On Neff Road: These are the days


Standing on the bridge, the past come roaring by. Once more I am a child sitting on the tractor pulling the plow. My dog sits on the platform next to me. Dad sings as he drives the tractor. A moment captured in time.

A house holding memories of shoe-fly pie and hot dogs roasting over the fire. A corn crib where two little girls played house every summer. The old barn where I saw the birth of sheep. A mere house back a lane, but so much more. A lane that took us home for years long after we were gone. A lane that took us to those who loved us. A place I called home.

The old pump sat outside next to the sign that read Painter Creek Church of the Brethren. A sandbox, Bible school, choir and playing church. A place where friends were made on the cradle roll to the days when they moved on with their lives. A family created by the mere walking into that church each Sunday. A family that would help create the you you would become.

The lot is empty. The place where my family members all attended school. The big, brick building where early on the kitchen cooks became those who gave us newcomers a sense of security. Halls that echoed the past where high school kids played basketball and young teens danced at sock hops. An old school where we played beneath the pictures of past classes. Where we became archers and learned to raised and lowered the flag. A place where our neighbors were our teachers, cooks and custodians. A place where we grew in all ways.

We drove down a street much changed from the past yet echoes remained of the past. Ballet, piano lessons, dresses at the Palace, soda in the drug store. Days of driving the loop downtown to the Big Boy and back again. Dances in the park and at the Armory. Days in the public swimming pool and walking the midway at the fair. The place where we shopped and played. A place we knew as “going to town.”

Grand Lake, Wayne Lakes, Crystal Ballroom, rollerskating. Poultry Days and Pumpkin Show. Annie Oakley, Lowell Thomas. Lick Skillet, Rip Town, Red River, little towns gone from the map. Little towns with funny names. History in all directions. Our history.

These are just a few of my days gone by. Then again, they belong to you, too. This is a history of the past and the present. A gathering of days that we recall, we live and we take to us into the future. This is the place and these are the day.

By Pamela Loxley Drake

On Neff Road

Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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