Gordon School 1947


Back row left to right: (not identified), Larry Bechtol, Larry Miller, Robert Flory, Don Snyder,  Nancy Hoff (Hofacker), Jeanette Burdge, Carolyn Burris (Petering), Carol Shepard (Ritz), Miss Beatrice Brown- teacher.
Middle row left to right: Donnie Perrin, Sharon Burris (Hittle), Roney Dean Miller, Glen Eley, Allen Rogers, (not identified), Doug Snyder, (not identified), Bonnie Flory (Brown),
Front row left to right: Betsy Clay (Hess), Karen Moyer (Riser), (not identified), Judy Burris (Burns), Carl Eley, John Weisenbarger, Mary Davidson (Foland), Phyllis Eley (Allen), Eugene Flory.

This was the last year that Gordon School was in operation. The coal shed was empty. No girls were running down the sidewalk to the girl’s toilet and no boys were peeing in the trough in the boy’s toilet on the opposite side of the school.

The old oak tree, were generations of kids sat in the shade and ate lunches as simple as little green onions laid like sardines on greasy bread their mothers had used to mop out the skillet after a breakfast of fresh side meat, and eggs straight out of the chicken house.Nobody complained; it was all good eating.

What little coal there was left in the shed, along with a stack of corn cobs and pieces of wood used for kindling was still there, but there was no longer any need to soak a couple of corn cobs in coal oil again. Nobody would ever be starting fires in the old furnace-like stove. School was out for good.

Kids yelled like Indians and ran home to show their report card to smiling parents. They were going to one of the consolidated schools next year and they could choose to go to one of three local schools: Franklin Monroe, Verona or Arcanum. After high school, who knew what their future would be like.

Our bus took us to Arcanum and as we passed the now-empty Gordon School only memories played Fox and Goose.  Initials carved in the coal shed: John loves Mary R., will love her as long as the coal shed remains.

We were growing up fast and favorite radio hosts like Edward R. Murrow’s broadcast, “This is London Calling,” and Lowell Thomas, from Darke County were no longer where most people tuned radios. Ruth Lyons 50/50 Club was suddenly a must watch on that box with a screen where you could see her selling the products and services she was famous for.

The nation was finished with World War II and Victory was good. General Motors was making new cars and soldiers who fought on Iwo Jima had jobs and were buying new cars and homes and keeping midwives and hospitals busy birthing babies.

I don’t think any of the kids in the 1947 photograph went off to war because the “War” was over, over there and people didn’t even know a place like Korea existed in 1947.



1934-1935 School Year
Back Row Left to Right: Dovie Shahan, June Sensenbaugh, Naomi Weisenbarger, Marcella Burris, Marvin Bader, Elmer Rhodehamel, Clarence Wilker, Miss Beartice Brown – teacher
Middle Row Left to Right: Bobby Harleman, Gale Harleman, Delores (“Dee”) Flory, Charlotte Weisenbarger, Margaret Cross, Bill Gunder, Dorothy Clark, Roger Shepard, Treva Evans, Eldon Evans, Mildred Wickler (not identified), (not identified), Betty Harleman,
Front Row Left to Right: Shirley Gunder, (not identified), Thurman Burris, Doyle Fisher,  Wesley Clark, (Not identified) Donald Fisher.
Photo courtesy of Marcella Burris Wright

Polyphemus Moth


Breast Feeding

Breast Feeding is Illegal
Exposing breasts to nurse infants is prohibited in many places around the world. I just read about some city in Ohio trying to pass legislation to allow mothers to nurse babies from their breasts in public. When I was young I never saw a baby sucking from a nipple on a bottle. It was unheard of. All babies sucked the milk from their mother’s breasts and did it in public, in church, in stores, on public transportation—anywhere. It was “natural” and the only way to feed babies. Suddenly, breasts became a sexual symbol and could not be shown or seen. Nursing babies became a crime.*

The first “bottle” I ever saw was a Pepsi Cola bottle fitted with a rubber nipple being sucked on by my nephew, Gordon Lee (killed in Vietnam). It was something “young” mothers began using during World War II. The mothers who used them were objects of ridicule, including my half-sister.

NB: The bottle was with a mixture of canned (evaporated) milk and dextrose or glucose. Glass bottles became popular after the war.
© 2005 – Abraham Lincoln. All rights reserved

Medicine shows


The original Methodist Church in Gordon, became the town hall and is depicted in this photograph.

The town hall was the scene of many shows put on by medicine show groups. They lived in trailers parked on East Street in Gordon where they brewed copper kettles filled with steaming brown medicine cooling down enough to fill patent medicine bottles with corks.

All of the kids were excited because the shows were similar to Vaudeville. Comedians made us laugh and singers made us cry. We loved this special time during the war years. It was a couple of hours of joy in what was often depressing times.

In due time some elder in the group made a pitch about their so-called “medicine.” I remember people purchased these small bottles filled with a brownish liquid that I saw brewing earlier in the day. The pitchman said the medicine, “cured” just about everything and people believed him and bought cork-filled bottles every time the show stopped for intermission and to sell popcorn.

The old building rocked with laughs as the men and women did their best acts in front of a group of townspeople who appreciated their performances.

Photo on 8-23-16 at 7.38 AM

I do this every morning. It contains Levalbuterol Inhalation Solution that helps open breathing passages so I can get my breath and the oxygen I need.