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August 15, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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August 15, 2018 TAKING A llKENS TO You by Dale likens Abolitionist John Brown was in my neighborhood any years ago I grew up on a lonely, tree lined, dusty road in northeast Ohio. Very few houses lined this road we once knew as Anglin’ Road. Because my life on Anglin’ Road became an exciting time in my life as a child, my first novel was subsequently titled “Our Mansion on Anglin’ Road.” Our family of eight children and Mom and Dad lived in a run-down, dilapidated old farmhouse that had no electricity, no running water and no inside bathroom facilities. At the time I wrote my first novel about our life on Anglin’ Road I knew very little about this road. I did not understand the significance of the history of this road. As a young boy growing up in Hartford, I had often heard about a man named John Brown. I remember some- times talking about him as we gathered around our supper table late in the winter eve- nings under the dull, flickering Egg/e [J ,éerkfi light of our kerosene lamp. I certainly remember learning a few things about John Brown throughout my 12 years of formal public schooling. I recall reading about his deter- mination to free the American slaves at any cost. Many historians believe very strongly that it was John Brown’s valiant desire to free these slaves that ultimately led to the greatest war America had ever faced, our Civil War. But one day a very dear friend, who still resides in Hart- ford, Ohio called my wife and me and said, “I believe I have a newspaper article I have saved from 1960 that you may be very interested in.” “A newspaper article?” I asked in surprise. “I guess it must be something newsworthy or you wouldn’t have called.” “I’m sure you will enjoy the article. I understand you are back in town visiting relatives; so I thought I’d give you a call.” Three weeks ago, my wife and I visited Norma Fabick, a longtime friend of ours who now slowly pulled that very old, crumpled newspaper from her dining room dresser. The article she referred to now lay somewhat discolored from the many years of storage in her dresser. “The Sharon Herald” the paper read at the top of the page, “Sharon, Pennsylvania, May 27, 1960.” Sharon is, of course, a town much larger than our small town of Hartford, Ohio. Many of the business buildings still line the Main Street I often traveled as a young man. Four movie theaters once sat on that street. All are gone today. But todayI stared down at that old, yellowed, wrinkled newspaper that read “Famous John Brown Once ‘Fleeced’ Hartford!” “John Brown!” I said excitedly to my wife. “John Brown! The famous abolitionist once lived in Hartford?” As I quickly scanned the full-page article I soon discovered that John Brown often visited a man named Seth Thompson who lived on Anglin’ Road. “Hon!” I nearly shouted to my wife. “John Brown stayed with Seth Thompson on the very road I once lived on! I remember the house he lived in! It was just up the road from our house! That house had to be well over a hundred years old when my brothers and sisters and I once walked the Anglin’ Road! I wrote about Seth Thompson in my first book. Do you recall about the young boy who walked home from school one day with a large bear following him all the way to his house? When he entered his house it was getting dark and two men who were following him. home ended up shooting the bear immediately after Seth Thompson walked into his house?” “Of course I remember!” Karen said. “The ancestors of Seth Thompson still lived in that old house! Of course it’s no longer there today, but I remem- ber that house well!” “Oh, my gosh!” Karen whispered. “I remember that house as well!” Of course my memory may be a little fuzzy through— out the years and perhaps a little distorted at times, but no one can deny the resolve John Brown possessed in his pursuit to free the American blacks from such an atrocious act as slavery. I remember that he often carried a Bible with him and preached against slavery with fire in his eyes. I could picture him waving that Bible high above his head and shouting, “Repent! For the Lord will surely judge you!” . Many well-known politicians and free blacks such as the famous Frederick Douglass, who had once been a slave himself, had supported John Brown quietly and often attended his meetings as he traveled back and forth to Kansas where slavery was a hot issue. I guess the picture of John Brown, his sons and many of his raiders taking control of Harpers Ferry, a United States armory in Virginia, still burns strongly in my mind. I still can’t grasp how easy the entire venture seemed to be. A bloody battle broke out and two of his sons and a I few of his raiders were killed in the volley of gunfire that followed. Though John Brown was captured, he never wavered from his strong anti-slavery beliefs, and he proudly proclaimed that belief as they placed the rope around his neck that ultimately hanged him on Dec. 2, 1859 in Charles Town, Va.* for treason. Sixteen months before the outbreak of the Civil War John Brown was quoted as saying, “The crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood!” From these facts, I believed I knew and understood most of John Brown’s ambitions. I knew he hated slavery and I knew he believed in God Almighty. Now I pos-‘ sessed, in books, an alarming story of the real John Brown. *Charles Town, Va. was oncepart of the state of W. Va. (To be continued next week.) God bless! Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe County. v WWW To the Editor: so, even if you or I do not agree with t appears that Shane Mobley their choice. Mobley bragged that he thinks that the First was going to spend up to Amendment of the $150,000 of his own money Constitution of these United States does not ap- ply to elected officials and that it is improper for them to endorse a candidate. (Reporter, Letters to the Editor, Aug. 8) Excuse me? Where in the world did that jewel of wisdom come from? Elected officials are not prohibited from exercising free speech and have every right to do It for Mr. Mobley: You are to never, ever run for public office again to win the seat in District 141. Let the record show that the voters saw right through that weird decla- ration, many told me that they immediately pegged him as a crackpot that thought he could just “buy” the office. with endorsements, Ie I have a piece of advice Page 5A because your campaign was a joke, your attempt to buy the office made you the laughingstock of the campa- gin, you trashed the roadside with your illegal signs, and you failed to clean up your mess after you came in dead last. Your offer to pay the qualifying fees of anyone that agrees to run against John Ambrose, George Emami, or Greg Tapley is just another boast with nothing but hot air to back it up. Sour grapes, if you ask me. John Ricketson South Monroe County ’We're trying to get Trump to build a wall between Bibb and Monroe.’ Commissioner John Ambrose HOMES Continued from Front Road and 32 lots of about one acre each on interior roads. Buice said the roads and water lines were put in at the site, but the subdivision was never completed. Since the subdivision’s initial approval, Monroe County changed its zon- ing ordinance to require three—acre minimum tracts in agriculture. About a dozen nearby , homeowners opposed Wesley’s request. Long- time Weldon Road ’ residents Eddie and Leila Stone said they were con- cerned about the small lot size, additional traflic, a negative effect upon their quality of life, ad— ditional strain on sheriff’s deputies/firefighters/EMS and that the proposed project doesn’t represent the highest and best use of the land. a “Weldon Road is just a small, quiet road,” Eddie Stone said. “We’re not set up to have a subdivision of this size.” Several other Weldon Road residents also spoke in opposition on Aug. 7. Brett Lewis said three existing homes Wesley has already built at the site seem “microsize” compared to nearby homes and said Weldon Road already has crime issues, labeling a portion of the south end of the road “meth city”. Brett Lewis’ wife, Sarah Lewis, said she too is concerned about crime in the area, noting the emergency response was slow when she called deputies previ- ously about a suspicious man carrying a hatchet alongside the road. Ivon Neal said the subdivi- sion could turn a rural area into an urban one while Ivoney Gainey said she’s concerned there would only be one access road into the subdivi- sion, which could make it difficult for emergency vehicles to navigate. Forsyth real estate agent Kerri Swearingen was the lone supporter for Wesley’s proposal, saying there is a void in the Monroe County market for homes valued at between $150,000- $175,000. Swearingen said large industries wanting to re-locate to Monroe County consis- tently ask about housing options for their employ- ees. Swearingen said, “The jobs that we just got down on Rumble Road, those salaries where they’re gonna start, I’m not talking about man— agement, but just your average workers, this is gonna hit the price point for what they will need to be looking for.” When Wesley told com- missioners that some current Henry County residents were already planning to buy homes at the proposed site if the re-zoning passed, District 3 commissioner John Ambrose said he expects Macon—Bibb County resi- dents will want to move there too. Ambrose deadpanned: “We’re trying to get Trump to build a wall be— tween Bibb and Monroe.” District 4 commissioner George Emami in whose district the proposed subdivision would be built, said opponents should have voiced their displeasure with the proposal back in 2005 and said it was only due to the agricultural zoning ordinance revision a year later that commissioners had to give the subdivi- sion another vote of approval. He said he con- siders it part of a healthy government to allow for affordable housing op- tions for county residents and said the homes that . Wesley intends to build are not cheap homes. Emami also noted that current Weldon Road residents who oppose the subdivision could end up having additional inter- net options as a result of the subdivision being completed. District 1 commissioner Larry Evans agreed with Emami, saying persons earning less than $30,000 a year are entitled to have nice home options too. He added that it’s com- missioners’ responsibilc ity to look out for the welfare of all citizens. “That’s what makes Monroe County so nice,” Evans said. “We are like one family here.” District 2 commission~ er Eddie Rowland then weighed in, saying he too supports the re—zoning. Rowland pointed out that he lives on Rumble Road in close proximity to the Five Below distri- bution center being built but said it’s in Monroe County’s best interest the industry to locate there. He said Monroe County’s industrial and economic successes are only going to lead to more persons wanting to be a part of it. “When you have something that is popu- lar, more people want to come here, they want to live here, they want to work here,” Rowland said. “And it’s incumbent on us as a commission to try to make that happen, to try to make that dream come true.” After just under an hour of discussion, com- missioners approved the re-zoning request by a 5—0 vote. The Monroe County Planning 8r Zoning Board previously denied by a 2~1 vote Wesley’s request on July 30, but commissioners had the final say on Aug. 7. After about 35 minutes of dis- cussion, ,P 8: Z member Chuck Benson motioned to deny, which was sec— onded by chairwoman Connie Gantt. Gantt then called for a vote, and Jim Rollins cast the lone dissenting vote. P 81 Z Board members Michael Brewster and Red Ezelle were absent from the July 30 meeting. SERVING You... FORSYTH CITY COUNCIL Eric Wilson Mayor 478461—0889 Chis Hewett John Howard Post 1 Post 2 706819-2890 478-960-1017 Melvm Lawrence Greg Goolsby Post 3 Post 4 478-993-7841 404-4024 134 Julius Stroud Post 5 Post 6 706—819-0797 478-9946203 Austin (not long in) City Limits Monroe County's congressman Austin Scott (R-Ashburn) held his last Town Hall with his constituents in Forsyth'lat right) on Aug. 20, 2014. Scott did attend a chamber of commerce event this spring but did not take questions from constituents and therefore cannot be considered a town hall meeting. It you want an’lopportunity to let Scott know what you want him to dolin'Congress, call his Washington office at (202) 225-6531 and let him know. Kemp dawdles "on county line When Brian emp became secretary of state on Jan. 8, 2010, Terry Scarborough's survey at the Monroe-Bibb County line was on his desk. The law says it’s his iob to do something with it. He announced on Aug. 23, 2011 that he was reiecting the Scarborough survey. Unfortunately, the luv gives him no such option. So on March 10, 2014, the Supreme Court ordered him to set the line. That was tour years ago. The Reporter is devoting this space each week to counting the number of days Kemp has been on the lob, and yet not done his iob. It you want Kemp to do the Job which he's sought three times before he gets a promotion to governor, call his office at (404) 656-2817 and let them know.