10 Years Ago
Week of Sept. 27, 2012
by Roger D. Dahmer
I want to begin this week with a piece called, “When Zucchini Happens.” It was written by Joseph B. Walker
I was walking into the office yesterday, minding my own business, when all of a sudden I turned the corner and there it was, sitting on my chair. Waiting. Lingering. Lurking. “Oh goody,” I said facetiously. “Zucchini.” “Isn’t that nice?” said Rachel, the irrespressibly upbeat person who was standing at the copy machine. “Somebody left zucchini for everyone.”
Did you ever notice how nobody actually gives you zucchini? At least, not in the same way they give you corn or apples or tomatoes. I mean, if someone wants to give you a few fresh, juicy peaches off their tree, they just walk right up and hand them to you. You know — like they are proud. Like they think you’ll be pleased. Like they have confidence you’re not going to run screaming into the night at the sight of their gift. But with zucchini, they leave it and skulk away in a cowardly fashion. No note. No calling card. And no fingerprints. Zucchini is the abandoned orphan of the vegetable kingdom.
“Yeah – nice,” I said. “Who should we thank for this…gift?” “I don’t know,” Rachel said. “You know how it is with zucchini.” Of course I do. Zucchini is the perfect crime. It’s not only lethal, but it’s absoutely untraceable. That’s because nobody actually grows it. At least, not on purpose. It just…happens. Like weeds. Or Chernobyl. “So what are you going to do with yours?” I asked. “I’ll just do what I always do with zucchini,” she said. “Yeah,” I said, knowingly. “Me too.” By nightfall my zucchini was sleeping with the fishes.
This morning I stepped into my office area gingerly, afraid of what might be there waiting for me. I peeked around the corner. No zucchini. But there was a slice of brown bread on a white napkin sitting on my desk. I eyed it suspiciously. I picked it up. I smelled it. It smelled wonderful. I took a bite. It tasted wonderful.
“Who made the banana bread?” I asked, sinking my teeth into another mouthful. Rachel confessed. “Only it isn’t banana bread,” she said. “It’s zucchini bread.” I stopped chewing. “No way! This couldn’t be zucchini. It’s so…so…” “Good?” she offered. “Yes!” I responded. “It’s delicious!” I paused, then added: “But I hate zucchini.” “So do I,” Rachel admitted. “And I used to hate it when people gave me zucchini.” “Abandoned,” I corrected her. “People don’t give zucchini, they abandon it. And zucchini isn’t something you receive; it’s something that happens to you.
“Whatever,” she said, then continued: “A few years ago I decided that there wasn’t anything I could do to keep…well, to keep zucchini from happening to me. So I found this great recipe for zucchini bread, and now I actually look forward to zucchini season.”
I took another bite of bread. Still wonderful. But I couldn’t help wondering: “How could anything so tasty come from something so distasteful?” “It’s a fact of life,” Rachel said. “You mix effort with creativity and you can turn almost anything around.” “Even zucchini?” “Hey, zucchini happens,” she said, handing me another slice of bread. “But the way I see it, when life hands you a zucchini, make zucchini bread!” Or, in other words, never look an abandoned zucchini in the mouth.
40 Years Ago
Week of October 1, 1982
The fall of 1941 was the scene for the organization of the Pendleton County Historical Society. Through the cooperative effort of interested men and women — professional, business and otherwise — the preserving for posterity of worthwhile heritage, as is Pendleton County’s, was welcomed. The society continues to do so today. Documents and relics have been gathered and preserved; the history of churches, schools, families, places and individuals have been written; graves have been properly marked and advertised; and each year a display of the past has been enjoyed by the Treasure Mountain audience. Time marches on and projects continue. The members of the society are to be commended for their dedicated efforts in preserving our county’s past through their foresight and visionary service.
Week of October 8, 1982
Man, 96, Remembers Walking Barefoot
In Snow in 1904
Ona B. Propst, a resident of Pendleton Nursing Home, retains a clear mind at the age of 96. He clearly remembered a snow of September about 1904, when he and his dad, Sammy Propst, were at Harvey Propst’s in Mill Run. When they started home a rain shower began. Upon arriving at the Bob Place, it started to snow. Ona being barefooted, had to walk home through the snow. That night his mother, Lenora Propst, did not sleep much for fear her son would take pneumonia. Mr. Propst recalled one year he helped dig 11 graves and all through the years he never charged anyone for digging graves. He mentioned two others that he worked with in digging — Floydie Propst and Leon Simmons. As a young man, Mr. Propst took the uniform examination, made a grade and began teaching school until World War I, when Uncle Sam needed soldiers. He vividly recalled taking the teachers examination in the room John Dahmer was in charge. One question was to give a written account on the rural life in Ireland. He asked a question, rural means country and Mr. Dahmer just smiled and I knew I was on the right tract.
50 Years Ago
Week of October 5, 1972
Local School Board
Ordered To Provide
The Pendleton County Board of Education was ordered last week by State Superintendent of Schools Daniel B. Taylor to provide free textbooks for pupils unable to buy them.
The order was the result of a petition filed by Naomi Ruth Kline and others of Circleville requesting the State Superintendent of Schools to require the Pendleton County Board of Education to provide free textbooks as provided by state law.
Johnny Arvin Dahmer and Leon Fleisher had the pleasure to see the falling spring on South Fork. So named because many gallons of water will pour out per minute for an hour or more and then go dry for about the same length of time.
Harry Propst who lives nearby informed me that wet weather will increase the frequency of the flow and dry weather longer times between flows, but a more set time.
60 Years Ago
Week of October 4, 1962
100 YEARS AGO
By LON K. SAVAGE
Editor’s Note—The following is one of a series of articles on the Civil War. Each weekly installment covers events which occurred exactly 100 years ago.
Federals Hurl Back
Van Dorn at Corinth
“Another six months like the last six months, and we are lost,” said the governor of Indiana 100 years ago this week.
But hardly had he spoken when the Federal cause began looking up.
After six months of bloody Confederate victories in the East, the Civil War action shifted suddenly to the West, and the tide of victory turned again temporarily.
First sign of the change came with the battle of Corinth in northern Mississippi in the opening days of October.
Corinth, where the Memphis and Charleston Railroad crossed the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, was an important strategic point in the Civil War’s southwestern theatre, and Gen. Van Dorn, commanding Confederates in Mississippi, believed its capture would drive Gen. Ulysses S. Grant from West Tennessee. Accordingly, he moved an army of 22,000 to within 10 miles of the town. Gen. William S. Rosencrans, with an equal number of troops, and with adequate warning of Van Dorn’s movements, prepared for the assault.
It came from the northwest in the morning of a hot October 3, when three divisions of Confederates formed a line of battle three miles from the town and began sweeping toward old Confederate entrenchments, now occupied by Yanks.
The Federal outer line gave way under the onslaught, and by 1:30 p.m. the Confederates held the line with two Federal guns. Rosencrans rushed up re-enforcements and tried to swing one division around from the right to attack the Confederate left. But there was a mixup—the commander on the right couldn’t understand Rosencrans’ order—and by the time things got straightened up, darkness had ended the fighting.
Next morning, Van Dorn renewed his assault against a tight, inner line of Federal defenses around Corinth. The fighting, taking place in sweltering weather, grew hotter as the Confederates attacked across a belt of fallen trees and stumps under a withering Yankee fire.
On they came until the inner line broke at one point, and Confederates broke through to the town itself. But Federal batteries caught the Rebels in a cross-fire and thinned their ranks, and a Federal division counter-attacked. After brief street fighting in the town, the attack collapsed.
Van Dorn’s bleeding army now turned and withdrew, and the battle ended with about 5,000 Confederate casualties, half that many on the Yankee side. Van Dorn made his escape while Rosencrans rested his men, and when the Federals took off in pursuit next morning, Van Dorn was off and away.
Van Dorn’s ill-advised attack had been prompted, partially, to prevent Grant from sending troops to attack Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, then marching through Kentucky. But bad news for the South followed even from Bragg.
For as Van Dorn was pulling out of Corinth in retreat October 4, Bragg was in Frankfort, Ky., assisting in the inauguration of a Confederate governor of Kentucky, Richard Hawes. But before Hawes could finish his inaugural address, Federal shells began dropping in the city’s outskirts, and Bragg suddenly found himself in deep trouble.
Next week: The Battle of Perryville.
70 Years Ago
Week of October 2, 1952
By County Agent
Do cucumbers and cantaloupes cross with pumpkins? Do melons and squashes cross? These are the questions I’m asked several times a year.
In the first place, cantaloups or muskmelons will cross with other cantaloupes or muskmelons, but they will not cross with cucumbers.
Sometimes cantaloupes or muskmelons will have a flavor that may cause you to think there has been a cross with cucumbers—but that is just not true. The flavor might be due to the variety, or more likely, it is either because the fruit ripened during unfavorable growing conditions or ripened prematurely because of a diseased plant.
Cantaloupes and muskmelons like plenty of moisture but they also must have plenty of warm or hot weather.
Watermelon will cross with other watermelons or with citrons or preserving melons but they will not cross with cantaloupes, pumpkins, cucumbers or squashes.
Now, let’s get to the pumpkins and squashes. It’s within this group that a considerable amount of crossing occurs. The pumpkins—both field and pie—and the summer squash such as Summer Crookneck, Cocozelle, Zucchini, Acorn, Scallop and Caserta, all readily cross with one another.
That is, if they are close together and blossom at the same time. The Cashaw and the Butternut squash will cross some with all the other pumpkins and squashes I have named but they will cross very readily between themselves. As you know, the Butternut has a little gray or green motling which indicates that it has a little Cashaw “blood” in it.
I hope all this discussion has not left you too confused, but I do think it will help you to see from what melons, squashes, or pumpkins you can safely save seed year after year.
If you are growing more than one kind of pumpkin or summer squash that blossom at the same time, it would be wise to purchase new seed every few years. The crossing is done by bees which carry pollen from one blossom to another.