Sunday, August 30, 2009


One of the Ten Commandments is " You shall not steal". What I will share with you I believe is physical, mental and spiritual. One Saturday night my brother LaRoy and I were in Delphos with some friends at the park. Delphos had a park in the middle of the town square. When the weather was good it was a place where the young people hung out. It had a band stand and a water fountain and play ground equipment, all the things that goes with a park. Most nights were peaceable but once in a while some one would think they were a bad ass but found out they weren't so bad after all. This night was about the same time of the year as now, watermelon time. Some one was talking about stealing watermelons so that led into the planning of how we could "swipe" (not as bad a word as steal) some melons. There was a farmer east of town that always had a big patch of melons. People from all around would come and buy his melons. When the melons were ready he kept a watchful eye on the patch. He would even sleep out in the patch. So five of us decided to go and see if we could get some of his melons. We parked our car about 3/4 mile away from the back side of his patch. Only one problem, there is a creek we had to cross. It was dark, no bright moon, and we couldn't use a flashlight because he would see us so it took some time to get there. We had decided to each get a big melon and meet back at the car. We hadn't been there five minutes when a shot gun went off and he said 'GET OUT OF MY MELONS'!! So we grabbed as big a melon as we could and took off for the car. As we were crossing the creek someone fell in and got wet. I didn't think I would ever make it back to the car with that big melon. We finally got back to the car and four of us had big melons. My brother had a small melon and we all gave him a bad time about it. Someone said 'let's open one and eat it'. We cut one of the big ones and it was green so we cut another one. Finally we had cut all the big ones and they were all green. Then we cut my brother's little one and it was perfect so we had watermelon and stopped giving him a bad time.

When I was county commissioner we had an elderly man come to our office. He said 'I owe you some money' so we asked him what for? He started telling us "Back in 1936 the county had some steel posts by my place to barricade the road and I needed some to fix my fence so I took three of them. Then in 1937 you were building a bridge by my place and there were some planks so I took some to fix my feed bunk". This was in 1995, 69 years later. He was in his ninety's. We tried to tell him that was long ago but he said 'no I need to pay for them'. So we said $5.00 and he paid us and was set free from what had happened years ago.
Thirteen years later the Holy Spirit brought to my mind that I needed to confess to something that happened 46 years ago. It was when I was driving a truck hauling cattle for Morton truck line. We were hauling cattle to St. Joe, Missouri. There were two of us that night and on the way back we stopped at a small road side park to rest. There was a new picnic table in the park. I said 'I could use that table'. My trailer had the tallest gate so we put it in my trailer.

In 2008 the Holy Spirit said 'you have to make that right'. I said to my self 'That was before I was a Christan. It is all under the blood of Christ now so that must be the devil telling me that'. I tried to make all kinds of excuses not to confess my sin. I would think 'I'm a Christan now, I have a church that meets in my home, I had a jail ministry for 35 years and was a county commissioner for 24 years'. I tried every thing to tell my self not to do it. The Holy Spirit kept reminding me 'you tell them'. Finally I couldn't make any more excuses. So I called the state and told the person what I was calling about. He said you will have to speak with this other person. I told him my story and he said 'that is too long ago, just forget it'.

The moral to these stories is " YOU SHALL NOT STEAL" and you won't have to have something on your conscience for 69 or 46 years.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hard Times

In the early forties dad had a stomach ulcer, one of the worst kind. It got so bad he had to have an operation The only doctor around here that would take the case was a doctor in Halstead. He had a clinic that worked with the hospital. It was the Dr. Hertzler Clinic. It was well known in the mid-west as being the best place to go if you had a serious problem. It was set up so some member of your family could stay close to the hospital because there were patients there from all over the country.

Dad had 2/3 of his stomach removed so he had to spend a lot of time in recovery. This was the most severe one that the doctor had done at that time. I don't remember how long he had to stay at the hosital before coming home. But the operation and hospital and after care cost a lot of money at that time and we had no insurance so that put us in debt big time. So, no way to pay the bill. They set it up on a monthly payment plan.

After dad got on his feet mom got a job in town as a cook in a restaurant. My sister was a freshman in high school so mom got a room in town because we only had one vehicle. Back then there were no school buses, you had to get there on your own. So my sister stayed with mom in town and worked at the restaurant on weekends.

That left us two boys and dad on the farm. Things at home changed. Two boys and a dad wasn't like having mom home. The first big change was food. We should have turned into a potato! Every meal we had fried potatoes that were about half done, a lot of pork and beans, pancakes and shredded wheat for breakfast, and peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches for our school lunch boxes. When we would go visit our friends, the Casey boys, their mom knew that the meals were kind of slim down home so she always offered and expected us to eat with them. My brother and I made it a point to visit them often.

We always looked forward to Saturday night because we got to go to town and mom would have us help peel a 100# of potatoes (they served real potatoes in those days). We would take some of them and make french fries in their machine that cut them. When we got done with that, mom would fix us a hamburger and french fries. Sometimes we would get a piece of pie or a chocolate malt. During the winter we would get chili if they had any left. One thing that stuck in my mind, there would be a knock on the back door of the restaurant, mom would go open the door and there would be some black people traveling through town who would ask if they could buy some food. Mom always fixed them what they wanted.

Sometimes we didn't have a lot to eat and our clothes weren't always real clean to go to school, but that is how we helped pay off the medical bills. Our local doctor told us if we would take care of some of his horses he would deduct it off of his bill. That way we didn't have to put out any cash to him. We boarded his horses for many years.

That is how we got through some hard times.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Saturday, Aug. 15th, we gathered at the farm to celebrate life together. Life is something that takes on a whole new meaning when you share it with others. You could sense that something bigger than all of us was going on that day. When family comes together they remember the past, enjoy the present and look to the future. Getting to meet new additions and renew old relationdships are some of the benefits of making it a point to be together.

The weather cooperated beautifullly, the food, shared by all, was outstanding, and the general atmosphere was great. The trampoline got a good workout and in the afternoon a blue-rock shoot was enjoyed by the participants and the ones who watched. Some went over to the Indian cave and were surprised to find that a turkey buzzard had made a nest in it and was sitting on it. So not much exploring was done at the cave.

There were 65 of us gathered from various parts of the U.S. We were sorry that some could not make it but they were remembered and were here in spirit.

The family crest, shown above, is from the registry in 1560. You can see in the coat of arms a web foot which appears in the initial drawing. There is a swan with a silver neck and a red beak. According to our information, this coat of arms showed up in the Catholic church treasury in Glarus, Switzerland in 1799. The family name means 'little trousers' or 'little britches', referring to the lederhosen (leather pants) worn by young boys.