Thoughts about persons, places and things


By Kay Conklin - Contributing columnist



Two years ago this July, I began writing my first articles every week for the Delaware Gazette. Some were about the Strand Theatre, the Brown Jug Restaurant and my two favorite libraries, as well as many other interesting places. One year ago this July, I limited myself to writing every two weeks, instead of every week. During this second year of writing, I wrote about barns, old and new courthouses, and an old Delaware County map, as well as other interesting things. Several people questioned the fact that when we needed to clean out our town barn, we put a “Free” sign in front of it, and gave away everything in it. One person thought we should have charged at least one dollar for each item. The only thing of value to me was my mother’s old buffet. When a young man wanted it, he said he would refinish it, and when it was looking like new again, he would bring me a picture of it. He must still be refinishing it, because I have yet to see the picture he promised. As for the old courthouse, several of our older citizens around town were pleased to be reminded of some of the persons who had worked there in the 50s, especially remembering Major Sampson and the first Judge Whitney. As for the old Delaware County map, it shows that as recent as 35 years ago, Polaris Parkway wasn’t yet on the map. It didn’t show any exit off Interstate 71. There were no shops, or restaurants, or houses, or mall in sight. Nothing but farm land in 1983 in that whole particular part of southern Delaware County.

I was asked about the mystery of the seventh grade picture of George’s brother, Jerry, that appeared out of nowhere, on display in our home. The mystery has not yet been solved, but we certainly still wonder how it got here. The article about the closing of the Buckeye Valley East school brought comments from people who did not know there had been an open house the day before the demolition of the school began. Too bad they missed getting to experience the memories of the building as only could be done by those who had spent their growing-up years there. The piece of board from the gym floor that George brought home and cleaned up, reminds him of his four years of running up and down that same floor. Just about a week after George spoke to the third grade class of that school, we were at the John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, and one of those third-graders recognized George and told her parents he had spoken to her class. That was a nice surprise, especially since she remembered his name.

The article about falling and becoming toast, leaves us laughing when talking about real toast. But, having fallen now causes me to use the hand rail when walking up and down steps.

The responses I received from the story of my cousin, Doyt Grandstaff, were passed on to his widow, Charlotte. You may remember that when he was a teenager, he was injured in a swimming accident which left him a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. But, he was able to go to college and become a teacher for learning disabled children. His passing took place about 30 years ago, but he is still remembered by all who knew him.

Another article was about my meeting Bob and Ruth King. He was the art professor from OSU (not OWU), and she was the poet who had poems published in the “Poet’s Corner” of the Gazette. When a good friend of mine read the article, she was pleased because she had known them both very well. It was very interesting when she filled me in on the earlier years of their lives.

As for the baby robins that were hatched in our upstairs bathroom window and left the nest too soon, I still miss them. However, I ran across a type of greeting card that had a drawing of three baby birds being fed gummy worms. I had to buy it! It brings back such good memories of watching their various stages of growth during their short lives.

Now, I get a chance to add something to my last article about my frustration with my computer. The fact is that I wrote it before I had the worst problem with it. I remember ending that article by saying how my computer would be “Toast” if it ever got so I couldn’t turn it on. Well, it happened! It would not let me enter my password! After several days of frustration beyond imagination, I asked our daughter for her help. She did all the necessary things they told her to do, and then she spoke to someone who promised her that it would be fixed if she got a new keyboard. So, after a fast trip to the store and back, and with a new keyboard in hand, we plugged it in, and my computer is working again! Please note, if you find yourself in any form of prolonged frustration with your computer, try a different keyboard to see if that’s your problem. It may keep your blood pressure from going too high.

Writing articles for the past two years and having them published in the Delaware Gazette, is far more than I ever imagined possible. It’s been a great way to be spending my retirement. Thanks for all your feedback. As the man who founded the Adult Court Services in Delaware County, the late Doug Missman, always said, “It’s all good!”

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By Kay Conklin

Contributing columnist

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.