Ono County where murder and ghosts are a way of life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Roaring on Dirt

My ears are still pounding with the roar of stock cars streaming around in circles. Dirt track racing at its brutal best when all the local favorites hit the track on a Saturday night.
   The clanking and banging of the presses when we put the paper to bed is a quiet peaceful interlude compared to when 33 cars battle it out on a dirt track for a case of oil.
   I let Jim Young talk me into accompanying him to a racing event.
   The cars run without mufflers to reduce their weight and from the yelling from the slat board stands the crowds love watching their favorite crashing and bumping their way to the front of the pack.
   It was cold and the wind off the creek cut right through your clothing. Jim warned me to bring a heavy blanket that it would be a 'bit nippy.' He understated the case, it was down right freezing. My toes have yet to unthaw. That wind deposited a layer of the track on me, before the main event started through what they call hot laps where the driver races against the clock for his starting position
   In the racing world I suspect Jim and his crew would be considered professionals. But local dirt track racing is for the backyard mechanic who builds his own car and dreams of the big time. It has nothing to do with the sport of kings; there is no gentlemanly consideration for rules of conduct. The only goal is to win at all costs. The drivers I saw learned their skills on the backroads of Ono County or other places where they raced to out run the law or beat their fellow friends down the few straight stretches in the county.
   Jim Young doesn't drive any more, due to an accident that took part of his eyesight. Instead he with his faithful crew build engines and design cars meant to obtain even greater speeds as they barrel around the quarter of a mile track. The track is an oval constructed of local clay with high banks to allow for racing speed turns, which the drivers take by sliding around the curve oblivious to life and limb.
   Racing is Jim's life and I for one am glad to see him get back into the thick of things. I'll be the first to admit I don't understand those who travel like gypsies from track to track, risking their lives each Saturday night for very little reward. I was miserable cold, ate my life-time allotment of a pound of dirt over the mustard of a hot dog, but I got caught up in the pace and found myself yelling for everyone to win.

The image is from Goggle. The car was owned by T.K. King of Corbin, KY and driven on local tracks by his son. The track at Corbin is still operating, but has been paved.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tom Clement"s Views

Hello and thank you for visiting the Ono Chronicle. I am the editor, owner, publisher, and general dog's body for the paper. My family's paper has been published for over a century and is delivered to each subscriber's home on Wednesday afternoon. Everyone has a chance to read the paper before they attend pray meeting. It gives them something to pray about if nothing comes to mind.
Nash Black is the world's worst eavesdropper. He has been busy putting in book form tales that Bob Ford overheard at the Kricket, our local cafĂ©. His new collection is Games of Death.
Those ghost stories happened, we know they did. Who are we is not the editorial "we" used in a newspaper, but the citizens of Ono County who gather at the Kricket to enjoy Robert Wilson's exceptional meals.
I have suggested printing a story in this paper, but for now Nash Black wants to wait. Answer with a note in the comments if you'd enjoy a sneak preview.
Nash Black scribbles about Ono County murders and ghosts when he is not advising authors about what he has learned of publishing and taxation. He asked me to do this space and I agreed, but I will do it my own way.
When I was serving my apprenticeship under my father I learned if you want to do something, do not request permission--do it and let others talk about it.
Disclaimer: This is my paper and all views are my own. I reserve the right to disagree with you, but I will try never to misquote you.
Tom Clement, Ono Chronicle.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ozzie Ovendecker Talks about Gardens.

Things happen sure as the moon and the sun revolved around the earth.
Nurse a plant through the seasons until it flourishes in all its magnificence. Someone drops by to admire your work. They whisk out their trowel and commence to dig.
"I must have a piece. Just a little start." Then you're back where you started with a scraggly plant.

If it digs easy it's a plant. If roots go deep into the subsoil it's a weed.
It rains or snows on the day you're free to work your garden.
Rocks were created to test the perseverance of tillers of the soil.
Roots support your neighbor's trees and break up your carefully laid brick patio.
If there is a crack in your walk a maple or yellow popular seed will find it.
Transplant seedlings from the nursery and watch the chickweed grown next spring.
"Mistletoe and Ivy will be the death of me." said the great oak tree.

The editor wishes to thank Ozzie for his thoughts. Let us know how your garden grows.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Golf Course Murder Scene

The body of William Leighton Sr., vice-president of Clydesville National Bank and a life-long resident of Ono County, was discovered early this morning on the golf course at the Country Club.
Gilbert Harrington, Ono County attorney, and Cabel Beckworth, president of the bank, were playing the fifth hole when they discovered Bill Leighton's battered body propped against the flag.
All evidence points to Bill having been killed somewhere else and transported to the golf course.
Sheriff Dan Sommers was summoned to the scene, where he conducted a through investigation of the body and surrounding area. A blood-stained golf club was lying near the corpse.
Bill's car was located on a side street by the bank with his golf clubs still in the trunk. The authorities are not releasing any further information until an autopsy is completed by the state medical examiner.
Sheriff Sommers has requested that anyone who may have information pertaining to this horrible crime please contact his office immediately.
Jobi Leighton, Bill's widow, is under the care of Dr. Ephram Flanders, and their son William Jr. is being cared for by friends.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wren Hotel Burns

December 12, 1968.
The Wren Hotel was destroyed by fire on December 10, 1968. The flames could be seen for miles as county residents rushed to the scene to help extinguish the blazing inferno.
Sheriff Dan Sommers aided by local business men Phillip Andrews and Harry Bidwell risked their lives in the smoke-filled hallways to insure that all residents made their way to safety.
Rupert Tosh was assisted on the pumper truck by Elroy Harris and Lon Chambers. They ran hoses to the spring to provide a constant source of water to fight the raging flames. The fire was fueled by flammable cleaning supplies and cooking oils stored in the kitchen area of the hotel.
The Young brothers labored through the night spraying water on the bank and adjoining structures from the shooting flames.Volunteers ferried furnishings from the lobby and dining room to the park and working diligently to salvage as much as possible from the disaster.
Coffee and sandwiches for the firefighters was provided by Robert Wilson who recently purchased the late Cal Osborne's diner. He opened the half-restored building to the public for a community breakfast. His generosity was appreciated by the exhausted citizens.
The ruins were still smoldering at press time and the occasional explosion of aerosol cans of cleaning fluids sounding like gunfire could be heard. The State Fire Marshall said the site was too hot to begin their detailed work of establishing the cause of the blaze. He hazarded a guess, for this reporter, that the fire may have started near the rear of structure. He stressed that it will take several weeks for his staff to study the remains of the hotel.
The Wren was constructed in the late 19th century through the joint efforts of James S. Curtis and Burel Laurance to provide accommodations for the business men who came to Clydesville when timber and coal production was our major economic resource. The venerable structure had graced the square of Clydesville for over 90 years.
The Wren also provided excursion buggies to visitors who came to drink the waters of Chalybeate Springs and Hamby's Well to the caves along the river before they were flooded by the lake.