Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last of Darke County + Family Reunion

This monument wall is located near downtown Greenville and consists of old headstones, apparently the result of moving a cemetary or something of that sort. There are several references to the war of 1812 in that almost all of the markers with Vet stars (at bottom of wall) denote that these folks fought in that war. There are also some refences to the Civil War as well.

I have yet to hear the story about that wooden stockade in the background but look forward to learning more about that and the entire Darke and surrounding counnties area when I am done traveling.

This is a marker near the bandshell in Greenville Park--very interesting.

One of the neater small towns in Darke county is Ansonia located about 7 miles from Versailles. There is a lot of interaction between the 2 towns--many family and business ties.
I recently heard a good story about how Ansonia was named from a mostly reliable source. It seems that whoever originally founded the town or had enough juice to give the town a name wanted to call it Dalles, which if it were treated like several other local would have been pronounced Day-less, Duh-less, or Doll-eese, or Day-all-ass or something like that which would then have evolved to something like Springfield. It would be no big deal considering how Ver-Sales (or Ver-Zales if you are from north of North Star), Roo-she, or House-ton (the shelby county town of Houston)are pronounced.

As I write this I can see the sports headlines when Dallas (Ansonia) played Houston . It would be similar to when the local towns of Egypt and Palastine had town baseball teams and regularly played each other.

Anyway the town fathers of the about to be named Dallas ordered a big clock which was made in and sent from the town of Ansonia Connecticut. As they say --the rest is history. If this story is true then one has to wonder what the deal would have been if they had ordered a clock from some place in Russia (the country) like Vladistock, or Turkey (the country) like Istambul, or Big Bone Lick- Kentucky, or Fraziers Botton -West Virginia, Whorehouse Meadows -Oregon, Belfry -Idaho (home of the Bats), Polka -West Virginia (home of the Dots), Truth or Consequences -New Mexico, Shitbritches Creek -California, or Toad Suck -Arkansas (I have actually been there) or some other place besides Ansonia-Connecticut.

One of the reasons I stayed in the area so long was the Reitz family reunion in St. Marys this past Saturday. This was my mother's maiden name and she was the youngest of 11 kids (all the others were boys) who lived just west of Celina in Trinity Indiana. Grampa Reitz died of blood poisoning in his 40s leaving Grandma and the kids to scramble to make it. These were some hard working people in some hard times.

This is a pic of a portion of the Reitz bunch. As you can see all were blessed with good looks, athletic bodies, and charm. That is me about 20 or so from the right.

These were old school hard core Germans which made it interesting when my mom married my dad who was all French (from Frenchtown). This combination left my siblings and I with a textbook case of left brain-right brain syndrome which means we regularly and unpredictably flip flop back and forth between the 2. This makes for an interesting dynamic that our spouses have to deal with when trying to understand and/or communicate with us.

I finally got the bike on the road again yesterday late morning after a nice layover in Darke County. I am tan , rested and ready to complete this journey. Although I had ridden over 200 miles while at home yesterday was the first time I had peddled with a full load and I am happy to report that my legs feel as strong as they ever have. I was blowing up any hills that got in my way.
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