Letters to the Editor
Editor’s note: The following was written by Robert Hills, Jr., reminiscing about the historic “Snow Bowl” football of 1950 he experienced with his late sister, Jayne. Their parents were Helen and Robert Hills Sr. of Carrollton. Mr. Hills Sr. was the longtime president of The Cummings Bank Company of Carrollton. Jayne Hills was a music teacher and is now deceased. Robert Hills Jr. was a corporate secretary of the Delaware Gas Company and later community relations manager with Columbia Gas of Ohio. He is retired and lives in Columbus.
I was driving:
On Friday, Nov. 24, 1950, my sister and I left together from Kent and Hartville, OH, respectively and drove to our family in Carrollton for the weekend with the intention of leaving the following day for the football game between Ohio State and Michigan at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
It was snowing very hard and was close to a 5-degree temperature. High Street was very slushy from having been treated with cinders the night before. I was driving. It was very slippery and the automobile would slide back and forth and required careful driving. We ventured uphill on W. Main St. and proceeded on to State Route 39 with the intention of traveling west to Dellroy and Sherrodsville and on to New Philadelphia, through Coshocton, on to Newark and then to Columbus. The driving was slow and very demanding. It was snowing furiously. I tried not to show my concern. There was eight inches of snow on the ground.
We were at least an hour getting to Dellroy; about eight miles. We decided to venture on since Sherrodsville was “over the hill” and down hill into New Philadelphia. Four miles southwest of Dellroy (and four miles east of Sherrodsville) traveling southwest in just one set of tracks, we met a “box” truck that absolutely would not share the right of way. The van proceeded toward us taking up the only available tracks. He was traveling downhill while we were traveling uphill, trying to get up enough speed to get “over the hill.” We had nowhere else to go but off the road, sliding somewhat to the right on the berm. We were in such a position that it was impossible to get back in the tracks and neither coaxing or rocking allowed us to proceed further. It was now close to 10 o’clock and there was nearly 10 inches of snow on the ground.
We opted to venture a quarter mile southwest to a farmhouse. We plighted our dilemma to the owner and the farmer cordially offered to drive his farm tractor down and pull us back in the tracks. By this time, there was close to 12 inches of snow on the ground.
Our friend did a great job of hooking onto the Pontiac and maneuvering us back in the tracks. But by that time, we agreed we should be facing east and try to drive back home to Carrollton. The farmer would not even accept a stipend. We were disappointed that we were not going to see the ballgame, but elated to be going back home. There was now about 14 inches of snow on the ground.
We started up, and if you think getting where we were was bad, going back was just as bad if not worse. We were lucky that the single set of tracks were not occupied by any other venturing tourists or commercial vehicles. Nonetheless, driving was difficult. We made it through Dellroy (the four miles) by about noontime. None of the roadways had been cleared so we were still driving on just one set of tracks that were so deep the belly of the car was our snow plow. We were up to 16 inches of snow on the ground!
Dellroy to Carrollton was tedious and I was still driving. It took about another three hours to drive that stretch of eight miles but we didn’t meet any more traffic coming toward us. The whole trip - 13 miles over and 13 miles back – had taken us eight hours and a lot of panic-stricken moments, but we made it back at 3 p.m. safely in time to see part of the “white-out” game on our new television. There was now about 20 inches of snow on the ground.
The following morning we put a steel tape measure down in the snow near the garage. It registered 52 inches. This is still about the largest snowfall Carrollton (and Ohio) has ever experienced. But the following Tuesday, my sister and I were on our way back to our respective towns. We were lucky – no dents and no scratches – but many frightful memories. The worthless trip ended up Ohio State 2, Michigan 9! Oh how well I remember, I was driving.
Robert Hills, Jr.
To Carroll County residents:
Out here in Afghanistan life is simple. Not easy, mind you, but simple. You keep your head down, your weapon and body clean, and keep to your training. You look out for your brothers in arms and they look out for you. In your spare time - and despite popular opinion we have that here - we play cards, read letters, and if we have access get on the phone or computer to home. These are simple things to do and yet sometimes they can be quite hard too.
It is easy to forget everything out here. For many of us everyday seems the same and the phrase “Groundhog Day” takes on a real meaning. Yes, things happen to break the routine, but we always pray they don’t. They are rarely things we want to happen. We also tend to measure time in odd ways. Laundry days, haircuts, paydays and other things you do or just expect as a habit take on new meaning out here. They become notches in our time left. While focusing on these things we find ourselves able to put other things out of our mind for a time.
My responsibilities involve getting Marines home safe. They are well trained and execute their duties with precision and fervor making that job a good bit easier. The Corps feeds us well, makes sure we have all the things we need, and is there for me to go to should I need more help with anything. I can also look around to any of my fellow staff noncommissioned officers for advice, assistance, and even just a little support when I am stressed. It is not an exaggeration to say we as Marines are a family, and the bonds- though different- are often just as strong.
It is my firm belief that I have it easy here. Not compared to others I serve with out here, but compared to my wife, Brandy. She has little of the things I do to help her at home. As a Reservist living far from a military base, she has little of the companionship and support from other spouses in the same situation as her. No military support ready to assist her as she awaits my return, yet she still manages. She faces a daunting task, much more daunting than mine.
My wife’s family and friends do their best and are great. Without them she might have folded under the stress of raising three children who miss their father and are a challenge even with me there. Thankfully, they as well have proven themselves able to cope and help her as well. I thank them for that constantly. So far my family is doing well thanks to such efforts. I am proud of them and especially Brandy for the superb job they have done.
However, it is not just family and friends that have been there for them. Carroll County has long supported me as an active Marine but now they have gone beyond that. I have received packages to be distributed to my fellow Marines, cards wishing me well, and letters of support too. I appreciate those things greatly, but they pale in comparison to the wishes and support given to my family.
My wife informed me that my children received extra gifts this year under the tree – a lot of gifts. I wish there were words to convey my gratitude for that. Just the thought that so many were thinking of them is astounding to me. I know I am not able to properly thank you all, but this is my attempt. Thank you. That sounds hollow when compared to how I feel, but no other words exist to convey my gratitude as well as those simple two. I cannot repay such kindness.
If there was ever a reason for me to be proud of what I do, our community is it. For anyone reading this know that I am proud to be from such a place. You are the reason I can stay here knowing my family is in good hands. Every time I start to worry about my family, I know they will be well. You all assure that. I can only hope my meager contribution here is worth some part of what you do back there to support me. There can be no greater pride than announcing where I serve from and why I will return there.
Many think the strength of a Marine is solely based on his training and his fellow Marines. I know the truth of that. Some of it comes from there for sure. However, our strength is largely based on the place we come from and the roots we have there. Much of our drive to succeed comes from there. It cannot be substituted from any other source.
I must go now. There is a watch to keep and a war to win. Trust me when I say we will win so long as we have your support. Also, don’t worry for me. I have something to come home to, and I will be doing so this spring. After all, I still have to play with all the cool toys my kids got and give the wife a break!
Thank you all so very much,
SSgt George D. Clayton
3rd Battalion, 25th Marines
Security Force, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan
To the Editor:
Let’s talk about handicap parking spaces. They are for people who need them because they have restricted or limited mobility. The spaces are usually near the entrances to buildings because people with limited mobility are often in danger of falling and walking across a parking lot full of reckless drivers, icy patches and uneven pavement, which increases their risk.
The parking spaces are bigger because people with limited mobility need more room to maneuver themselves and their mobility devices (wheelchairs, walkers, etc) safely and without damaging other vehicles.
If you do not need these spaces, please don’t park in them, not even if you’re “just gonna be a second.” Also, please don’t park partially in them. Have some consideration for people who, through no fault of their own, are not able-bodied as a typical person. It’s frustrating that people need to be reminded in this day and age, especially in this close-knit community.
To the Editor:
We would like to thank all the generous individuals who helped Malvern American Legion Post 375 with Toys for Tots for Carroll Hills students and Brown Township kids; gifts for veterans at the Brecksville VA Hospital; and a variety of treats for residents at the Carroll Golden Age Retreat Home. Many lives were touched because of the generosity of the following individuals: 40+ Motor Cycle Club of Carroll County, Joe Adkins, PROforma , Colorado; Dave LePore, S-Teck, Inc., Cleveland, Sam Palleshi, General Graphics, Zanesville; William Meredith, Meredith Enterprises, Inc., Canton; Norm Fox, Fox Auto, Malvern; Bob Cinson, Sud-Z Car Wash, Malvern; Bill Sheckler, National Aggregates, Inc., Waynesburg; Jim Woods, Woods’ Grocery, Malvern; Preston Anderson, Andy’s Garage, Malvern; American Legion Post 375 Auxiliary; and all the customers that brought toys and gift items for the kids, veterans and seniors.
By working together, we were able to bring the spirit of Christmas to many. Thank you so much!