Archive for September, 2011

Uncle Fred’s Bucket

September 26, 2011

Uncle Fred's BucketNorth Ridgeville, Ohio© karen e. titus | all rights reserved© karen e. titus | all rights reserved

North Ridgeville, Ohio

Uncle Fred was Jan’s uncle, Karen’s great uncle. He was a successful, rich farmer – and incredibly cheap. It visibly pained him to lose out on any opportunity to make or save money. True, he’d give produce from his farm stand to family members, but only with great reluctance, and after several false starts. He’d pick up a pepper, say, and set it back down, and mumble about what Kroger (“the Kroger’s”) was charging for peppers, and gaze across his fields, repeating this circuit several times before inviting us to take the pepper.

He burnished his reputation in family lore when he made a show of giving Karen a free pumpkin – which, on closer inspection later, turned out to be rotten. He’s probably tossing in his grave right now, wishing he could have charged us a photo fee for shooting his bucket.


Little Red School House

September 13, 2011

Little Red School HouseBrothers, Oregon© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Brothers School
Brothers, Oregon

Recent statistics put the enrollment at this K-8 school at six students, which represents about one-sixth of the town’s population.

Here, U.S. 20 is known as the Central Oregon Highway. Brothers occupies the otherwise empty space between Burns (to the east) and Bend (to the west). The origin of the town’s name is somewhat cloudy. Some say it comes from several families of brothers who settled in the area, and others say it was inspired by three local hills backed by the nearby Three Sisters Mountains.

And yes, farther west on the highway there’s a Sisters, Oregon, named after those same mountains. Among these two “siblings,” Sisters appears to be faring better than Brothers – its four public schools serve some 1,300 students.

Grapes for Sale

September 2, 2011

Grape JamboreeGeneva, Ohio© jan albers | all rights reserved
© jan albers | all rights reserved

Geneva, Ohio

Some 1,500 acres of grapes are grown in the Geneva area. Conditions are ideal in the narrow stretch from the Lake Erie shore to about 10 miles inland, since the lake protects vines from damaging frosts on either end of the growing season.

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