Friday, August 26, 2016

LOST - EV Melotte

Some other news I forgot to mention about Columbus and it's is that I think Columbus is having a growth spurt for the first time in like . . . . 100 years!

That is Bailey on the far left with her sisters, Sydney and Cadance. Bailey will be in the class of '34 and Jenny (mother) already knows 13 other class of '34s living in Columbus.

Of course they will graduate from the same old high school . . .you know, the one with mold in the carpets and furniture and asbestos in the ceiling?

BUT - who needs a new school when we can rent huge blowers.  Columbus has a fantastic school system that draws people . . . . . except for the over crowding and lack of bathrooms in the high school.  I believe people who do not want a new school also do not want Columbus to grow and increase it's tax base.  

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BEES - I'm not fond of those garbage bees that fly around you and into your drink as you try to relax but DJ and I found a fix.


Bees are highly territorial so if you put a couple of these near you they will fly in, look around and fly away.  It actually works.  They think the bags are bee hives.

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I had a friend get his plug pulled last night after a massive heart attack Tuesday.  He was 46.   Paul was not the kind of guy that went to the Doctor or really paid attention to his health.  They just could not get his heart to stay running and he had suffered too much brain damage. RIP my friend.

AND YOU GUYS - TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

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I could not make it to the Council Listening Session - The last two nights of golf league and the Championships rounds were in full swing.

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Took our car to AMS to get an augmentation to the stereo system.  The car is the perfect listening cube for music.  Enclosed and totally controllable. AMS is in the Verona area - God I hate that area.  Houses exploding, nightmarish traffic, crime.  Columbus is such a fantastic place. I gotta go back there around 3:00    OMG   Fitch-rona sucks.

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LOST

The house in Holway, that we moved into when I was eleven, was set about a quarter of a mile back into a vast tract of woods. The woods had been logged over many years previously. They were re-grown by then, but were still traversed by miles of winding, twisting, circling, branching off and re-joining logging trails of the kind called "corduroy." These were made of logs laid tightly adjoining across the trail, and the trails led hither and yonder to wherever the loggers happened to be working.

Pa knew those trails fairly well. He'd done a little logging there himself. The only one road I'd ever been on was the one that led from our back yard to a field of Mr. Frohmann's where we could cross the road to the Frohmann farm. I'd gone that way twice with Pa.

One beautiful fall afternoon, walking home from school, I was deep into a conversation with Rebecca Rademacher and Henry Frohmann. Rather than break it off at their side road I turned off with them, left them at the edge of the Frohmann field, and started home on the trail through the woods.

I was daydreaming. I was dawdling along, kicking up fallen leaves, tossing fallen pine cones, being an eleven year old girl on a sunny, blue-and-gold afternoon.

After quite a while it occurred to me that I'd been walking on that trail for-----quite a while. Surely I should be almost home by now. And I hadn't come to that really sharp bend yet-----

I stopped and looked around. Nothing looked familiar, but it probably wouldn't. I'd never really noticed my surroundings when I'd come through here with Pa I tried walking back a few hundred feet. Surely I'd have noticed that uprooted tree if we'd
passed it together. Or would I? I hadn't noticed it when I passed it a few minutes ago---

I must have missed my turn-off. I seemed to remember a "Y" junction a ways back. I'd taken the right-hand branch. I probably should have taken the other one. I went back and took the left-hand one.
After a little way that branch turned north and came to a "T" corner. That wasn't right, I would certainly have remembered a "T" comer. I went back, retraced my steps until I came to another "Y." That looked right for a long way, but it wasn't O.K. I'd just have to go back to the field and start over.

I couldn't find the field.

By then the sun was going down and I was walking in deep shadow. The woods on either side were darkening and so thick with brush that I couldn't see into them. All I could see was the corduroy trail curving out of sight ahead of me and behind me, and a little bit of sky. I looked up at the sky. If the sun was almost set, why was the sky lightest in the northeast?

I had an awful realization. On those twisty trails I had lost my sense of direction.

I sat down on the trail and closed my eyes to try to re-orient myself. I could get it right with my eyes closed but as soon as I opened them it all flipped wrong again.

Still, if that was west, then this was south and south is how I had to go. Or---was it? Maybe I'd gone way east or west of the house. Or even south of it. Well,if l went any direction consistently I'd come out of the woods somewhere.

But couldn't go any direction consistently if I stayed on the trails and Pa had said no one must ever leave the trails until he'd marked all the bogs with red flags. He'd said some of them were almost like quicksand. He said the bogs accounted for a lot of the curves in the trails.

I started walking again.

It grew darker. They would have finished supper by now. They wouldn't know where I was. I'd never come home this way before--

I started noticing a rustle in the trees behind me on my left. Just wind---but it was only behind me and only on my left. It felt creepy down my back. Finally I looked back, just for the reassurance that there wasn't anything there. What I saw was a huge cat shape in a leap from one tree to the next. "Huge" is relevant-but believe me a cat shape of around three feet in body length, plus the length of legs in the middle of a leap, is huge when you're alone in deep woods at dusk and weren't really expecting to see anything.

Pa had said there was a bobcat in the woods. Pa had said bobcats wouldn't attack humans except in self-defense. Pa had said we'd probably never see it, but if we did we should just leave it alone. He hadn't said what we should do if it wouldn't leave us alone.

It followed me. Sometimes it was in the trees, sometimes it slithered through the brush, sometimes it padded down the trail thirty feet behind me. "Bobcats don't attack humans." "Bobcats don't attack humans.'' It didn't comfort me much.

It was getting darker, it was getting colder, the moon was rising in the wrong place, the corduroy trails had come alive and were writhing around like snakes, I was being followed by the shining eyes and silent feet of a wild animal who was acting like no wild animal ever did, it was weird, it was eerie, and I was stumbling along log roads that went nowhere. I was in a nightmare that had turned real--

At some point I broke completely. I backed up against a big tree that had grown up directly against the trail, clutching at the trunk with my arms stretched behind me around the trunk, shaking and sobbing. No tears,I was too terrified for tears. Just dry sobs. Utterly demoralized. The cat, who had been slinking along the trail behind me, leaped into a tree just across the trail. His body disappeared in the shadows, but his glowing eyes watched me without blinking.

I stayed there, clutching the tree and shaking and sobbing for what seemed like the rest of my life.

Much later I heard, far-off, faint but unmistakable, a familiar sound.

"Ho-0-0-0-0!"

My father's voice. Deep-throated, full-lunged, carrying incredibly far. When Ma blew her police whistle to call Pa in from the woods, Pa would answer "Ho-o-o !"  to acknowledge that he'd heard it. This was longer, a searching sort of "Ho-0-0-0-0!" He was looking for me.

My legs went wobbly with relief. I yelled as loud as I could. ''Pa! I'm here! Over here!" The bobcat made one great leap and the watching eyes disappeared in a rattle of dry leaves. I had a split-second thought that I should have thought to yell at it before, but knew I'd have been too scared to do it even if I'd thought of it. That was only for a split­ second though, I was straining to hear an answer from Pa. Nothing. I kept shouting and listening. Pa kept on "Ho-o-o-ing!" and listening, but Obviously he wasn't hearing me. My thin little eleven-year-old voice couldn't carry that distance, couldn't penetrate such thick woods.

I was crying tears of desperation when I remembered my hog call. Pa had heard it, at lowered volume, every day for all the years we'd had pigs, and once, at full volume, it had brought the runaway pigs back from the deep woods. The next time I heard Pa call I cupped my hands around my mouth, opened up my throat, took a deep, deep breath and from the bottom of my belly I called, "Soooooo-eeeeeeeeee! Soooooooo-eeeeeeeeet Heee-ya-a-a-a-Cb pwoig-pwoig-pwoig  Heee-ya-a-a-a-Cb pwoig-pwoig-pwoig

The answer came instantly. 'Ho!" "Ho!" followed by something that I thought was "Stay there!" (It was.)

Every few minutes Pa called "Ho!" and I answered with my hog call. His voice slowly came closer. After a time, surely more than half an hour, surely not more than an hour and a half, I saw Pa coming around the next curve, carrying a lantern and my winter coat.

I was most awfully glad to see him.  

  _ EV Melotte

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Columbus positivity - EV Melotte Flashbacks

We are in a stretch of weather that is SUMMER NORMAL.  No extreme highs or lows,  just a long string of average weather for late summer.  Upper 70s and an 80 here and there with passing thunderstorms off and on.  AWESOME.

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Columbus - I am so optimistic about how Columbus is growing.  So much good news.  I tend not to talk about Columbus as much as before as some people seem to think that since I'm an alderman I have to say everything exactly correct or else I'm giving out false information . . . like I'm some sort of news agency or something.

However - last year we had approximately 16 new homes built and this year another 10 are slated along with a four-plex. But there are other signs.  A national company, organically, decided Columbus was a good place to set up shop without "us" recruiting them. They did their own market research and O'Reilly Automotive decided they could make money in Columbus. We were a good place to grow their business - THAT is a good sign.

Then there is Fromm Brothers Fur and Ginseng Farm which you might know as Fromm Family Foods who now make pet food for independent pet food stores.  Because Columbus has in the past 4 years become business friendly and as they say "the climate has changed in Columbus"  they are doubling the size of their factory which will have an impact on the financial books of Columbus and in the past 5 years they have seen sales increase 7 fold.

I have heard this a few times in the past few months. "The business climate has changed in Columbus"  we are actually a place companies are looking at all of a sudden.  We are not anti-business like in the past.  Look at the TIF area by the Travel Center.  That has been a great success so far and is exceeding expectations with growth.  Our problem now is we are land locked.  Columbus does not have a lot of land for expansion.

On a personal note I feel the city council is continuing to attract people that really want to help Columbus, not just to fill the empty seats.  Columbus has come a long way in the last 4 years.  Are there problems? Sure, but if I look back on where we were and where we are  -  wow.  You might not see it but there is palpable growth (which rereading this does not make sense,   palpable "able to be touched or felt.".

When I moved here there was some serious doom and gloom darkness hovering over Cbus. What a depressed little city this was.    

Now, our financials are in real good shape, roads are being torn up and fixed. Departments are working in unison.  Houses are being built, new business are arriving and more coming (we need more PIZZA places and craft beer establishments).

Then we have an Olympian from Columbus and let's not forget a Major League baseball player who pitched against Lou Gehrig . . Bob Poser.  I'll have more on him at some other time.  I did a lot of research look at box scores from the 1900s.

So - I went to bed last night feeling pretty darn good about Columbus which if you are an alderman is a good thing as we get zero positive feedback - it's pretty much a constant stream of complaints and insults in this job.  WHICH - I honestly totally understand but it can wear on you.

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EV Melotte - FLASHBACK'S


Summer of 1936. I am walking along a scythed path at the edge of the hay-field. It is very hot. The sun burns through my shirt. I am being pelted with grasshoppers. It feels as if I am surrounded by dozens of hands tossing acorns at me. Some hit me and bounce away, but most cling with scratchy feet. I walk with my hands over my face, breathing and seeing through the slits between my fingers, to keep the grasshoppers out of my nose and eyes.

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Holway, in the winter of '39-'40. I am eleven. I am angry with my mother. It has something to do with her favoritism of Wayne. It's always been there, rve always accepted it as natural, after all, he's a film. For some reason this particular time is too much. I am I am furious! I pull on my coat and cap, grab my mittens and galoshes. Mother says, "Just where do you think you're going?" I answer, "Out!" and open the door. Mother is saying, "You get back here!" rm outside, pulling on my galoshes, sliding into my skis. Mother is at the door. "Evelyn May Granzow you come back here this minute!" I ski down the long driveway.

Before I reach the creek crossing I cut into the woods toward a place where the creek bank is very high and steep. Much too steep to attempt on skis that have only an instep strap to keep them on. It's about twenty feet high and it doesn't level off to the bottom. The steep bank breaks off sharply at the snow and ice covered creek. If I made it to the bottom the ski tips would be on the creek and the back ends would be on the bank and the middles would be in the air. It might even break the skis. I turn back to get a good run at it and ski as fast as ever I can to that bank, go over, fall down, lose my skis, slide and tumble and fall and land on the ice with a thud that knocks my breath out. I get up, recover my skis, climb out, put the skis back on and do it again.

And again, and again, and again.

EV Melotte
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Monday, August 22, 2016

NOT MORE WHEAT - EV Melotte

I skipped the Agora Art Fair this weekend. The weather just looked to poor and after having bad weather the week before I could tell it was goign to be a headache.  With the forecast for rain on and off and particularly during set up it was just too much for me to handle.

Saturday as the day when O I was of course watching the weather every 5 minutes and it would have been half nice and half not.  Then on the 10:00 news there was a piece about the art fair and they showed a small crowd and they interfered the artists that are always right next to us.

DJ says "HEY LOOK IT'S THEM".   Very night artists that we like and they were being interviewed but as they talk they have both hands on their canopy trying to keep it from blowing away.  They even mentioned ME . . .well . . .sort of . . by saying a number of artists did not show up.  LOL

They must have asked about the empty 10x10 space next to them.

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Weather - upper 70's and maybe a low 80 once but for the next 10 days great weather.  Maybe a Thunderstorm Wednesday and Sunday but that is about it.  

As for this winter.  Warmer then average up to December but watch out after December. Below normal temps and above average snow. January through March.

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Wheat - E.V. Melotte

One day, sometime in the middle of the 1930s Pa hitched a ride into Medford in the milk truck to buy supplies. There he found that the government, finding itself with excess wheat on it's hands, was giving it away to farmers to feed to their cattle. Pa must have convinced the officials that he had an enormous herd because he came home with ten 100-pound sacks of food grade wheat.

Saying, "That's too damn good for the cows," he hauled it into the kitchen, along with an ugly but impressive coffee grinder that he'd bought to utilize this new food supply. The grinder was cast iron painted bright red, with six legs that spread over a good eighteen inches, and about twelve inches high. It had a bulbous container squatting on top of the legs, and a hand crank. It looked like a huge red spider. It fascinated me.

Ma wasn't happy, with the wheat or with the grinder, but wheat was good food, and Pa was adamant.

Our every morning oatmeal breakfast was switched to every morning boiled wheat. That was a relief to me as I always had trouble swallowing the slippery texture of oatmeal.

Nobody objected to cracked wheat bread, or to having ground wheat added to the meat loaf or the vegetable soup. We didn't like finding it in the green beans or carrots or applesauce, but we ate it. We children quickly learned to scoop our gravy off the top of the bowl because the wheat particles settled to the bottom, but when Pa realized what we were doing he established a new rule. We had to stir the gravy immediately before taking any.

Pa found a good use for wheat as a coffee substitute. We couldn't afford the luxury of coffee, so Pa was in the habit of having a cup of hot water with his breakfast. He now had Ma keep a shallow pan of wheat in the oven at all times. Since the cook stove fire        was always burning the wheat soon baked to a dark coffee-brown. When it was just short of charring it was taken out, cooled and put through the grinder. It brewed up nicely into a pot of ersatz coffee. It was bitter, but with plenty of cream and a spoonful of molasses it was a lot more satisfying that hot water.

As the family learned to accept it, Ma grew more and more lavish in her uses of that wheat. Looking back from an objective distance of over sixty years I'm certain that Ma was grimly determined to force Pa into saying, "Enough"!"

Pa was a stubborn man.

Ma was a stubborn woman.

We gradually became accustomed to eating crunchy pancakes, flat cakes and chewy tomato soup.

Ma's winning move was a work of genius. Pa liked to finish his breakfast with a big slice of apple pie. That wasn't extravagant, we grew our own apples and rendered our own lard, so every morning he had his piece of pie. One morning he was served a slice of pie with a crust so full of cracked wheat that it looked like aquarium gravel. Pa looked at it for a long time before he tried a bite, and chewed for a long time before he pushed the  rest away.

Nothing was said in front of the children, but from that day on the use of wheat was confined to cereal, coffee, bread and such dishes as wouldn't advertise it's presence.

I don't believe we ever used up that full half-ton. We left the farm in 1939 and we didn't take any wheat with us. Maybe we left it there. Maybe Pa sold it or gave it to a neighbor. Maybe, who knows, he even fed it to the cows.

EV Melotte

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DJ made this awesome cake this weekend.  We took some photos


I said it looks like a giant donut



It was amazingly good.