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  • Last-minute Christmas shopping in 1899

    “Yes, I probably did look a bit bizarre,” I reply. “But thanks to you and the uptown Hillsboro business folks, I’m dressed to the nines and ready for Christmas.”
  • Christmas shopping in 1899, Part II
    As I lace up the new old shoes I just purchased at the Smith & Moore store, I decide this is way too much fun to stop now. Let’s do a little more Christmas shopping in 1899 before we go back to the future.
  • Christmas shopping in 1899
    In the spirit of the holiday season, let’s take a trip back to 1899 for a bit of Christmas shopping in uptown Hillsboro. A time where more than half of the people in the United States lived in small towns of fewer than 3,000 people; a time before television or radio; and a time when horses and buggies traversed the town’s streets.
  • Ghost stories: The old haunted house
    Ladies and gentlemen, it is an unseasonably warm afternoon as I make the long walk to visit the old haunted house. The house itself is no longer there. There’s an old wooden door resting comfortably against an old tree and some remnants of a bygone era. Some foundation rocks, some old bottles, many of them broken, along with other debris that has been lying in repose for many, many years.
  • No flowers for dogs?
    “True, Rover never went to church, but this made no difference with Bobby. Nor did Rover ever question Bobby’s creed or religion. No, Rover was only a dog, a faithful, trusting dog. There were no conditions to his love for Bobby; he was just a devoted pal, happy and contented with his little master and always ready and willing, if need be, to lay down his life for him."
  • We had it all, just like Bogey and Bacall
    We checked Bacall out of the hospital and took her to a specialist who gave her an endoscopy. Something was found in her stomach, a biopsy was taken and we’d find out the results in roughly 72 hours. We were told it could be one of three diagnoses, which I called good, bad and ugly. For three days we waited and prayed. On one of Bacall’s walks, Helen and I both sat down to pet her and we cried, and Bacall wagged her tailed and lovingly kissed away our tears.
  • Ghost Stories: A special visit to Dr. Roush’s ‘office’
    Ladies and gentlemen, as I stroll through the old Barnes Cemetery in Fairview, Ohio on this unseasonably warm late September evening, I gaze idly into the distance. As a light breeze blows, I see trees of green beginning to show early signs of autumn hues and soybean fields that are nearly ready for harvest. It makes me feel a bit funereal as I realize that summertime – my favorite season – has reached its ineluctable finale this year
  • Ghost Stories: A chat with the good doctor, Part V
    Ladies and gentlemen, as the sun sinks in the western sky and I listen to sound of the train chugging along the tracks in the year of our Lord 1874, I realize my colloquy with Dr. Diocletian Lewis with respect to the Temperance Movement, like the sun of the day, is also reaching its ineluctable finale.
  • Ghost Stories: A chat with the good doctor, Part IV
    Ladies and gentlemen, as we chatted with Dr. Diocletian Lewis last week, he talked about how a temperance meeting on a cold December night in Hillsboro, fueled a fire that began to sweep through the state in year of our Lord 1874.
  • Ghost Stories: A chat with the good doctor, Part III
    Ladies and gentlemen, let’s continue our chat with Dr. Diocletian Lewis, who attended Harvard Medical School and is considered to be the “Father of Physical Education” in public schools in the United States, as well as a shining apostle in the Temperance Crusade.
  • Ghost Stories: A chat with the good doctor, Part II
    Ladies and gentlemen, now that Dr. Diocletian Lewis, ex-saloonkeeper John Calvin Van Pelt and the temperance troupe have finished a stop in Springfield, Ohio and have boarded the train to head on to Dayton, we can continue our conversation with the good doctor.
  • Ghost Stories: A chat with the good doctor
    Ladies and gentlemen, as ex-saloon keeper John Calvin Van Pelt and Dr. Diocletian “Dio” Lewis board the temperance train and get set to leave Xenia, let’s take a seat next to the good doctor as the whistle blows and the train slowly leaves the depot.
  • Ghost Stories: Celebrating the Fourth, Part II
    Mrs. Sams’ name was Charlotte Dunlop Wever Sams, and if the name Wever rings a bell, her parents were Caspar Willis Wever and Jane Catharine Dunlop Wever. And if the name Caspar rings a bell, Charlotte’s older sister, Catharine Willis Wever, married William Oliver Collins and their first-born was Caspar Wever Collins.
  • Ghost Stories: Celebrating the Fourth, Part I
    Ladies and gentlemen, since we’ve spent some time as of late visiting the year of our Lord 1874, let’s take a few moments to observe the Fourth of July with Mother Thompson, Sarah McDowell, the Rev. Dr. William Jasper McSurely, John Calvin Van Pelt, the local temperance crusaders and others around Highland County.
  • Memorial Day: ‘Fail not yearly to observe this day’
    Ladies and gentlemen, Monday, May 30, 2016 is Memorial Day, a day which was also observed on Monday, May 30 in the year of our Lord 1881. Before we pause to remember those who served and sacrificed this coming Monday, let’s take a step back in time to see how Memorial Day, then called Decoration Day, was observed in Hillsboro 135 years ago.
  • Ghost Stories: The movement on the move
    Ladies and gentlemen, as we left the year of our Lord 1874 last week, former New Vienna saloon owner John Calvin Van Pelt was in Hillsboro meeting with local temperance crusaders like Eliza Jane Trimble Thompson and many others.
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