Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber RULH NHS welcomes new inductees K-9 Units and handlers visit RULH High School EMS members honored for service Road work on Ripley streets to begin Russell K Wolfer SHAC recognizes volleyball all-stars SHAC cross country all-stars take home awards Eastern girls finish runner-up in SHAC golf standings Week 10 football roundup Kathleen J Bright Sister Marjean Clement Veterans Service Office Moves RULH MS students hold first Science Club meeting Bald Eagles spotted 2017 Celebration of Lights being planned Carlos L Beck Georgetown XC teams qualify for regional championship meet Warriors advance to Div. II Regional Meet Lady Rockets reach end to successful volleyball season Week nine football roundup Lady Warriors regional bound Amy J Caudill Bertha Lindsey Bobby S Conley Ripley Council considers insurance changes, will be making repairs on Rankin Hill Road PRC Walk for Life raises $4,600 Mary E Hahn Gary R Cornette Week 8 football roundup Notable soccer season reaches end for G-Men Lady Broncos are SBAAC American Division XC champs SHAC XC title goes to Lady Warriors Arthur Smith Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Ripley FFA off to a busy start this year Ripley River Village Christmas adds new events Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Prints available of Eagle Creek Bridge, by local artist Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Ripley McDonalds robbed overnight Familiar pizzeria in Ripley has new owners Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia Broncos buck Clinton-Massie, Goshen James H Boyd Warren A Stanley Jane R Ernst Darrell F Anderson James W Ball Jr June R Paul Robert Kattine Tony W Ratliff Carroll G Boothby Ripley Council addresses roof replacement and paving projects Beasley Farm to remain agricultural forever Janet R Whitt Jacqualine Attinger L Mae Spencer Battle between Broncos, G-Men ends in tie SB Warriors rout Peebles, 60-0 Lady Jays celebrate first victory Lady Rockets on a roll Rockets cruise to 4-0 Broncos celebrate homecoming Sininger wraps up another outstanding regular season of high school golf Joan E Stevens

Waste not, want not

Rick Houser The Good Old Days

Just the other morning I stepped in to take my morning shower. After running the water until the temperature was to my liking, I stood under the shower head for a good while when it occurred to me: I am on a public water line and at the turn of the faucet I have water and all I want. This was when I stopped and thought that I have not always had the luxury that now by most of the population is a necessity these days.

As I have stated before, I grew up in the country during the 50s and 60s. Living in rural Ohio I still feel was a privilege and a part of my life I will never want to change; however, back then, each home had its own water supply. There were some people who had strong wells to draw from that were fed by strong veins of spring water. Also, there might only be two in the household that lowered the amount of water used. But for the average (and I considered my family average), the supply of water bordered on adequate and not near enough depending on how and who was viewing the situation.

Our home was supplied by a cistern that was not too large in its holding capacity and I think had a small leak. It seemed that Howard Altman, the water man, was at our home to the point he could back up to the cistern blindfolded and Dad felt it costly.

A little over a hundred yards from the main house was a spring house. Simply a strong spring at some time in the past was developed and routed through there into a trough where the milk cans were put to keep cool until the milk truck arrived. The spring not only passed through there but exited out into the barnyard behind it and watered the livestock year round, never going dry or freezing.

Dad got the idea to dig out a holding tank in the spring house and run a line up to the house and give us a second supply of water. It was great except if used a lot at one time, it would run dry and needed time to refill. If it rained a lot, the water became very muddy and came out the faucet in that form. If the temperature were to be below 20 degrees for a few days, a spot in the pipe froze and it was out of operation.

So that meant water was a valuable commodity at our home. I think my mom was in charge as to usage (how much, when and why.) This was rarely questioned, just wiser to agree and follow directions.

Our place is just an example of what each family had to deal with and in their own way. People built bigger cisterns and designed them to catch the rainwater. This was a great idea in the rainy season but not much help in very dry seasons.

Some people had wells drilled to get more water. Of course, with that, a person was called in with a stick that looked like a “y.” The water witch, as they were known, would hold the rod with the tail of the “y” out as if pointing. When water was felt, the stick would point to the spot to drill or dig. It sounds a little hard to believe but the percentage of success proved it to be much more than just an old wives tail.

Even after I was married and we bought a home outside of Felicity the home had a cistern for the water supply. It was a 2,000 gallon cistern that caught rainwater and for the most part handled our needs.

But when we added two children, demand passed supply. As we had done as children, and so far as adults, we conserved as best we knew how. It really didn’t seem a terrible sacrifice at all. That is until the public water line passed by our home and we bought a water tap. The day the water came into our house we were in awe of just how big a tub of water could be, how many loads could be washed, and how it never ran out.

The days of muddy water or no water or, worse, having to carry it to the house, were over. I look back and think of those days and really have no regret that progress came to the country. My wife has told me that my showers many times last no longer than three minutes, tops. Old habits can be hard to break.

However, when I was about 12 years old, I was very interested in history and was very interested in the “old” days. I even thought I wanted to live in that time. One cold spell when the spring froze, my mother gave me two five gallon buckets and told me to go down to the spring house and carry enough water for her to do laundry. After my third trip up from the spring house with two full five gallon buckets I decided I was more than done with those good old days. Long live city water!

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Copyright The Ripley Bee