CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio – This is one of my favorite towns, has become so over the years of our annual pilgrimage to see the blonde’s aunt, Verna Vice O’Hara.
She came here back in the 1940s after wedding a young American soldier, Charles “Chuck” O’Hara. He was one of thousands of young men – mere kids really – who came through Fort McClellan during World War II.
On our wall back home is a black-and-white photo of that young woman, a real “looker” who still, despite her 92 years, “ain’t’ all that bad.”
Up here, she also became the first woman ever elected to public office (county auditor) in the state of Ohio.
I suspect you’ve heard all of that before, but she is a person I admire (love, too) greatly. And this is also a really beautiful state, especially at this time of the year when the new corn, hundreds of thousands of acres, has reached shoulder height.
This is a town Norman Rockwell should have painted and I fell in love with it years ago when I went looking for the Chamber of Commerce. Located downtown and up two steps to a narrow entrance, a sign reads “Don’t Sit On Doorsteps During Business Hours.”
That goes right along with a small telephone directory which I also happen to like.
It is an old town, attested to by the fact the local cemetery appears considerably larger than Edgemont back home. There are a lot of people buried there, but no Catholics. The Catholics have their own cemetery next door. I’m also told that people of the Jewish faith have their own cemetery, too.
The blonde spends a lot of time “getting Aunt Vern’s stuff in order” and among her things there was an old McGuffey’s First Electric Reader with a preface dated:
“Cincinnati, June, 1879.”
On a back page in faded writing, there is a grocery list dated Aug. 15, 1906.
So, how was the shopping back then?
Just so you know if asked:
“Meat $1.04; Lard .50; Coffee .50; Meal $1.12; Turpentine .10; Pepper .05; Flour .70.
The reason I told you that is it may be the only thing I haven’t told you about Circleville and Aunt Vern over the years.
But maybe I haven’t told you that county fairs are still big stuff in Ohio. The Pickaway County Fair wrapped up a few days back and the local newspaper led with a front page story and four pages of color photos of the winners.
Just a taste:
Emily Roberts Grand Champion Barrow (that’s a pig) sold for $1,200, Devonah Kiser’s Grand Champion duck sold for $500, and Makayla Lange’s mini lop rabbit won Beginner Rabbit Showmanship and Best Opposite Mini Lop
I have no idea what a “mini lop” rabbit is, but there was more, 42 featured winners in all categories ... like 14-year-old Jared Minor, who took first place in Market Chickens Class 2.
I wish I could give you a full report, but I’d need the entire paper today for that.
There is one other little thing I really liked here.
Friday morning, I headed for the local McDonald’s for a couple of sausage ’n egg biscuits.
Here it is:
“Can I help you?”
“I’d like two sausage and egg biscuits please.”
“Yep, gotcha, drive around.”
“Today we are featuring our double blueberry pancakes (or whatever), would you like to . . .
“Pay at the first window, please have your money ready.”
I did pay at the first window, rolled to the second, reached for the bag, and a very nice lady said:
“Have an awesome day.”
I told her I already had and pointed the truck south ... toward the house.
George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5286 or email: email@example.com