National Stickers Day

This is the third of three posts where I will take a particular National Day and spin an extended Throwback Thursday based on memories of that topic…

I will not be reflecting on the cute and profitable practice of little children collecting and pasting unicorn stickers into even more profitable sticker books or even gluing S&H stamps into redemption booklets. Instead it triggers an odd memory of unlikely stickers.

Way back in 2004 I took Pamela on a tour of my old home of Ohio. We visited lots of family, saw Cincinnati Reds games in Cincy, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. And visited a lot of childhood homes. I lived in thirteen different places in my first fifteen years. Nothing traumatic, just lots of places for lots of reasons. One of the places we stayed the longest was in Bainbridge, Ohio near Chillicothe.

Our family lived in a unique dwelling when I was in parts of 4th, 5th and 6th grade (sometime around 1968-70?). We were a couple of miles out of town amidst many corn fields and smack dab next door to the Seip Mound State Park. It preserves the work of one of several North American Native Peoples (the Hopewell Tribe I recall) who built complex mounds for various reasons. At Seip Mound you can find an ancient burial mound and a midden (where they buried all manner of daily trash and then covered under a thin layer of earth). You can find more about it online.

The house we rented was first found on the tax rolls in 1812. The kitchen and sole bathroom was added onto the rear of the house sometime in the 1900’s. It included outbuildings that included a milk house, a smoke house, and a decrepit chicken coop. We had an acre to grow a garden and the whole place had a great vibe. My mom claimed it was haunted (based on several occasions) and the electrical cords were surface mounted with the old twist switches. It was always a bit drafty and had two big fireplaces.

The elderly landlady had no family and had stated that she was planning to leave the property to the state as it was adjacent to the state park. Shortly after we moved back to the Cincinnati area my parents mentioned that the landlady passed but I never heard more about the house.

During the Ohio tour I included Chillicothe and Bainbridge on the trip. We stopped by the park and the house was still next door. We decided to check it out but it looked eerily quiet. We knocked on the back door and found several college students there. Turns out it was never turned into a museum or something fancy but was used as a base house for archeology students (that week it was University of Arizona) to work in the surrounding area mounds. I asked if I could wander through it and they were fine with it as they did not lodge there but used it for meal stops and to get out of the weather if necessary.

The place looked much like I remembered it but certainly faded and worn. We went up the stairs to the second floor where my sister had one bedroom and my brother and I shared the other. The were long unused and as we wandered around there was something near the corner where my bed had been that caught my eye. I leaned over to look and broke up laughing. See, in the fifth grade (and later) I was a huge fan of Mad Magazine. Occasionally they would feature humorous lick and stick satirical stickers. I could at that moment hear my mom’s command to “never stick them to the wall” because she would never be able to get them off. There they were. And no, she apparently hadn’t been able to remove them. And to my knowledge they are still there today. We excused ourselves and hurried out. Sorry mom.

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