Patriot News 08/24/2023


  The Swiss Wine Festival will be tonight (Thursday) through Sunday. I know that a lot of hard work goes into planning this event. It has become one of the most popular festivals in Southern Indiana. The first Wine Festival was in 1968, and huge crowds came to Vevay. After a few years, they stopped having it because of concern for the unruliness of the crowds and alcohol being consumed out in the streets. A few years later they started it back as the Swiss Alpine Festival. It just did not have the same appeal and later it was decided to go back to the Swiss Wine Festival. The early festivals were held in the middle of town, and later it was moved to the Ogle Riverfront Park where it has been for many years. It is a great festival with lots of activities including, music, a large parade, great food, craft booths, rides and games for children, and many other forms of entertainment. Here’s hoping for good weather, safety, and lots of fun!

  The school corporation will have an open house for the Old Gym on Seminary Street in Vevay this Saturday, August 26th. This will be held after the parade that morning. They have been doing a lot of work on the Old Gym, including a museum for Vevay and Patriot High Schools. Please look for advertisements on this, and try to stop in and see the great work that they have done. Thanks to the school corporation for helping keep alive the traditions of the Vevay Warriors and Patriot Trojans!

  Patriot Schools was a great place to attend, and receive your education. I remember going on the first day, probably, September 1963. I remember seeing the playground for the first time and being amazed at how big it looked! Mrs Lillian Bosaw was my first grade teacher. We started in the building that was adjacent to the town cemetery. The junior high, and high school were in the high school building. We would go to the high school for lunch and also if we did activities in the gym. Looking back, it was a much simpler time than today. We had great teachers, everyone knew everyone else, lunch was a treat for sure. It was the first time I remember having “lunch”, our mid day meal was always called “dinner”. Lunch was a school thing I guess. We felt safe for sure, there was no thought of anything like an “active shooter drill”, doors were never locked, parents and community members came to the school because the school was the center attraction for the community.

  The first time I remember seeing guards, or police in schools was when I did my student teaching at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky. It was a large city school, and they had armed guards in the building. This was something I had never seen before, and would not have thought it would ever come to places like Switzerland County. Sadly, our world has changed and school related violence happens in city and rural schools alike. We are lucky that our schools have school resource officers and other safety procedures and protocols. Sadly, the innocence and simpler times that we felt and had as youngsters is a thing of the past. The world has changed, and we must always work to make sure that our children and citizens are safe.

The “Father of Patriot”

  I do not know that any one person can be given the title, the “father” of a county, state or nation. We grew up reading about George Washington, as the “Father of our Country”, and one can make a strong argument that he indeed played a very strong role in the history of our nation.

  Sylvanis Howe, was called by some in his day, the “Father of Patriot”. He was born in upstate New York, and in 1812, he along with his family, moved to Cincinnati, where his father engaged in superintending a tan yard. His father bought 160 acres at North Landing, and the family moved to the newly purchased farm. Sylvanus learned his father’s trade as a tanner and also worked for three years as a butcher in Cincinnati. The farm at North Landing went to Howe upon his parents’ death, and he sold it and purchased property in Patriot. By that time he had gained a reputation as a businessman, with a fairly lucrative business shipping goods on the Ohio River. He built the Howe Building on the corner of Third and Front Street in 1836, near the present day site of the Patriot Town Hall.

  From there he continued and expanded his shipping business buying pork and other products and shipping them down river. He entered a partnership with E. Case, building and operating a distillery on Front Street. Howe by then, owned several pieces of property and lots in Patriot. In 1843, he donated the land and erected the Methodist Episcopal Church. He also donated land on Columbia Street for the schools and the town cemetery. He was President of the Patriot Deposit Bank and also a prominent member of the I.O.O.F Lodge. In 1860, How raised a company of 130 soldiers, and was commissioned a Captain. He took the soldiers to Indianapolis, where they were distributed for service.

  Howe was a friend of Oliver P. Morton, who was the Governor of Indiana from 1861-1867. Howe is buried in the Patriot Town Cemetery along with his family. By the time of his death, he had greatly influenced the town of Patriot for generations to come.


  I was walking Copper on Front Street, (or was he walking me)?, and I had been noticing that we were not seeing the groundhogs that have been on the riverbank all summer. I was talking to the Kuhns along Front Street, and they said that they had been seeing a couple foxes on the street and riverbank. So that might explain why the groundhogs aren’t being seen!

  Would like to get information on the floods that have impacted Patriot over the years. I know that floods occurred in 1913, 1937, 1964 and 1997. There has been flooding as well in other years. My grandfather, Marshall Cook, was born in 1912, so he would have been an infant in the flood of 1913, and of course, 1937 was the most destructive flood in recorded history.

  I was in elementary school when the 1964 flood occurred. I know that we missed several days of school. I remember riding to Patriot with Ronnie Minch and seeing the flooding in 1964. In 1937, it was reported that 173 out of the 187 residents of Patriot were affected by the high water. Only seven dwellings, and the Methodist Episcopal Church and the school house had no water on their floors. I remember Sam Reese, our bus driver, telling us that Columbia Street had water on it and some got in the drive that went into the back of the gymnasium. The last major flood we had was in 1997.

  Patrick and Mason Jones attended a practice session for the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati at the Bengals’ practice field adjacent to Paycor Stadium. They stopped to eat at the Stateline Restaurant on US 50 on the way.

  Ariel Oeffiinger, of Posey Township, daughter of Sarah Oeffinger, and the late Keith Oeffinger, has moved to New York City to begin her studies at the New York Law School. Good luck to Ariel in her studies in law school!

  I know that Florence is not in Posey Township, but I have many fond memories of going there when I was a kid. I remember there being two different stores there at that time, Stanley (Ike) Turner’s and Chases Store, which was later owned by the Scotts. My dad worked with Ike Turner at Seagrams and they were also members of the Florence Masonic Lodge. I remember that Ike always had a deli with a large assortment of cheese. That was the first time that I remember eating sharp cheese. There was also a barber shop there that was owned and operated by Petey Storie.

  After those two stores closed, I remember the store there being owned by Helen Smith, Joyce Earls, Larry Stewart and Keith Headen. There hasn’t been a store there now for several years, I guess the only business left is the U.S. Post Office, and the marinas. Helen Smith operated the store during the really bad winners in 1977-1978. I remember the Smith girls working at the store. I should also include Helen’s son, Mark, as he was in my class in school!

  This year seems to be a banner year for tomatoes. It seems that most people have lots of them. I remember when we used to raise tobacco, and it was always custom to plant a couple rows of tomatoes along the tobacco patch. By the time we were cutting and housing tobacco, there would be plenty of tomatoes to eat off the vines! That was before we had to be concerned about deer eating the tomato vines! Also, do you remember the tomato canning factories that most towns used to have? I know that Rising Sun had one.

  In the 1960’s, it was really rare to see a white tail deer! I remember seeing a deer come up to the salt blocks for the cattle in the barnyard when I was a kid. That was a rare site for sure!

  Sunday, August 13th, was the 41st anniversary of the passing of my grandfather, Marshall Cook. It was Friday the 13th and he and I had just put the horses in and fixed the fence by the horse barn. I let him out at the house and had to go to Vevay. When I got to Vevay, I was told that my grandfather had a medical issue, and a few minutes later was told that he had passed away.

  He was in many ways, larger than life to me as you might say. He was a fixture in the Patriot community for sure. He has served as Posey Township Trustee for many years, on the Patriot School Board as Trustee, and also was serving on the County Council at the time of his passing. He knew just about everyone in Posey Township, and also many people in Rising Sun. He farmed all of his life, never owned a tractor, and raised draft horses, mostly Percheron and Belgians and also mules. He was a tobacco solicitor for the Marshall and Harris Tobacco Warehouse in Carrollton, Kentucky. He was known by just about everyone in the community, and was always willing to help someone out, if they needed assistance in any way.

  When I was a kid I always wondered why he never celebrated his birthday, or wanted anyone else to celebrate it. I found out when I was old enough to understand that his mother died on his birthday when he was seven years old. His father then died when he was 12. He and his brothers and sisters pretty much raised themselves after that. Their baby brother, Johnny, was killed in 1943 in WWII. he was a top turret gunner on a B-17 and was killed in action while on a bombing mission over Nazi Germany. Johnny left a wife and two young children. They all grew up on what is today, Bodey Hill. The house is still there, my great grandfather, grandfather and mother were all born in that house. Life was never quite the same on the farm after my grandfather passed. My grandmother, Thelma Cook, lived seven more years. She passed away in September of 1989. I still think of them every day.

  The mural project for the Masonic Building in town is moving forward. The town received a grant from the Switzerland County Community Foundation to help fund the project.

  I wanted to give a shout out to Kevin Konradi of Patriot. Kevin was a student of mine in school, and has worked in the Walmart Auto Care Center in Aurora for several years. Kevin is always helpful and polite to customers and takes pride in his work. Kevin is the son of Gary and Mary Jo Emery Konradi. Mary Jo was a neighbor of mine when we were growing up and we rode the same school bus. Thanks Kevin for your hard work!

  Sympathy to the family of John Buddenburg of Rising Sun, who passed away on Tuesday. John was a 1951 graduate of Patriot High School. His wife, Marlene Moore Buddenburg, passed away in 2019. John’s father, Jim Buddenburg, owned and operated a garage/gas station for many years on the east side of Patriot, on the old 156. His brother, Jim Buddenburg was killed in action in the Korean War.

  The Cook Reunion was held on Sunday at the Patriot Town Hall. We had a good crowd, and I was glad that my mother was able to go.

  The Switzerland County YMCA Campaign Launch Party was held at Harris Park on Sunday.

  Sympathy to the family of Paul Denny Bailey. Paul’s mother, Anna Emery Bailey was a very good friend of my mother, Leah Jones.

  I traveled to French Lick on Saturday to an event I had not attended in a few years. It was good to see some old friends, and make some new ones. On the way home I stopped at one of my favorite spots, the “Little Twirl”, in Livonia, Indiana. I took my food out to a picnic table and enjoyed the beauty of the scenery. Driving through Salem, Paoli, West Baden and French Lick brought back many fond memories!

  Levi, Elijah and Easton Green of Madison, spent Friday and Saturday with Dollie Green. Reesea, Bailey and Katie spent the day on Saturday with Dollie, Mary Lynn and Andrew. Katie really enjoyed spending time with Levi and the boys.

Barrie’s Tidbits

  Walt Whitman so wisely wrote: “Keep your face always to the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.”

  Last week I was asked “what tune did the Patriot High School fight song come from? I immediately said, “On Wisconsin”, then I thought no, that is not correct, I then said, “Notre Dame Fight Song”, hey, that was not correct either. Patti soon told me it was “The song from the Washington-Lee University, a Liberal Arts College in Lexington, Virginia ! Thanks Patti! Then I got a shout out from Carolyn! It all came back, so to overcome my embarrassment I stood up in my living room and sang it! Now that was embarrassing!

  I still am planning to be home on Friday August 25th. Something is brewing where I may not be able to make it. I am trying to overcome that obstacle as I write.

  I have spoken with dear friends and relatives this past week, David and Connie Koons Fisk; Mike Jones; Pamela Fisk Hutchinson; Richie; Donna Robinson Hutton; Reta Minks Sprecher; Carolyn Martin Stroobandt; Sara Peebles Blades; and never last nor least Marilyn Kinman Devers! All doing well, I am happy to write.

  School is now back in session and we must (always must) look out for the kids, they are our future, and of course what transports them! Those yellow, well lit, with purposeful signs, the buses! Extra care please.

Mike’s Closing

  That’s all for this week! Please remember to send me news to use to (812) 290-3088, or You can send news to 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.”