 1951 by the Lions Club of Jeromesville and the Jeromesville Volunteer Fire Department with the intent of being a founder’s day celebration and a community spirit event.

There are pie eating contests, a pedal tractor pull, a watermelon eating contest, a flower show, bingo and a silent auction with lots of nice things on which to place a bid.

There is great music and good food to enjoy while catching up with folks who have returned to their hometown for this annual summer event.

Things to do

Pony rides and mechanized amusement park rides have been pushed out of existence by liability issues, but these have been replaced by all sorts of fun games for the little ones to enjoy.

Pay a buck and get the chance to drop someone in to the dunk tank by hitting the bull’s-eye with a ball. And this year, the Wifflebattle ball game featured the local Hillsdale High School 1979 Girls Ohio State Softball Champions against the 1999 Ohio State Softball champs and gave lots of people a reason to whoop and holler.

When the homecoming has come and gone, we know there is only about a month of freedom remaining before school starts back up. Summer is flying by as it always does, but one thing on which we can depend — there will always be next year!

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.

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