Patriot News


  The memorial service for Duane Hansman of Goose Creek was held on Sunday evening at the Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home in Vevay. A large crowd of family and friends attended and stories were shared about Duane. He was a friend to many and will surely be missed. After the service, many family and friends went to Mo’s Steakhouse for a time of food and fellowship. Thanks to the staff at the Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home for their kindness and compassion.

  I had a good conversation with Sara Peebles Blades on Monday. Sara’s sister Teresa Peebles Jester passed away last week. Teresa was my classmate from elementary through high school. We graduated from Switzerland County High School in 1975. Sara lives in Rising Sun, and was a 1966 graduate of Patriot High School. I attended Teresa’s Celebration of Life on Saturday evening at the Morgan and Nay Funeral Centre in Madison.

  Prayers are requested for Dennis Rose, as he is dealing with health issues. Dennis lives in Rising Sun now. He is the oldest son of Floyd and Jean Scudder Rose.

  I had a good visit with the Moores on Goose Creek at Duane Hansman’s memorial service and dinner. They were neighbors of Duane. Their daughter Addy Preston is a member of the Switzerland County Track and Field team. Addy is a freshman and recently had her personal best in the discus and shot put. She is within reach of the school record, and I’m betting that she will break it before she graduates!

  The Patriot July 4th Celebration Committee met again on Monday evening at the Patriot Town Hall. Plans are underway for a big celebration with a parade, Flag Park ceremony, food trucks, games for children and more! Reggie Honaker will be the Grand Marshal for the parade, which starts at 11 a.m. Reggie is a former businessman in town and retired from the United States Army, Special Forces.

  It was good to see a YPAC baseball team practicing at the Harris Park baseball field Monday evening! Last year we had several teams playing at Harris Park weekly, we lost most of those teams due to the road closures. Hopefully, there will be more teams coming to practice and playing games!

  Leah Jones had a visit on Monday evening from Billy Hansman, Duane’s brother. My mother sure will miss her weekly conversations with Duane.

  Sympathy to the family of Lorraine Ballard Walton of Rising Sun who passed away on Tuesday. Lorraine grew up in the Florence area, and attended Patriot schools. Lorraine was a sister to Laverne Ballard Hayes. Lorraine worked at Frisch’s in Lawrenceburg for over 40 years.

  The Patriot Baptist Church will have a three day Bible School on July 18th-19th-20th from 5:30-7 p.m. each evening. The Bible School will be for children in grades Pre-K through grade 6.

  I stopped by the high school on Tuesday evening and there was sure a lot going on! The ORVC boys and girls track meet was being held, as well as a JV baseball game and a middle school softball game. The Switzerland County girls’ track team won the ORVC Meet. Posey Township resident Gracie White had a great night with a second in the 1,600-meters, first in the 800-meters, second in the 3,200-meters, and first as a part of the 1,600-meter relay team. Addy Preston of Posey Township, earned first place in the shot put, and second in the discus. Congratulations Gracie and Addy!

  The Patriot Alumni Annual Meeting and Dinner is quickly approaching! The meeting is set for May 27th at Switzerland County Elementary School, with registration beginning at 4 p.m. The Patriot Alumni Association is the oldest alumni organization in the county, and one of the oldest in the state. I will be attending to report in my column as well as giving the opening invocation. I attended Grades 1-6 at Patriot Elementary, but due to school consolidation, I attended Grades 7-12 at Switzerland County Junior and Senior High School. My mother, Leah Cook Jones graduated from Patriot High School in 1952, and her brother, Charles Cook graduated from PHS in 1955. My Great Uncle, John D. Cook graduated from PHS in 1933. He was killed in action in World War II in 1943.

  I had a chance to catch up with Gary and Judy Copeland at the ORVC track and field meet. They were there to watch their granddaughter compete. I have known the Copelands for many years. We attended church together many years ago. The Copelands operated a hardware store in Rising Sun for many years. They were forced to close their business a few years ago due to a fire that destroyed their business.

  We are studying the Book of Ecclesiastes now in our mid-week Bible Study at the Patriot Baptist Church. We meet every Wednesday at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to join us!

The Tomlins

  Two of the more colorful characters in my childhood were brother and sister, Howard and Ruby Tomlin (pronounced locally as “Tummlin”. They lived on Goose Creek and walked to town when they needed supplies, pulling a wagon. They would usually have a pack of dogs following them. Truthfully, I was always a little scared of them!

  My mother and grandparents had known them all of their lives. Mom said Ruby used to come to the house and ask her to write letters to people she heard on the radio. One letter mom remembered writing for her was a letter to Country and Western singer “Little” Jimmy Dickens! I remember Ruby would come to town and come up on the playground when we were out for recess. Things are much different now, as far as people walking in the school and coming on the playground. The teachers all knew her and would talk to her.

  The Tumlins always had a flock of chickens, ducks, a cow or two and several dogs and cats. They raised a little tobacco and a garden. You would see them walking all over the Patriot community. One time Howard got hit by a car, they never did really find out who hit him, as far as I know. Being hit by a car left Howard with a slight limp. I would go to the Tomlins with my grandfather, Marshall Cook when he was assessing them (he was the Township Trustee), or campaigning there when he was running for election. Much to my surprise, most of the animals lived in the house with them, at least the chickens, ducks, dogs and cats. They could come and go as they pleased.

The Cook Homestead

on Bodey Hill and

later on Meades Ridge

  My mother was born in the Cook home place on Bodey Hill. My mom’s father, Marshall Cook and his father, George Cook were all born in that same house. The house still stands there, not sure who owns it now.

  The Cook home place, like most farms then, was pretty much self-sufficient. They raised a big garden, all of the vegetables, pumpkins, squash, potatoes, etc. They also had a small orchard for fruits. Items they wanted to save went in the cellar, a potato bin, lots of canning. All of my grandfather’s siblings were born in that house. They raised tobacco (like everyone in those times), enough corn to feed the horses and cows and also hay for the livestock. Everyone worked hard, mom said when they wanted to go to town they walked, including walking to church. They would walk up Bodey Hill to Lower Goose Creek and then cut through the Eastview Cemetery to Patriot. My grandfather did not get his driver’s license until later.

  They also had horses they could ride. In fact, my mother’s brother, Charles, told me that he used to ride a horse bareback to Stephenson’s Garage in Patriot to get a Nehi Grape Soda. Stephenson’s Garage was in the little building that is still in town next to where Linda Fisk lives.

  Mom said they went to all of the Patriot High School basketball games, actually about everyone in town went to the ball games! They would also occasionally go to the “picture show” (movies) in town. People also visited each other back then. On any given Sunday, there would be friends and relatives stopping in. Grandma always cooked enough food for her family and anyone who would happen to stop by. She made either biscuits or cornbread every day. If you stopped, it was a given to be offered something to eat, and there was always a pot of coffee on. Pretty strong coffee for sure! Grandma boiled her coffee, it was pretty much like “cowboy” coffee they drank in the old west!

  My grandparents and parents moved to Meades Ridge on the McCrander Farm in the mid-1950’s. The place on Bodey Hill would always be the “Cook farm”. My grandfather continued raising a big garden on the McCrander farm, grandma had a rhubarb patch next to the house, my grandfather put out the regular garden items, he also would raise popcorn, “Indian Corn” as we called it, pumpkins, even one type called “cow pumpkins”. I didn’t even know there was such a pumpkin until I looked it up! He also raised the big cushaws, and all types of squash. We always set a row or two of tomatoes next to the tobacco patches. That was before deer were so thick here.

  They raised lots of garden items, enough for them, and also enough to give away. Grandma always had lots of chickens. They were basically free range chickens. She would order some every year and the mailman would deliver them. I can still hear them peeping through the box! My grandfather always had fox hounds, as he was an avid fox hunter. That’s really all of the hunting that he ever did. He would not allow trapping on his farm because he was afraid that someone would catch a fox. He would also have a fit if someone killed a blacksnake, as he wanted them in the barn to keep the mice out of the corn crib.

  Growing up on the farm was a great childhood for sure!

  Several of my grandfather’s friends always called him “Baldy Cook”, and I never really knew why because he always had a thick head of hair. I found out later it was because when he was younger, he went to get a haircut, and when he came out the barber had given him a burr cut! That nickname stuck with him from then on!

  I wondered if anyone else remembered the “fluoride treatments” that they used to come to the rural schools to give students in the schools? I guess it was because we did not have “city water” that was treated with fluoride and the government did this to help protect our teeth! We would usually have the treatment once a year, and I remember that so many people would get sick because it tasted terrible! Back then all of our water came from cisterns and wells. Patriot Water would not come until the mid-1960’s, and even then, it did not come all the way down Meades Ridge until many years later. I spoke with Dr. Findley, and he is going to research that fluoride treatment program for me. He thinks it may have been connected to Indiana University.

  By now, in mid Spring, the tobacco beds would be going strong. We used to burn the beds to get them ready for sowing the seed. Burning the beds would sterilize the soil, and kill the weed seeds. We would drag as much wood as we could, and then set them on fire. Different accelerations would be used to make the fire as hot as we could. I remember the burning embers, especially under the moonlight at night. After the fire, the beds would be raked and leveled, also removing the larger embers that did not burn. The seed would be sown, and the cotton canvas would be laid over the beds held down by nails or metal pins along the sides.

  Later, farmers started using gas to kill the weeds in the beds before sowing seeds. Tobacco beds soon became a thing of the past, with plants raised in a more greenhouse type environment. Now, the tobacco farms have pretty much disappeared from the rural landscape. All that’s left is the memories, and old barns tiered for tobacco. Hard work for sure, but an important part of our culture for centuries.

  Mother’s Day in the United States began in the early 20th Century when Anna Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day Service at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Jarvis had been a peace activist and cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. She and another peace activist, Julia Ward Howe had urged for a “Mother’s Day for Peace”.

  By 1911, all states celebrated the holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day ,to be held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers. I hope all of the mothers in our community enjoyed a happy and loving Mother’s Day weekend. Many are without their mothers, grandmothers and other mother figures. Abraham Lincoln said it best when he said, “All I am, or hope to be, I owe to my Angel mother”.

  The love of a mother is the closest thing to God’s love in this world. Thank you to all of the mothers who read this column. May God bless all of you, and may your days be filled with love, peace and hope.

  Rosa Jones, of Meades Ridge, went to Kings Island on Saturday with the Switzerland County High School Band.

  Melissa Jones, Aruzhan and Mason went to Florence, Kentucky on Saturday. They enjoyed a late lunch at the Olive Garden. They ran into Ian Van Winkle at Best Buy on Houston Road. Ian has worked there for several months. Melissa also took her mother, Terri Bauer to lunch as well.

  Marlene Jones went to Cincinnati on Sunday and was treated to a Mother’s Day Brunch by Evan and Brandon. They enjoyed brunch at Via Vite on Vine Street.

  Thanks to Joey Rider for getting the flowers for Mother’s Day at the Patriot Baptist Church!

Barrie’s Tidbits

  “The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or touched, they must be felt with the heart”. — Helen Keller

  Hey I left someone out of the greatest Cheerleaders RSHS ever had. Sharon (Sherry Sue) Bailey-Bovard… Sorry Sharon, it was a slip! They would be; Babette; Bobbie; Audrey and of course Sharon !

  I have intended to put the names and survivors of the Classes of ‘53 (70 year anniversary) ‘58 (65 year anniversary) and ‘68 (55 year anniversary) Hopefully next week ! So far I have Alice ‘63/Hazel ‘58, Billie ‘58, and Bobbie/Craigie ‘58 helping with this. Thank you all in advance !

  Class of ‘63 members (maiden names only) and with asterisk denoting they are no longer with us but not ever forgotten, and dearly missed. They are: Janet Cook*; Jim Hutton*; Hazel Ligget*; Gary McAllister*; Carroll Smither*; and Richard Thompson*; Joyce Bailey; Gail Brameier; Arthur Brown; Nancy Bunger; Emma Jean (Jeannie) Craig; Judith Dickerson; Bonnie Dilts; Alice Evans; Marilyn Kinman; David Minks; Reta Minks; Donna Robinson; Evelyn Walcott; and Barrie Watters. Hi, I hope to see you all at Alumni. Please, you do not have to have a reservation to attend come one and all, but better bring a sandwich, Ha!

Mike’s Closing

  That’s all for this week. Remember to send me news to (812) 290-3088, or; or Barrie at (828) 335-8270 or

  Until next week, in the words of Glen Campbell, remember to “try a little kindness and shine your light for everyone you meet”.