Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Ripley officer receives commendation for quick action Bicentennial at Ripley First Presbyterian RULH welcomes new school principals Aberdeen’s Police Dept. continues to grow Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Rickey L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Water distribution plans for Ripley move forward Historic Trapp and Wilson building sold RULH graduate wins HFR Scholarship Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann RULH selects Wilkins as new superintendent Corps of Engineer to study erosion issue in Ripley More funds available through Revolving Loans Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Historic home in Ripley is sold following renovations Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Students speak out in support of Skinner Ripley Council to pay half the cost for Air Evac services John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London

There is nothing like one of Mom’s quilts

When you are raised in a rural setting there are a lot of things you take for granted that we thought took place in all homes whether they be in the city or on the farm. One item that was in our home and was always taken for granted was my Mother’s quilts, the home made from scratch, made from scrap material quilt. Until my Mom passed away I don’t think I had ever slept under anything other than her quilts. The fact was that none of us in my family slept without a quilt and it was taken for granted that we all would sleep warm and comfortable.

It seems that for as long as I can remember there was always a quilting frame set up and usually an unfinished quilt in it. From what I have been told, my grandmother Benton was an extraordinary quilter and the one we have now at our home gives testament to her skill. Grandma had five daughters and two learned the craft and carried it on for their generation. Not only did they learn how, but the really enjoyed making quilts and constantly working at improving their abilities at this craft.

They became so skilled that in 1976, the Bicentennial year, the county Historical Society asked them to bring a quilting frame to their county fair booth and perform their trade to the crowds for a week. Mom and her sister Mabel not only showed everyone there how it was done they did so in Colonial outfits and I will tell you they loved that spotlight and beamed with pride. One afternoon my Aunt Verona stopped by and sewed a little with her sisters. She said she enjoyed the other part of quilting and that was to visit and catch up on the family conversations with her sisters as the sewed. That made it complete.

From the time I was a little boy until I was an adult I took for granted my family’s quilt making. I really just thought that was the way of life on the farm. I knew that if my quilt became ragged and worn, another new one always appeared on my bed. It probably sounds very unlikely that a huge quilt frame and a large pile of material and stacks of newly made quilt patches could be overlooked or could be ignored, but I must admit that little boys (at least this one) easily did overlook this part of day to day life at our house.

Farm life is a busy and many faceted life. There were a multitude of things being done in and out of our home and I was always trying to keep up with all my parents were doing. Sewing cloth together just didn’t seem important to me at that time but after I married and my parents moved from the farm into a town, life changed in several ways for me. My wife Sharon and I, and in later years to come, our children would go to my parents’ home for Sunday dinners. We had set up our home and developed our own lifestyle and saw the differences when we paid them visits.

Life was different than when they lived on the farm but one thing was the same. In the corner of the living room sat the quilting frame and it almost always was loaded with a new quilt that Mom was making for a cousin or one of us or someone who was in need of a warm cover that Mom would wrap and give. It was during my adult years when I learned that Mom and her quilts served many needs for many people and for many reasons. They were not just pieces of cloth she put together for her kids to stay warm with.

Quilting is a craft and an art form and it is being practiced less and less with each passing generation. It takes a good eye, patience and hard work to create a quilt that catches the eyes of onlookers. Mom and her sister Mabel were true craftsmen when doing this and even I, who doesn’t possess an eye for art, could be in awe of their works.

One fact that has had me wondering most of my life is the part about patience. When it came to most anything Mom did in life, she did it in haste and her patience was short. That is until she sat down at the frame, picked up her needle, and sewed. She loved creating all those quilts and as she sewed them over all those years she settled into a calm and focus unlike anything I ever witnessed from her. Out of all of her family I only know of one who has mastered and has quilted many and that is my second cousin Lynne who lives in Pennsylvania. It is pleasant to know that even though the generation I watched has passed, there is still a relative carrying on the tradition.

I can only guess at the number of quilts that my Mom created but I’m going out on a limb and estimate over 100 (that includes the baby quilts she got into making a lot of). I can say I have watched and studied her sewing but I never picked up a needle and tried to sew on a quilt. The one thing I am very positive about is that every quilt my mother made she had a person she wanted to have that quilt before she even began. This I am positive of. She only made what was needed and there were many, many of them needed.

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

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Rick Houser

The Good Old Days

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