Apr 2010

A Far Piece

A Far Piece

From the beginning of recorded history man has found it advantageous to divide his world into units of time, space, and weight. He has given names to each unit and set standards for all to follow. Time has been divided into hours, minutes, and seconds while space is measured in miles, feet and inches. Today’s standards of measurement are very precise; down to “
the last decimal point.” However, I have been unable to find anyone to tell me exactly how to find the last decimal point. Nor can I find a conversion table to tell me how many “pinches of salt” there are in a teaspoon, or how many “gulps” are in a glass of water. Was the straw which “broke the camel’s back” as “light as a feather?” It still remains a mystery as to how many feet you have to walk to get “over yonder,” how many miles it is “from here to Timbuktu” and what fraction of a second is a “blink of an eye.” Last night I didn’t “sleep a wink,” so by my calculations a wink can be either very long or very short depending if I am taking “40 winks.

Today we read that there may be billions of galaxies in “
outer space.” If that is true, then what is in “inter space?” I think I can visualize what is a “ton of money,” but what is the dollar value of a “pile of money?” My biggest worry today is how many more years will I live before I am “taxed to death.” I only hope that my grandchildren will be strong enough to support the “burden of taxes” they will be “saddled with” in the future.

I have searched the internet without success to find the temperature of a “
hot potato” and a “cold mackerel.” I would like to know how fast a “streak of lightening” is and how slow is “molasses in January.” We know that there are 7 “Blue Moons” every 19 years, but is a “Coon’s Age” more or less than a year?

Do you remember when a “perk” referred to coffee? It would be wonderful if today’s bank executive’s perks were just cups of coffee. I’ll “
end on that note” which you are probably thinking is “a far piece” down the musical scale.

The Old Poland Village Town Hall

Present View of 111 South Main Street
(After the 1965 and 2005 Renovations)

Very little has been written about the Old Town Hall located near the intersection of South Main Street and Water Street in the Village of Poland, Ohio. What we do know is that in 1923, when W.L. Countryman was mayor, a group of 27 concerned citizens petitioned Village Council to authorize a needed fire department. Information has not been found as to what happened after Council received the petition and what planning and financing went into the designing of a two story brick building with its distinguished looking cupola on the roof and its wide front porch supported by four tall columns. Most of what we read today is found on a bronze plaque recently placed at the entrance to the building. This plaque reads as follows:

This building was built in 1923 as the Poland Village Hall, and originally housed the Village Fire and Police Departments. The Poland Library was located on the second floor in the 1950s. In 1964, the Village Office and Police Department were located in another building about a block away and the Poland Library also moved out of the building. That same year the building was moved closer to Main Street and further southeast from its current location so that two bays for fire engines could be added. In 1984, the Poland Village Fire Department became part of the Western Reserve Joint Fire District. In late 2005, major renovation which took place included a new pitched roof which was added to the top of the 1964 addition. The front entranceway was redesigned in accordance with ADA guidelines.

Another plaque at the entrance lists the 1965 Village Council Members and states that the Old Town Hall construction was funded, in part, through a gift by the Poland Firemen’s Association. The new fire station addition, containing three large glass overhead doors, was dedicated on Saturday, May 22, 1965. The architect was William L. Cox and the Contractor was Kreidler Construction Company.

During my tour of the building conducted by former Chief Ed Chinowth and Secretary Diane Ingold, it was pointed out that the two story brick Old Town Hall as jacked up from its foundation in 1965 and moved onto a new foundation 35 feet closer to the Old Stone Tavern and 7 feet closer to Main Street. I was also told the Village Jail, located in the Old Town Hall basement, was abandoned during reconstruction. Originally the two bays built on the north side of the Old Town Hall had a flat roof with plans to add living quarters above the first floor at a later date. However, those plans were abandoned when several new fire stations were added to the outline areas of Poland Township. The 2005-2006 construction included adding a hipped roof over the two bays, pointing the brick joints on the outside of the old building and landscaping the front of the Old Town Hall.

On May 1, 1935 the Reuben McMillan Free Library of Youngstown opened its first branch library in a small room on the first floor of Old Town Hall with a collection of 1,377 volumes. In 1941 the Poland branch library moved to larger quarters on the second floor and remained there for the next 20 years. Then when planning began for enlarging the Old Town Hall the library moved in 1964 to new quarters in the historic Kennedy house at 308 South Main Street, which is now known as the New Poland Village Town Hall.

(By Ted Heineman in April 2010)


Just prior to Congress voting on President Obama’s Health Care Plan, I picked up a Washington D.C. newspaper and read where a certain Senator was being wishy-washy. Putting the newspaper down, I wondered how many other readers understood what the word wishy-washy meant. My mother always use the term when referring to neighbors who appeared unwilling to take sides on any issue. Being satisfied with my mother’s use of the word, I felt that I fully understood the Senator’s position on this important piece of social legislation. However, I was curious as to what was the dictionary’s definition of these words. First, there is the noun “wish-wash” describing a weak or insipid drink. (This needs further investigation.) Wishy-Washy when used as an adjective describes something that is thin, weak, feeble, and ineffective. I’ll let you decide whether my mother used this adjective (wishy-washy) correctly.
The English language contains over 2 million words. A surprising number of the words rhyme and when repeated have a powerful appeal to the human ear. From the time a child is born it is exposed to repetitive sounds. Parents encourage it to say “Mama” and then make much to-do when their baby says its first word. A young child is told to let their mommy know when it is time to pee-pee or poo-poo and if they forget then it is a big boo-boo. At bedtime the child is tucked under the covers and told it is “snug as a bug in a rug.” Grandparents are called “Nana” and “Papa” and wave “bye-bye” when they leave. Mother insists that all baby food is “Yummy for the Tummy” and she says “Boo hoo” when the child tries to cry.
During the child’s terrible twos everything is a “No-No don’t touch” or “Never ever do that again.” A train locomotive is called a choo-choo, a dog is called a bow-wow, and the child’s little toe is a piggy that goes “Wee-wee-wee” all the way home. Nursery rhymes are introduced at an early age with such characters as Humpty Dumpty, the wolf that huffed and puffed, and Chicken Licken (aka Chicken Little) and all his barn yard friends with names of Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey and Foxy Loxy. The TV or boob tube is employed as a baby sitter device and thus the child is entertained for hours watching Big Bird, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Mickey Mouse.
Later on the child goes to school wearing a backpack and learns about the American Indians who live in Teepees and Wigwams, hold Pow-wows and beat on tom-toms. In first grade the child hears about the poor worm “Ooey-gooey” that ends up on the railroad track and about the bear “Fussy wassy” who had no hair. By eighth grade teenagers are convinced that their parents are nitwits and their teachers give them junk to make them flunk plus all school books are filled with gobbly gook.
To back track I find that namby-pamby may be substituted for wishy-washy. Both terms are known officially as reduplications of sound. This is all for now on this subject, but I will write more in a little while; crocodile. Wait for another blog later; alligator.