A bad thunderstorm rolled into Croton around 4:30 a.m. The thunder felt like it was shaking my tent and soon there was the sound of very small hail for a few minutes. I decided to take shelter in the church basement and wait it out for a bit. Around 5:30 a.m. the rain slowed enough for me to tear down the wet tent and take it inside the church basement to dry for a bit.
By 8:30 most everything was dry in time for me to leave.
My first stop of the morning was at the home of Mrs. Mary Ann Arter. Since most everything in Croton had closed down over the last few years, Mary Ann decided to make her home and front porch available to the community every Monday morning for coffee. Mary Ann is 90 years old and as sharp as tack. I enjoyed meeting Mary Ann and appreciated her care and concern for recording the history of Croton. She hopes there will be someone after her that will carry on the responsibility of helping to keep the history of Croton alive. Mary Ann can also boast that she has never missed a day of the Hartford County Fair in 90 years. Mary Ann you are an inspiration!
After leaving Mary Ann’s, Rodney Newell and our friends from the Advocate continued our tour through Croton. We next stopped at the Heartland bank. We met Kathy Lehner, and the rest of the staff. We talked about the history of the Heartland Bank in Croton and enjoyed some refreshments. It was nice to know that they were committed to continuing to provide service to the community that are seeing its share of struggles.
After we left the bank we then continued on to the Hartford Library, which is a volunteer run Library. There we met Faith Barker and Kristin Price who are doing some amazing things through the library. These two women put in countless hours and love to keep the library, which is held in the old Croton Bank, running. They provide much more than books to the community. They provide food, school supplies, homework help, and a loving safe place for many in the community. As they told stories of need within Croton, I was moved to tears by their compassion and their willingness to make a real difference in their own way to help the residents of Croton. This summer, they will be selling books for 25 cents each at the Hartford Fair to help raise money for the library and for those in need who enter its doors. All I can saw is WOW! Everybody needs to take a few lessons from the ladies at the Hartford Library on how to “give where you live”.
After we left the Library we continued our way to the Ohio Foundation Seed, Inc. There we got a tour and learned a lot about the agriculture seed industry. We all need to be concerned about the food we eat and the seeds that make our food. This is a huge and much more complicated industry than many know about. What a gem this company is for our county.
After we left the Ohio Foundation Seed we then we headed north out of Croton to the Hartford Fair Grounds. The Helping Hands 4H group (my kids are a part of this group) came out to help clean up the Natural Resource area for their service project along with some folks from Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District. The volunteers did a nice job of cutting back dead plants, pulling weeds and clearing flower beds. After they completed their project we enjoyed hearing some music from Allen Schwartz and his friend Gaylord. Gaylord also performed some astounding magic tricks for the kids. When they were finished I had an opportunity to talk to the whole group about United Way and why I was walking for 50 days. There were some good questions asked and plenty of time for discussion. Our evening was also completed with a hot dog supper provided by the Croton Methodist Church. Thanks Pastor Eva Marie.
It had been a full day and it was really good to see my family for few hours. After everyone left I pitched my tent next to the Babcock building toward the front of the fairgrounds and went to sleep.
Continue to follow Deb on the 50 the United Way journey. To donate toward 50 the United Way go to www.unitedwaylc.org/50donate